Custom Manufactured Optical Instruments for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thousands of miles of oil and gas pipelines carry flammable fluids under an enormous amount pressure. These pipelines are exposed to the environment for decades so that corrosion can become very extensive which drastically weakens the metal and increases the risk of explosions and leaks. Regular assessment of pipe condition is performed to assess the degree of corrosion and develop safe operating parameters. A breakthrough new technology using optical instrumentation is now being pioneered by our customer to perform this assessment faster and more accurately. BGM was involved with the product development from early on manufacturing components to match the customer's SolidWorks 3D model. These custom precision metal components were produced for the first prototype production models using a number of our high precision machining centers.

The instruments are made out of Anodized 6061 aluminum and measures approximately 9" long, 5" wide, and 3" high. Internally the instrument contains a number of sensitive electronic and high precision optical components. The complete electronic and optical assembly programming and calibration of the instrument is now being performed by BGM in a dedicated anti-static clean room environment. In addition BGM also manufactures and certifies a calibration standard for field validation of the instrument. Detailed documentation of testing and performance are collected and records kept ensuring traceability. Performance studies helped identify optimal settings and expected values. Extensive work instructions and production documentation guarantee exact conformance to manufacturing requirements all conforming to the strict ISO 9001:2008 regualated quality standards.

At Blue Grass Manufacturing, we managed the complete bill of materials for the project manufacturing the metal parts; managing our sourced processes and purchasing the electronic and optical components. Typical orders are 10 to 40 instruments per month.

To learn more, please contact us directly.

Optical Instrument Project Highlights

Product Name
Optical Instrument for the Oil and Gas Industry
Product Description
Optical Instrument for Pipeline Damage Assessment Measurement
Capabilities Applied/Processes
Primary Services:
  • Milling
  • Drilling
  • Anodizing
  • Assembly
  • Programming
  • Calibration
Secondary Services:
  • Testing
  • Packaging
Equipment Used to Manufacture the Optical Instruments
CNC lathes
CNC vertical mills
Drilling Machines
Overall Optical Instrument Dimensions
Length: 9" (229 mm)
Width: 5" (127 mm)
Height: 3" (76 mm)
Material Used
  • 6061 aluminum
  • Electronic sub-assemblies
  • Optical sub-assemblies
In Process Testing/Inspection Performed
Calibration and testing
Industry for Use
Oil & Gas
10 to 40 per month
Standards Met
  • Customer Specifications, 3D CAD Drawing
  • ISO 9001:2008