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NDT Ultrasonic Testing Equipment: Price vs Value

Ultrasonic testing (UT) equipment prices vary based on numerous factors.

For companies where safety is a primary strategic concern, the value of ultrasonic testing equipment far exceeds its price. In the power generation, oil and gas, transportation, and manufacturing industries, the ability to perform a full volumetric scan of important components is essential to the continued safety of daily operations. In many of these fields, regular, routine testing of certain components is required by law as well. As such, the value ultrasonic testing equipment provides is no less than the ability to conduct business at all.

Ultrasonic testing (UT) equipment prices vary based on numerous factors, including unique testing equipment configurations and accessory needs, and neither the least nor most expensive equipment is necessarily the right equipment. While some level of ultrasonic testing ability is required, differences in inspection needs as well as ultrasonic testing equipment features and capabilities mean that companies must carefully consider which inspection equipment and software they procure. Equipment performance, durability, efficiency, and portability, as well as inspection complexity and unique inspection needs, must all be weighed by procurement officers in order to make the right choice to maximize value. Choosing equipment that will confidently find all flaws in an inspection is critical and a sound investment, versus just selecting the lowest-priced instrument.

Factors Affecting Ultrasonic Testing Equipment Price

Several factors influence the overall price of ultrasonic testing equipment, including:

Number of Channels. Equipment with higher numbers of channels are able to work more efficiently, provided the application requires the increased capability.

Size and Responsiveness. For portable, fully integrated instruments, larger, brighter touchscreens enable operators to more easily see and control their equipment, especially in difficult environments. Highly responsive displays that enable operators to use it with gloves provide an added advantage.

Data Processing Speed. Equipment which processes data more quickly allows operators to perform challenging inspections at a faster rate.

Probe Frequency Capabilities. Certain probes require frequency ranges beyond the capabilities of basic ultrasonic testing equipment.

Software Capabilities. More powerful software capabilities, such as the ability to handle more element probes simultaneously, generate reports automatically, or control probes remotely, increases the effectiveness of UT equipment. An industrially-proven software platform used across a range of UT instruments can reduce training costs and improve inspection efficiencies.

Battery Operability. UT equipment which can run on battery power is far more portable than that which depends on AC power, allowing operators to perform field inspections. Dual battery configurations, which enable operators to swap batteries while performing inspections, increase equipment uptime.

Pulser Voltage. Stronger pulser voltages allow UT equipment to measure deeper materials more fully.

Durability of Housing. Better weatherproofing and temperature resistance reduces the likelihood of equipment failure due to environmental conditions, increases equipment versatility, and provides RoI through equipment longevity and continued usability.

Data Storage and Compression Capabilities. Increased data storage and compression abilities improve the efficiency of the analysis and reporting stages.

Flexible Scanning Configurations. Equipment which is able to scan in multiple configurations, including sector, linear, and compound, enables operators to perform more work with fewer pieces of equipment.

Accessory Needs. Accessories such as fan kits and probe splitters allow companies to customize UT equipment to meet their specific inspection needs of today and as their operations grow in the future.

These factors, and others, all influence the price of ultrasonic testing equipment. Getting a good price on UT equipment has less to do with lowering the total cost of purchase than ensuring that the price you pay provides with you the equipment that most effectively meets your needs.

Maximizing the Value of Ultrasonic Testing Equipment

Matching equipment capabilities as closely as possible to the needs of your operation is the key to maximizing the value of your ultrasonic testing equipment. The best way to do this is to have a conversation with an expert, who can identify your needs, and provide you with equipment options to fulfill them.

Company employees with significant ultrasonic testing experience, such as nondestructive testing (NDT) department managers, will be able to give you valuable insights into which capabilities are most important for your specific applications. Not only will they understand the technical requirements of your operation, but the environmental, temporal, and fiscal constraints of your work site as well.

Armed with knowledge provided by your own experts, the next step is to consult with the sales experts working for different ultrasonic testing equipment manufacturers. Once you present manufacturers with a detailed set of equipment requirements, their experts will be able to provide you with a series of options, with specific pricing information, for you to compare and contrast.

When comparing equipment options with similar prices and capabilities from different manufacturers, a final test is to consider the reputation and expertise of the manufacturer. Manufacturers which have successfully provided ultrasonic and other NDT solutions for decades are able to offer a certain peace of mind which companies without long or successful proven track records cannot.

Zetec has been a leading provider of nondestructive testing equipment for over fifty years. Our customers depend on our equipment for speed, accuracy, and cost-efficiency. To learn more about our ultrasonic testing equipment, contact us today.