When purchasing NDE equipment keep the following in mind:
- Is the quote just a list of parts with a price tag at the end?
- Does the quote include a statement where the product quoted complies with applicable standards such as API 5CT or ASTM E 273?
- Involve the correct people in the buying process, from operators to QA Managers.
- Ask more from the NDE suppliers than just diameter and wall thickness ranges, mill/test speeds and reference indicator to be detected.

The full capability of the NDE equipment must be prepared by the user and the document is subject to API audits. For these reasons and many others, it’s a good idea to have an experienced Level 3 in method involved from the beginning of the buying process to final commissioning.

The following items should be clearly stated in any NDE equipment quote you receive. These items are listed in API 5CT as part of the NDE equipment capability requirements. a. “Coverage calculation”. This calculation must use the PRF per transducer, product speed, transducer beam width at the inspection point (not the crystal size), number of transducers and other factors specific to the equipment design (RPM of the test head for example). b. “Capability for the intended wall thickness” is very critical for the inspection. The documentation should ensure the mid-wall coverage with evidence of detection of mid-wall defects along with the common OD and ID notches. c. “Repeatability”. Run the same standardization piece at testing speed 10 times. Now verify the difference between the lowest and highest indication. For a quality NDE equipment this difference should be under 10%. d. “Transducer orientation”. Weld seam must be inspected from both sides. This is the same with transverse notches if they are required by the product specification.” Evidence of typical defects detected”. Is a must have from any NDE equipment manufacturer.

Iulian Lucaci

ASNT UT Level III 168532

API voting member SC5 – RGNDT

ASTM voting member E07

    • Related Articles

    • EMAT Considerations, Limitations and Things to Consider

      This document seeks to inform the reader of the viability for a direct replacement of a traditional UT system by an EMAT type product. Since the traditional UT systems are well understood, and their basic technology easily accessible to both new ...

      Most of our customers had to do reclaim operations at one point or another. This is usually done by a third party that arrives on site and test the many thousands of joints. The cost usually ranges from $50,000 to $80,000, for something that can be ...