Russell Technologies Inc.

1993 Winner: Industrial Research

Filling Market Void for Pipeline Inspection Tools

Changing with the times has been a success formula for Russell Technologies Inc., an Edmonton­-based company inspection services for deficiencies in various kinds of tubing and piping. Incorporated in 1972, their specialty was radiographic and ultrasonic inspection for the petroleum industry, and by late 1970s had expanded to include eddy current inspection of heat exchanger tubing. By the mid 1980s, Russell Technologies Inc., had developed an advanced and non-destructive evaluation technique for carbon steel tubing – the Remote Field Eddy Current technique. The technology was incorporated into a variety of tools including the Intelligent Pig, a computerized pipeline inspection tool.

Today there is growing need to assess the integrity of aging water distribution systems; proactive inspection would remove the need for costly excavation and wholesale individual water lines. The Industrial Research Prize will be used to extend the technology of the Intelligent Pig to apply it to the larger cast iron piping of water mains. With the help of graduate student Robert Franz, Russell’s research team will tackle the significant technical challenges needed to fill this market void.