Location: Marywell Tank Farm, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Application: Offsite manufacture of 38 closing pipe spools.

The Challenge

Perform closing spool surveys that can be used to fabricate pipe spools that fit first time every time.

The site survey was carried out by Rig Engineering Ltd using automet® pipework software developed by mltech, which was the first choice for this element of the project.

Overall, it's seven times more cost effective to perform pipe spool fabrication in the workshop than it is to do on site.

This project involved measuring 76 tie-in flanges to produce 38 pipe spools drawings.


Site survey was completed in 8 hours, with a day and a half on site.

The Method

The automet® software was used for all three phases of the project, site survey, drawing /creation of deliverables and fabrication spool inspection. The process is not labour intensive as each phase can be performed with a single operator.

Phase One: Site Survey

Using a Leica TS15 instrument controlled by the automet® software, the tie-in flanges are surveyed. The capture procedure, which includes live quality checks on the data, is quick and accurate within +/-0.4mm. Once the data is processed, reports are produced that define the spool geometry and confirm the flange specification.

Phase Two: Drawing

Drawings are produced automatically within the automet® software. The spool report drawing uses symbols generated from the survey data to define the flange geometry. The gold arrow shows the fabricator the location and magnitude of the flange alignment to coincide with the site condition. The cyan arrows show the flange rotation. The analysis and creation of deliverables was completed in a total of 24 man-hours.


Phase Three: Fabrication Spool Inspection

Spool inspection during fabrication is required to ensure that the new pipe spools are fitted on-site without modification to the spool or the adjoining pipework. The pipework fabrication and inspection using automet® was carried out by Dales Engineering Services Ltd of Peterhead.

The spool report is automatically produced from the survey data, which includes live quality checks to ensure integrity.

The time to complete a spool survey is approximately one minute per flange, and the report is produced immediately.

The concept is to fit the spool inspection data to the site spool report data to show the differences.



Closing Spools Post Installation.


The operation showed that automet® software can be successfully used for all three phases: site survey, drawing and fabrication spool inspection. It demonstrated that each phase could be performed with a single operator, significantly reducing labour requirements. On this occasion, site survey time equated to eight hours with a day and a half on site. The analysis and creation of deliverables was completed with a total of 24 man-hours. The average fabrication inspection survey time was 15 minutes per spool, a total of 10 man-hours, as with all phases this is a one person process.

  • The major benefit is the closing spools can be fitted correctly first time.
  • The total automet® man-hours expended for the complete project was 44.
  • All spools were fitted on site with no site work required - a 100% success rate.