I will try to catch Jason at lunch today and talk with him about a page at our site. Our situation is that we are beginning to run our new tool and Jason has been putting in ten to fifteen hour days. We run next Wednesday (cross your fingers) for the first time with the complete tool (in a real working pipeline) at Plains All America Pipeline. They have generously given us pipelines to test our tool in for the last year or so. This is great of them because they have the costs of their crews for the runs and even some modification of the launchers and receivers at the site. We ran a job recently to test the mechanical ruggedness of the tool. It was a 69 mile run as I recall and we were pleased that the tool did well. The trip down the pipe is not easy so the mechanical test was important. Now we have all the computers on board and will run the run again to test the electronics and data gathering computers. Think about dragging your hard drive behind your car for 69 miles at about seven miles per hour and still expect it to have data at the end of the trip. It is almost that bad in a pipeline. This is a “thank you” run and the data we collect can be used to satisfy the DOT regulations for Plains.
Then the following Tuesday we will be running for Enterprise and this is a paying run!!! Yeah!!! We have three paying runs already set up and several others in the scheduling process. This has been a long three-year development project and I have watched money pour into it and the end never seemed to be in sight. But it looks like we have the most sophisticated tool on the market and we are all excited to finally be at the end of the development. We have 144 sensors on the tool that look at the pipe wall and record the data to the hard drive. After the run, we download the data and analyze each flaw that we see. I watched a run at our place yesterday and I could actually see a chain that was on the pipe (as a safety measure) holding each section of pipe together. We detect flaws on both the inside and outside of the pipe. We have a cable hooked to the tool going through the pipe of our flow loop test set up and hook it to a fork lift and pull the tool through the pipe. The pipe has machined “flaws” that we know the size of so when we analyze the data we know what size the flaw should be and hope that our results are the same.
Anyway, I ramble, as usual. Jason has been putting in such long hours that I finally bought the bed for the “family conference room”. We had always planned for a bed in that room. We have a shower and laundry room, so he almost has a complete home at the office. But I would rather that he not make the drive home at 3:00 after so many hours behind the computer. He has been sleeping on the couch in there lately. Poor guy, but he is having fun, too.
But as I said, I will try to catch him at lunch. Sometimes, another employee will sit with us and he and Jason just continue to talk about the programs during lunch. We hired a guy who is an expert in Linux Operating System and he is putting in long days, as well and sometimes the discussions just continue. Maggie