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What to Look for in Portable Test Equipment for NDT

When we look at industries such as manufacturing, oil and gas, or railway we can see a wide range of materials and complex geometrical components being used across different environmental conditions to fulfill operational goals. Components made from stainless steel to high-density polyethylene (HDPE) serve these operational goals in-situ or in the field and require a thorough investigation for safety and quality assurance. Capturing the potential flaws in these material components in different operating conditions requires non-destructive testing (NDT) equipment to have flexibility and portability, in addition to accuracy and precision. 

With portable test equipment, the NDT process can become easier to conduct for routine operations, virtually anywhere. The ability to provide mobility and flexibility to technicians during the NDT process—without increasing the operational downtime—are some of the main reasons why industries are seeking to adopt portable test equipment. 

How Portable Test Equipment Can Benefit NDT Inspection  

Industries and infrastructures are advancing in both technology and design. These advancements, however, are also making manufacturing and design standards more stringent to ensure the quality and safety of the components being used. Industries have long used NDT methodologies for inspecting components prior to or during operation as a quality check or preventative maintenance approach. However, there have been challenges when inspection needs to expand to on-site testing or testing for complex geometries. 

Increased safety standards can also mean the technicians are required to perform increased and advanced inspections in a limited amount of time. To meet the needs, industries may be required to input more time and resources into additional NDT equipment or manpower. With an investment in portable test equipment, NDT processes in industries can be made much more efficient. 

Portable NDT equipment can make data acquisition, processing, and analysis easier irrespective of the location. Portability can also allow for more volumetric coverage with technicians easily carrying it from one side of a component to the other, for example.

When NDT equipment is portable and equipped with advanced features, different types of flaws and discontinuities can be located with ease, improving the reliability of results. 

Qualities To Look For in Portable Test Equipment

Industries seeking ideal portable test equipment should look for speed, ease of use, and accuracy to enhance NDT inspection. Not only can these attributes simplify the inspection process for technicians, but they also can enhance productivity and reduce the incurred costs. Other desirable features include:

  • Portability: Compact, lightweight, even handheld instruments make NDT accessible in remote or hard-to-reach work sites, such as offshore drilling rigs. Without having to set up large instruments on a daily basis, or transport additional gear, technicians can save time and increase inspection coverage. The flexibility of battery-powered instruments also enables inspection of complex geometries such as bends or elbows in pipes without the need for a power source. 
  • Versatility: Equipment should be compatible and versatile to test different types of flaws that may be present in a component, such as those that may be detected during corrosion mapping or weld inspection.  
  • Enhanced data handling: The ability to collect a large number of data and easily process them in real-time for faster decision making. Integrated analysis software with pre-set tools can be big time-savers. There should also be data processing and storage abilities to support offline data analysis.  
  • High-resolution imaging: High-resolution imaging with advanced visualization and easy-to-read display makes a detailed analysis of the A-scans or C-scans easier and enhances the probability of defect detection. This increases reliability in the inspection results.   
  • Ergonomical: If an NDT instrument is portable and flexible, it provides ergonomic benefits to the technicians, as they can conduct an inspection without having to adjust based on the geometrical complexity of the component. 

Portable Solutions Offer Flexibility and Reliability

With a wide range of inspection needs and multiple standards to meet, testing equipment that packs multiple features in one solution can be a great asset for industries. Portable testing equipment provides flexibility, control, ease of use, durability, and accuracy to help industries and asset owners save time and money while improving efficiency. With portable equipment such as TOPAZ and a handheld instrument such as the MIZ-21C, Zetec has also been redefining NDT to deliver quality inspection results. Portable test equipment is the safe and simple, yet modern answer to complex inspection needs. 

Zetec is a leading name in nondestructive testing and has been providing portable test equipment to help industries achieve quality standards with effective NDT.  To learn more about our cutting-edge technology of the highest quality—contact Zetec today.