- Improved management visibility of the CP program enterprise-wide.
- Time savings for inspectors and supervisors.
- Reduced errors and enhanced data quality.
- A shift in focus of the CP program from reactive to proactive.
- Simplified CP program rollout and administration.
Gas utilities use electrical cathodic protection (CP) to prevent corrosion of metal mains and service lines. This means a constant external voltage must be applied to metallic pipes carrying natural gas to protect against corrosion. Corrosion departments at gas utilities must ensure compliance with federal regulation 49 CFR 192 Part 1 and other state and company mandates. These rules stipulate acceptable test values (e.g. soil-to-pipe or rectifier voltage) and inspection frequency of a gas utility’s cathodic protection system.
The prevailing methodology suffers from poor data quality and management visibility, and low process efficiency. Gas utilities conduct their 49 CFR 192 Part 1 and related inspections on paper forms. As a result, supervisors, managers and regulators overseeing a utility’s corrosion prevention program lack timely and coherent data to make management decisions or measure CP performance. Paper forms inevitably introduce the possibility of human errors and compromise inspection data quality. Moreover, inspectors may end up completing a batch of forms at the office instead of on the job site, resulting in potentially inaccurate or erroneous data, due to the well-known “confirmation bias.”
The CP Manager app creates a verifiable, GPS location-tagged and time-stamped CP inspection record at each inspection location. With the Bluetooth connect feature, inspection data such as pipe-to-soil voltage can be entered “hands free,” from a digital wireless multimeter. This enables corrosion inspections to be completely automated, requiring operator intervention only when the system senses values that are out of range. Utilities can use the data to report their 49 CFR 192 Part 1 and related rules compliance to their safety board, or to state or federal regulators. A web portal provides enterprise-wide visibility into CP program compliance by region, inspector and facility type. State and company mandates can be configured for each utility.