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3M™ Dynatel™ Pipe Locators

Oil industry pipeline locator for use with electronic marker

From pipelines to power cable, your buried assets can be vulnerable to damage during excavation or trenching. 3M offers a complete system for damage prevention, locating, marking and mapping your vital underground assets.

  • Precisely locate buried pipes and cable, faults and electronic markers
  • Measure pipe, cable or Sonde depth
  • Achieve accurate measurements even in heavy traffic and challenging field conditions
  • Multiple locating modes, including ultra-sensitive for extreme depths
  • Interface with GPS/GIS field mapping instruments
  • Read/write specific facility information to intelligent 3M™ Electronic iD Markers
  • Multiple active, passive and auxiliary frequencies
  • Specially calibrated model for tracing gas distribution pipelines with high resistance insulators and rubber gaskets

3M™ Dynatel™ Locating and Marking System Family Brochure (PDF 1.6 MB)

Cable and Pipe Locating Techniques Manual (PDF 573.9 K)

More on 3M Electronic Markers

Protecting your valuable assets

Pipeline Applications

In the United States alone, a vast network of pipeline operated by some 3,000 companies stretches for over 2.5 million miles. Construction companies and road grading crews in both rural and urban areas must be careful not to accidentally contact these lines during excavating and trenching work.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 33.4% of all serious pipeline incidents from 1992-2011 resulted from excavation damage to oil and gas transmission and distribution lines. Consequences include injuries and fatalities; emergency response costs; lost product; and damage to public, private and industry property.

In 2011, there were 39 significant incidents of excavation damage to oil and gas transmission and distribution lines, resulting in 2 fatalities, 16 injuries and a total of $14.8 million in damages. Most of these incidents were caused by third parties, but several were the result of operator or contractor error (for more information, see DOT PHMSA).

3M pipe locator and marker products help avoid these costly accidents and make it easier for you to manage your underground facilities. Programmed 3M™ iD Markers increase both efficiency and safety; sophisticated 3M™ Dynatel™ Locators quickly and accurately identify buried assets...trace pipe paths...and provide accurate pipeline depth measurements.

Cable Applications

3M™ Dynatel™ Pipe Locators are designed to identify cables and cable pairs; trace cable paths; locate sheath faults; and provide accurate cable or Sonde depth measurements. These instruments can be used to identify and measure points of cable damage where there is metallic contact to earth via a conductor or cable shield. Dynatel locators offer enhanced speed, sensitivity and noise rejection for enhanced performance even in high traffic areas.

  • Measure signal current
  • Tone shorts and grounds in aerial cable
  • Indicates crossed or hazardous voltage
  • Passive and auxiliary frequencies detect power, radio, CATV, cathodic protection systems and long haul fiber applications
  • Conductor or sheath (earth return) fault locating
  • Simultaneous cable and fault locating

Inside the Technology

Traditional utility-locating equipment directs radio frequency signals into the ground; this will indicate the presence of a buried metallic object but can only approximate its depth and location. Conventional passive markers buried next to pipe or cable indicate that some utility exists at that point, but cannot transmit information about that component to the operator aboveground.

With the marker/locator system from 3M, it does not matter whether the buried feature is metallic or fiberglass. 3M’s intelligent, utility-specific electronic markers are pre-programmed to quickly identify not only the depth, but also the exact properties of the buried asset – without excavation.

3M markers are energized by the electromagnetic signal from Dynatel locators, which temporarily store the received information; select models can also write further information to the buried markers. The locator unit can later be connected to your PC to download facility and mapping data.

Learn more about the 3M™ Electronic Marker System


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