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Wear Detection System

Smart Wells

The Wear Detection Technologies system monitors the condition of the downhole components in oil or coal seam gas wells, warning the operation when it detects a 'worn-down' event.

Maintenance of the well can be scheduled accordingly, eliminating unscheduled maintenance, maximising life of the downhole components and decreasing total cost of well ownership.

Wear Detection Technologies well mounted device
A graphic showing how rod guide wear out causing sucker rods to damage tubing

The Problem

David Bahemia from Oilfield Piping Systems posed the question to us, "How can we maximise the life of a well?"

Wells are never straight, with large amounts of wear to the rod guides occurring at their worst bend. This causes sucker rods to make contact with the tubing, resulting in costly damage.

Our Solution

We proposed the development of a custom industrial IoT system using some core Element IP. Oilfield Piping Systems manufactures consumable rod guides that drive down hole pumps, so we suggested the embedment of a tracer element into these guides. When the tracer is released by wear and tear it would be sensed by a device at the well head, reading the flow without impeding the well, clogging, or needing maintenance.

A graphic showing a WDT well mounted device picking up the tracer element from a worn out rod guide
Infographic showing how the WDT system works.


This would allow the refurbishment of downhole components once they are nearly worn out, instead of guessing and underutilizing the wells consumable components. This could improve the life and cost of a well by as much as 33%.


We built large flow loops circulating slurries emulating a wells composition, flow rate and pressure conditions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, right here in our workshop.

We conducted a thorough investigation of off-the-shelf sensors and components which quickly confirmed for us that a custom solution was required for the harsh conditions.

Well simulation and device testing at EEA facilities
CAD sketch of WDT device circuit board, sensors, and frame

Design & Manufacturing

Detailed mechanical and electronic engineering designs were undertaken by our specialists. Prototypes quickly came together and were paired with Element's Cranio firmware system to expedite the software development process.

We will continue to produce this high-precision, low-volume product for WDT into the future using our in-house manufacturing services.

Certification & Patent

Our engineers undertook certification of the device by all relevant bodies across mechanical design, hazardous area rating and electronics certification, making the product ready for sale.

  • Protection type Ex-ia

  • Gas group IIA

  • Temperature classification T4

We also put together a patent specification for the system that helped it progress to all relevant markets.

A WDT device circuit board next to a sticker showing a range of certifications


Our UI/UX team undertook industrial design as well as created an entirely new brand for this new business with infographics, website, logo development, colour palette and style guides, email signatures, marketing materials and videography to capture the true vision for the product.

Check out the WDT website for more:

Wear Detection Technology brand website home page
Cranio Pro-io IoT data logging and control device

Wear Detection features our internally developed and manufactured IoT data logging and control system, Cranio. This has enabled rapid development of electronics, firmware, and software.

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