Inspection of Pipelines

The in-line inspection of pipelines has been the domain of magnetic flux leakage (MFL) tools for half a century; however, there are many pipelines that cannot be inspected with MFL or Ultrasonic tools. Internal scale, tubercles and deposits in water and sewer pipes; lined pipelines (cement, HDPE, epoxy etc.), low-flow conditions in oil pipelines; elbows and pipes with multiple diameters can be insurmountable challenges for MFL tools.

For the past decade, Remote Field Technology (RFT) has been increasingly applied in these challenging conditions with good success.

We specialize in deploying RFT for in-line inspection of unpiggable pipelines. RFT tools may be used in a tethered mode (useful for distances up to 3 km) or in a free-swimming mode (distances up to 30 km), in all sizes of pipelines with wall thickness up to 16mm (steel) and 30mm (cast-iron). RFT tools have been developed for many different pipeline sizes and materials. Lines as small as 50mm and as large as 1981mm have been successfully inspected.

Note: the inspection and "direct condition assessment" of water and waste water mains is offered by Russell through its subsidiary: PICA: Pipeline Inspection and Condition Analysis Corp. for more info:, or call (780) 468-6800.  For inspection of oil and gas lines contact Russell directly at the same phone number or


Our Tools have no parts that are in contact with the pipe, except for soft urethane centralizers. All sensors, electronics, batteries, and memory are contained in stainless steel pressure housings. The Tools contain no magnets and are moved with very little differential pressure through the pipeline.

Advantages of RFT Technology for In-Line Inspection Tools:

  • Equal sensitivity to ID and OD pits, erosion and cracks
  • Minimal pre-cleaning required: works through liners, scale and other deposits
  • Needs no couplant, can be pushed with any medium (water is preferred for good speed control)
  • No magnetic attraction to pipe, so very little differential pressure needed for propulsion
  • Does not have sensors in contact with the pipe, so no damage to epoxy or cement liners
  • Plenty of clearance (up to 2", 50mm) for good cornering ability
  • Low flow and other un-piggable lines are our specialty


For more info call +1 (780) 468-6800 (Sales)

PICA pipeline inspection