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Electromagnetic Wire Rope Inspection

Reliable and safe use of wire rope is crucial for onshore and offshore operations and is – or should be – a key priority for operators and safety authorities.

Appropriate rope inspection methods, discard criteria and maintenance procedures are available, but they are frequently not applied. Entire operations are jeopardized by an inexplicable reluctance to use correct wire rope safety procedures.

Much more dependable than visual inspection, electromagnetic inspection is a non-destructive, reliable evaluation procedure used for the inservice inspection of wire ropes.

Traditional preventative maintenance and replacement schedules, if followed at all, are typically based on some form of in-service visual inspection – often combined with a large amount of guesswork.

Many ropes deteriorate internally, showing no external sign of their poor condition, and this has caused rope failures in the past. As a result wire ropes are often discarded long before the end of their useful service life. In fact tens of millions of dollars worth of expensive, perfectly serviceable wire rope is discarded annually.

However, this wasteful and over-cautious approach does not guarantee wire rope safety. Most wire ropes are covered in grease, which makes visual inspection, even for surface deterioration, impractical. Plastic coatings also preclude visual inspection for many ropes.

Given the replacement cost of ropes and equipment, together with the true cost of a rope failure, guessing the condition of wire ropes makes little economic sense.

Non-destructive methods, such as electromagnetic inspection, enable detection and evaluation of external and internal rope deterioration. This allows inspection through the entire cross-section of a rope to its core.

Electromagnetic inspection dramatically increases wire rope safety. At the same time it delivers significant annual cost savings.

REEL offers a complete line of electromagnetic (magnetic flux leakage) wire rope testers for ropes with diameters of up to 5 inches (140mm).

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