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ERW Solutions: In-Line ERW Tube Inspection System

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The in-line electrical resistance weld (ERW) tube inspection system is a turnkey solution that uses phased array technology integrated into a fully automated testing system to meet stringent inspection requirements. Key benefits include:

  • Automatically tracks the heat-affected zone (HAZ)
  • Visualize the profile of welds in real time
  • Minimize your dependency on operator skill with automatic calibration
  • Detect defects at production speed with calibration check
  • Reduce the risk of equipment damage with a pipe window detector

Designed to be an easy-to-use solution for helping ensure the quality of ERW tubes post welding, annealing, and sizing, the system includes:

  • Dedicated project management
  • Instruments, probes, and mechanical equipment
  • Water management system
  • Software
  • Commissioning, training, and after-sales support

Profile and Track Welds while Detecting Flaws

A cylindrical phased array (PA) probe is located on each side of the tube’s weld to inspect in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions. To track welds and create a weld profile, a cylindrical PA probe located on the weld fires at zero degrees. Scarfing is automatically monitored, and the weld is profiled to create a side view for fast analysis.

  • Wide coverage of the heat-affected zone (HAZ)
  • Continuously monitor the weld profile and HAZ to perform analysis without waiting for the pipe to be cut
  • Constant amplitude detection within the entire inspection area, even with mechanical movement
  • Novel water wedge enables many degrees of freedom to accommodate pipe movement and provide excellent coupling


Automatic Weld Tracking

Our unique algorithm, based on time-of-flight analysis, automatically detects the scarfing area and sends feedback to the PLC to automatically adjust the inspection for each water wedge.

Fast Inspections, High-Quality Results

Our high-speed inspection systems are designed to meet the productivity requirements of the metal manufacturing industry. The systems adhere to the highest international quality standards, without compromising quality.

  • Fire more than one acoustic configuration within the same PA probe—pitch-catch or high-angle pulse echo modes can be programmed to perform mid-wall inspection
  • Small, automated gantry positions the inspection head in-line or off-line for inspections, automatic calibrations, or maintenance
  • Available calibration bench to perform automatic calibration and calibration check sequences at standard inspection speed

Automatic Calibration

To achieve a thorough inspection, each PA probe must be calibrated. During calibration, the apertures of each probe pass over a known defect, and the probe’s gain level is automatically adjusted. This feature enables users to easily perform and validate a precise calibration of each focal law, saving time without relying on the user’s skill.

  • Calibration check performed under normal production conditions
  • Each reference defect is validated to help ensure they’re detected above the alarm level
  • Results are displayed in easy-to-interpret views
Product Range and Inspection Speed Diameter 60 mm to 245 mm (2.375 in. to 9.625 in.)
Wall thickness 3 mm to 16 mm
Inspection speed Up to 1.5 m/s (295 ft/m)
Inspection Coverage Weld sector coverage At least 25 mm for entire product range (adjustable)
Axial pulse density (APD) 1 mm (adjustable)
Weld tracking capacity -90º to +90º
Data Presentation Real-time inspection result C-scan, strip charts, and alarms
Parameter setup A-scan, B-scan
Inspection layouts 20 different user-configurable layouts
Inspection Modes* Typical inspection modes 45º, 60º, 70º (typical inspection configuration: 45º pulse-echo mode and 45º pitch-catch mode)
Firing modes Pulse-echo, pitch-catch
Inspection mode configuration Several inspection modes can be performed simultaneously on the same PA probe.
Detection Capabilities for Typical Reference Defects API references 1/2 in./1 in. (12.7 mm/25.4 mm) N10 and N5, ID and OD longitudinal notches 1/8 in. (3.2 mm) through drilled hole (TDH) 1/16 in. (1.6 mm) TDH
Non-API references 1/32 in (0.8 mm) TDH 1/8 in. (3.2 mm) half wall drilled hole 1/16 in. (1.6 mm) half wall drilled hole 1/32 in. (0.8 mm) half wall drilled hole
Minimum SNR 9 dB to 12 dB
Repeatability LID/LOD notches: ≤ 1.5 dB 1/8 in. (3.2 mm) TDH : ≤ 2.0 dB 1/16 in. (1.6 mm) TDH : ≤ 2.5 dB
Reporting and Data Storage Report types Inspection, calibration, and calibration-check user-configurable reports
Storage Real-time database inspection data storage


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