New Advances in Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) Inspection Systems Save Oil Companies Money

Scan Systems Corporation is dedicated to the pursuit of advancing inspection technologies for Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG). Several new technological advancements in Magnetic Flux Leakage (or MFL) inspection equipment enable Scan Systems to overcome many limitations typically found with MFL inspection techniques. Said limitations have been troublesome to the OCTG tubing and casing industry for decades.


Several of Scan Systems’ new advancements will provide invaluable data to EMI operators and prove up stations. While in the past, only the linear location of longitudinal flaws was reported, Scan Systems MFL inspection equipment can now pinpoint the circumferential location as well, from 0 to 360 degrees. In addition, defects presented to the operator by Scan Systems new ESP signal processing software will clearly differentiate between the longitudinally oriented (ID) flaws and (OD) flaws.


“Previously, MFL inspection systems were unable to detect flaws in pipe greater than 10 degrees off axis,” explained Scan Systems Vice President, Matt Rutledge. “This latest advancement allows us to detect flaws that are up to 30 degrees off axis OD, and 20 degrees off axis ID. Normally, this level of accuracy involves complicated and costly ultrasonic inspections, so not only can we offer the industry a better more sensitive pipe inspection, but we save our clients a substantial expenditure.”


Key advantages of the new upgraded ESP (Enhanced Signal Processing) technology include:

  • Detect and repeat on oblique flaws (30% OD and 20% ID).
  • Accurate and repeatable ID/OD discrimination.
  • Auto calibration for longitudinal system (available on both ESP and Standard M-Series).
  • Detect and Repeat on smaller flaws in “noisy” pipe.
  • Identification of the circumferential location of flaw.


In the past, when two flaws were on the same plane, Electro Magnetic Inspection (EMI) systems could only detect and display the largest of the two flaws. Leveraging their latest technology, Scan Systems can now present data on multiple flaws in the same proximity. For example, if there is a larger flaw at 60 degrees and second smaller flaw at 180 degrees, Scan Systems can supply data on both.


Scan System’s upgraded ESP software has also addressed the issues presented by “noisy” pipe. While the signal-to-noise ratio of certain pipe used to make it difficult to distinguish flux leakage generated by an actual flaw, Scan System’s new software algorithms, along with new hardware and sensors, are in many cases sophisticated enough to differentiate actual flaws from noise generated by the pipe.