Day: January 14, 2019

Reliable Detection of Failure with a Sensor System that Learns to “Hear”

Researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP in Saarbrcken have developed a sensor system that can detect failures or imperfections in systems and machines quickly and reliably by means of an acoustic noise assessment similar to human hearing. The “hearing” sensor system AcoustiX has already been successfully deployed by John Deere, the American global market leader in the fields of agricultural engineering, to inspect the cutting units of combine harvesters.

In the event that large-scale machines or plants are already in operation, defects or defectively assembled components may result in malfunction of machines and thus in production shutdown and economic loss. Hence, the quality assurance previous to launch and after the final check of plants or machines is crucial. But what possibilities exist to reliably verify the correct assembly and function of plants or machines without great effort? Fraunhofer IZFP researchers have intensely engaged in this topic and have developed an inspection solution that provides objective results plus the capacity for permanent quality monitoring of moving or rotating machines and plants.

Reliable failure detection without lavish calibration

In operation, machines and plants generate characteristic vibrations and therefore noises: These noises provide information on the quality since defective mounting or other defects often induce a change in the regular operating noises. Often, assembly personnel who have a good hearing and considerable experience are intrusted with this “inspection task”. However, the human ear is subject to a certain subjectivity: It gets tired after a while and is unfavorably influenced by environmental noises. On the other hand, solutions available on the market often require an adaptation or a calibration, especially in case of even minor construction changes of the plants or machines to be inspected.

An intelligent and fast analysis procedure for multiple industrial fields of application

The AcoustiX sensor system exploits data of individually adjusted acoustic sensors which are directly attached to the machine; alternatively, microphones are used for contactless recording of vibrations or noises of machines or plants: Failures or imperfections are automatically analyzed and finally logged. Based on the signal assessment, targeted statements on the correct installation and function of the plant or machine are available.

The “hearing” sensor system of the Fraunhofer researchers is not only designed for the control of cutting units but for multiple industrial applications. The system can be used in all areas where final assembly control or permanent operation monitoring are crucial, e.g., to monitor huge autonomously operated machines and plants or to assess the quality of single assembly units used in test benches. “The development zeroes in on our analytical methods, the algorithms. They are suited to be integrated in existing inspection lines and can be adapted to fit the individual needs of the customer”, explains Matthias Heinrich, scientist at Fraunhofer IZFP.

Currently, AcoustiX is successfully used at John Deere for the permanent quality monitoring of cutting units of combine harvesters in industrial application; parallel to this, it is currently being validated for series production.

The medium-term goal of the researchers is the precise failure localization as well as the detailled determination of the defect type by means of intelligent algorithms respectively analytical methods.

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Managing Reliability and Production in the Primary Steam Reformer

The primary steam reformer often ranks highly in plant risk assessments, due to complex damage mechanisms and large consequences of failure. However, the risk associated with the primary reformer is highly dependent on its operation. A balance exists between reliability and production, and in some cases it is necessary to operate close to limits. This may be either intentional (i.e. in order to maximise production), or simply a consequence of a separate issue (i.e. catalyst deactivation). In order to do this successfully, it is necessary to understand the effects of operating conditions on reliability.

This article describes an engineering methodology for understanding risk, particularly in catalyst tubes, and making decisions regarding operation. A successful case study is described in which the production of a hydrogen-constrained unit was optimised through inspection and engineering.


Primary steam reformers represent an integral part of the process chain in

ammonia, methanol and other petrochemical plants. By nature their design is often aggressive, due to the need for harsh operating conditions and specialty materials. A failure in the primary reformer typically has large financial implications, most often into the millions of dollars, as significant downtime is incurred alongside the costs of tubes, engineering and catalyst.

The primary damage mechanism in catalyst tubes is creep, which causes diametric expansion and eventually leads to leak failure. Creep is a highly temperature-dependent mechanism, and the service tube of a catalyst tube is exponentially affected by tube metal temperature (TMT). The “rule of thumb” is that 10-15C change (approximately 20-30F) can halve or double the life a tube. As one tube failure most often necessitates a plant shutdown, it is therefore said that the reliability of a reformer is controlled by the maximum tube metal temperature.

