Mr. George B. Wren founded Pipeline Inspection Co. in Kansas City, Missouri; it was incorporated in 1953. The principal product of Pipeline Inspection Company is a holiday detector. A "holiday" is a term used in the oil and gas industry to denote a defect in coated pipe. The company has additional products including a "pig" tracking system. This item is attached to pigs as they are inserted into a pipeline. They are used to track movement of the pig as well as locating pigs that become stuck and/or lost in the pipeline.
Mr. Wren graduated from the University of Kansas in 1941 as an electrical engineer. He began manufacturing holiday detectors for Standard Pipe Protection Co. of St. Louis (then known as Standard Pipe, Inc.). Standard Pipe salesmen were allowed to sell the detectors as they called on the entire pipeline trade. The detectors gradually became known in the field as "SPI" for short, abbreviating the Standard Pipe name. The equipment began getting a reputation of being superior to competing equipment in the market, at that time, because they were so dependable, reliable and durable that the demand quickly became more than what could be handled as a part-time operation. Standard Pipe Equipment did not want to go into the business of manufacturing holiday detectors and therefore allowed Mr. Wren to go into business for himself manufacturing that equipment. Their only request was to not use the SPI designation that had developed so he changed the product name to "SPY" and had it registered as a trademark.
Pipeline Inspection Company has continued to grow since its inception. Due to the large volume of business in and around Houston, Texas, the plant was moved to its present location in 1968. Pipeline Inspection Company
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