PCMx (Pipeline Current Mapper)
Radiodetection’s 2017 new Pipeline Current Mapping system measures and records current attenuation and voltage gradient data simultaneously alongside depth of cover and GPS positional data to make pipeline surveys faster.
Radiodetection’s PCMx system enables corrosion and Cathodic Protection System (CPS) professionals to evaluate the condition and effectiveness of pipeline coatings. Users can locate faults and holidays in the coatings, and identify shorts caused by contact to other structures.
PCMx enables pipeline managers to identify and prioritise preventative maintenance on pipelines; extending asset life by identifying possible sources of corrosion at an early stage.
Early detection of coating defects on pipelines prevents corrosion damage, saving costs on pipeline repairs and replacement. In 1997 Radiodetection, working with industry partners, invented the first PCM. Using two separate techniques – ACCA (AC Current Attenuation) and ACVG (AC Voltage Gradient) coating defects that can lead to corrosion can be located and pinpointed on even inaccessible pipelines running below river beds or under busy highways. Successive generations built on this innovation adding GPS positional data and wireless links to external devices.
The system can be used to conduct ACCA and ACVG surveys in accordance with ANSI/NACE SP0502-2010 ‘Standard Practice for Pipeline External Corrosion Direct Assessment Methodology’. These surveys, which may be conducted separately or simultaneously, can be used to locate and pinpoint coating defects or identify shorts made by contacts with other structures.
The new PCMx saves operator time by allowing data from both techniques to be collected simultaneously in one pass of the pipeline. Depth of cover data is also recorded, and an integrated GPS module automatically provides positional data. The receiver is 33% lighter than its predecessor, and comes with a rechargeable Li-ion battery pack as standard. It also features a removable magnetometer foot: removal of the foot leaves the user with a fully-featured, premium RD8100PDLG pipe and cable locator.
Additionally, the integrity of the receiver measurement system can be confirmed on-site using the enhanced Self-Test that applies signals to the device circuitry to confirm the integrity of the measurement system, and checks display and power functions.
Two PCMx constant-current transmitters are available. The new Tx-25PCM, a smaller, lighter transmitter, provides up to 1 Amp of mapping current. It can run from the on-board rechargeable battery or from mains power making it particularly suitable for distribution pipe networks.
The Tx-150PCM, can provide up to 3 Amps of mapping current making it ideal for transmission lines where its long range signal can travel 30km (19 miles) or more.
PCM Manager, a companion Android mobile app, enables graphing of results on-the-go ensuring that field operators have the best information at their fingertips. A PC version of PCM Manager is also available for additional off-line analysis and charting.