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NDT Midlands Ltd - Technical presentation

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

NDT Midlands Limited 01902 724371

Steward Dudwell (Managing Director) & Peter Maiden (Sales Manager)

Established in Wolverhampton in 2006, they initial specialised in oil and gas, but have since diversified into general engineering. They moved in 2008 and then further expanded to 14,000 square feet, in 2015. Ongoing investment, has been geared to providing a turn-key solution, for all NDT requirements. AS9100 accreditation and X-ray capability will be in place, early 2017.

Presentation : Non Distructive Testing
The presentation outlined the definition of NDT, where it’s used and common applications. Advise was given about determining the most appropriate process.

Definition : Non-invasive techniques to determine the integrity of a material, component or structure. Checking defined characteristics to ensure its fit for purpose. It is used for : product development ; to control processes ; to verify proper assembly (eg, welding) ; Quality Control to ensure parts meet specification.

Various processes were discussed :

Visual Inspection : Fibrescopes, borescopes, magnifying glasses, mirrors.

Magnetic Particle Testing : Finely milled iron particles are coated in a coloured dye and applied to the test component. They are attract to the magnetic flux on the component but gather around imperfections.

Dye Penetrant Testing : The test component is coated in a dye which penetrates cracks. A powder is added to draw the dye from out of the cracks. The surface is cleaned leaving the dye around the cracks to highlight surface defects. (Flourescent dyes can be used under UV light).

Ultrasonic Testing : Bursts of high frequency sound are directed at the test component. A directional measurement of the reflections is taken, over time, to determine the position of physical characteristics.

Level 3 Services : NDT Midlands are prepared to work at customer premises to provide a bespoke package of : Training, reviewing testing procedures and equipment, Auditing test- processes etc.

Radiography : Inspecting material or welds, for hidden flaws, using Xrays.

PMI Testing (Positive Material Identification) : Analysing chemical composition.

Summary
A very thorough presentation covering the full breadth and depth of NDT. It showed the complexity of the processes and the importance of combining processes to get the most effective outcome.

Stuart Dudwell led a good questions and answers session, at the end of the presentation, where he referred to a number of case studies they had been involved with.

The NDT industry has difficulties recruiting and retaining young people This was a sentiment shared by ICME members. Perhaps this leaves food for thought, that there could be some potential synergy in future training, for both industries.

They also acknowledged a general concern, over the skills gap, for when the economy grows.

It was also highlighted that, they felt there was a general lack of understanding about NDT processes, from their customer base and that this presentation played a small part in bridging that gap.

A closing vote of thanks was given by Darren Pritchard, for what had been a comprehensive and engaging presentation.