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Balboa Inspection and Maintenance

Balboa Inspection and Maintenance provides internal pipeline inspections using state-of-the-art tethered and robotic instruments.

Product, Service

United States

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Balboa Inspection and Maintenance provides internal pipeline inspections using state-of-the-art tethered and robotic instruments. Balboa I&M specializes in difficult-to-inspect pipelines including small diameters, back-to-back 1.5d bends and low/no-flow pipes. 

Balboa I&M has joined forces with Innerspec Technologies one of the largest providers of advanced Non-Destructive Testing solutions in North America. Innerspec pioneered commercial applications of EMAT in the mid-1990s and is the largest supplier of EMAT systems worldwide. This partnership provides Balboa I&M with exclusive access to sensors, electronics, and analysis software to provide the most advanced inspection tools in the ILI market.

Products & Services
The COPPERHEAD 20”- 60”

Circumferential MFL ILI Robotic Crawler

The COPPERHEAD, an in-line inspection (ILI) tool, is a robotic crawler designed for the inspection of out-of-service pipe systems. This crawler is suitable for pipes between 20-60” in diameter. It's powered with a 5,000’ umbilical which transmits real-time video and data to the on-site NDE inspection engineer. The umbilical transmits data and power and is wrapped in high-strength steel members with a breaking strength of over 12,000 lbs. The COPPERHEAD inspection head utilizes a high-resolution MFL system that rotates circumferentially allowing for the detection of wall loss and axial cracking. When there is an anomaly present, our technicians can evaluate real-time and determine the threat level. The COPPERHEAD crawler can navigate multiple 90deg - 1.5d bends (24” and greater) and can also handle vertical sections.

  • Circumferential MFL detects wall loss and axial cracking
  • COPPERHEAD is lightweight and can be loaded with minimal effort
  • Able to navigate diameter changes up to 12”
  • Rapid inspection speeds up to 2000ft per day


  • Once the pipe is empty, a pipe access point needs to be created if one does not already exist.
  • The COPPERHEAD crawler is loaded into the pipeline and powered on.
  • The 8 legs extend to the centre of the crawler in the pipe.
  • The MFL sensor head will be extended to the pipe surface.
  • As the tool drives through the pipe, the MFL head will rotate covering 360 degrees of the pipe surface.
  • Specialized software analyzes the incoming signals in real time.
  • Balboa generates a report on the condition of the pipe, indicating the coordinates and sizes of the defective areas.
The VIPER 6”- 12”

Tethered Bi-Directional In-Line Inspection (ILI)

The VIPER is our 6-inch to 12-inch ILI tool designed for out-of-service facility lines.  It has a maximum travel distance of 16,000 ft and can navigate 1.5 d bends and offtakes.  The VIPER is equipped with high-resolution cameras for dents and ovality as well as ultrasonic EMAT sensors for high-accuracy wall thickness mapping.  The tool is propelled with compressed air or nitrogen. Once the inspection distance has been reached the pressure is dropped and the tool is winched back.  By utilizing non-contact EMAT we can minimize friction on the pipe surface, allowing us to travel further and through more bends when compared to standard tethered MFL tools.  EMAT also provides a direct measurement with thickness readings accurate to within +/-0.5 mm.   With this sensor suite, we can get a 100% volumetric inspection of the pipe with a complete thickness map of the pipeline.  

EMAT is a non-contact ultrasonic technique that generates the sound in the pipeline itself, with well-known advantages for in-line inspection such as:

  • No couplant is needed. Ultrasound waves are generated in dry or empty pipe
  • Imperviousness to surface conditions. The EMAT signals can be generated on dirty, coated, or rusty pipelines
  • Easy to deploy sensors. EMAT sensors do not need to be perfectly perpendicular to the pipe wall and can provide accurate readings on bends and during higher tool speeds
  • Unique wave modes. EMAT can generate ultrasonic modes or waveforms that can be customized to detect different types of defects
Guided Wave Inspection Services

GWT - Full Coverage Anomaly Detection

One of the leading causes of above-ground process pipe failure is due to corrosion under pipe supports (CUPS). Inspection of these areas has typically been difficult and results have not provided accurate and actionable assessments of the pipe-to-support interface. By utilizing cutting-edge MRUT technology developed by our partners at Innerspec, Balboa technicians can rapidly inspect the pipe-to-support areas. MRUT (Medium Range UT) is a guided wave / bulk wave technique with a range of approximately 25 mm to 3,000 mm from the location where the inspection is performed.  All MRUT techniques use Electromagnetic Acoustic  Transducer (EMAT) technology and different types of sensors and wave modes (Lamb, SH, Shear Vertical) to adapt to the requirements of the application. 


  • Inspect up to 100 pipe-support locations per day
  • Able to inspect pipes with diameters 3" and greater (2” with axial scanning)
  • Rapid Report turnaround
  • Permits inspection of areas 25 mm to 3,000 mm from the sensor placement
  • Able to scan axially or circumferentially depending on the support configuration


  • Rapid inspection speeds on inaccessible areas
  • The system provides scanning on bare pipes or pipes with a coating
  • Inspection of pipe supports from the top - Uses axial scanning to find corrosion under supports
  • Inspection of inaccessible areas from side: Side (circumferential) scanning is used for the detection of defects in inaccessible areas of pipe up to approximately 3 m (~10 ft.) from the inspection point
  • Highly repeatable results
  • Pipe thickness ranges from 3mm to 15mm
  • Simple and easy-to-understand reports
  • Long battery life for minimal downtime
  • Inspections are done while the pipe remains in service
  • All raw data is saved and can be provided
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