How is the SmartBall tool different than a conventional inspection pig?
PureHM’s SmartBall tool is easily deployed in conjunction with other smart pigs, however it is significantly different than these tools in terms of its versatility. Smart tools – such as MFL, geometry tools and UT tools require significant man power and operator support to deploy. They also require pigging facilities and typically have notable bend restrictions that need to be assessed.
The SmartBall tool’s design is different than traditional smart tools because it is not full-bore, which means it can be used on challenging pipelines. Originally developed for water pipelines – which have features such as butterfly valves and lack launching and receiving traps – the tool can easily navigate almost any pipeline feature and does not require pigging facilities to deploy. Deployment of the SmartBall tool is simple and can be completed by a single operator with limited support equipment.
This versatility means that unpiggable pipelines and other challenging designs can still be inspected to ensure they are contained without the concern of the tool becoming lodged in a feature.
The SmartBall tool is an ideal solution to assess unpiggable lines and is easy to deploy along with other smart pigging operations as it requires minimal additional effort to launch and trap the tool when the operator is on site to pig.