Read the full article at Quest Integrity.

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2019 API Inspection Summit to Offer 14 Courses

The API Summit was designed with you in mind. This four-day summit includes three days of presentations spanning over 120 topics. Addressing issues involved in asset condition evaluation for drilling, production systems, pipelines, terminals, refining, chemical manufacturing and storage facilities. In addition, an optional day of training is conducted by subject matter experts. Each day focuses on presentations relevant to upstream, midstream, downstream operation and integrity management. API Inspection Summit provides an opportunity to learn about new and existing industry codes and standards, to hear about emerging trends from experts, and to discuss new and existing issues in inspection and AIM technology.

The API Summit is the only networking event for inspectors and other inspection support professionals in the industry. As stated by attendees, “The API Summit is the best inspection related conference in the petroleum industry”.

The following oil, gas and chemical sectors will be covered:

Upstream (Drilling, Sub Sea, Production Systems, Integrity Management)

Midstream (Pipelines, Terminals)

Downstream (Refining, Chemical & Storage)

Monday, January 28 will be dedicated to Training Courses run by Subject Matter Experts.

Three primary topics Inspection/NDE, Metallurgy/Corrosion, Engineering & Analysis (tracks) will run concurrently each day (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday).

Courses include:

Risk-Based Inspection

Fitness-for-Service Assessment

Design, Inspection and Assessment of Aboveground Storage Tanks

Fired Heater Integrity Optimization Management

Recent Updates to API Standards on Design, Installation and Inspection of Pressure Relief Devices

Guided Wave Testing of Pipelines, Vessels and Tanks

Hydroprocessing Inspector Training

Damage Mechanisms Affecting Equipment in the Petroleum and Petrochemical Industry

Creating Corrosion Control Documents (CCD) and Integrity Operating Windows (IOW) per Industry Standards API 970 and 584

Introduction to Metallurgy for the Inspector and/or Reliability Engineer

Bolted Flange Joint Assembly and Inspection (2 different courses)

Technical Writing for Inspectors

Characteristics of a High Performing Inspector

Repair and Testing Case Studies on the Application of ASME PCC-2

Best Practices for Developing Turnaround Inspection Plans

John Reynolds will deliver the keynote speech:

Mountains We Have Climbed Mountains We Still Need To Climb

“My talk will be about FEMI Mountains we have climbed, i.e. the most significant fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) accomplishments we have made over the last few decades. But lest we get complacent there are FEMI mountains we still need to climb, i.e. the FEMI challenges we still need to overcome to further reduce FEMI incidents in our industry. In my younger, slimmer, fitter, more adventurous, more vigorous years of life (the summer years of my life), I was a mountain climber. I summited 32 mountains in the Rockies, the Cascades, the Canadian Coastal Range and Alaska. Climbing mountains was not easy for me, but it is exhilarating, breath-taking and provides a sense of accomplishment once you reach the summit. The view from the summit is always worth the climb. Mountain climbing gave me confidence in myself and taught me a lot about life, e.g. that I could achieve most anything that I set my mind to. It taught me that I could rely on myself and that I could go above and beyond what I thought I was capable of. It also taught me that if I was going to achieve even bigger things I would need to be a part of a like-minded team of climbers who all relied on each other to get safely up and down the mountain each time. Today I celebrate for the past 50 years having been a part of a like-minded team of FEMI mountain climbers whose goal is to continue to summit more FEMI mountains.”

“Today I find myself well beyond my physical mountain climbing days and deep into the winter of my FEMI career. There are not enough years left to do all the things I still want to do. So in my talk, I will celebrate the FEMI achievements we have collectively realized and encourage us all to set our sights on even more FEMI accomplishments. In my talk at this Summit I will summarize some of those FEMI summits that our team of mountain climbers has achieved and mention some of those FEMI mountains that we still need to conquer.”

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Drones Begin to Deliver for the Oil and Gas Sector

Despite recent bad press following the flight disruption at Londons Gatwick Airport Unmanned Aerial Platforms, or drones as they are more commonly called, have a vital role to play in industry. The use of drones, in the oil and gas industry, is growing and the technology is ready to take off in a big way. It offers benefits to oil and gas operations in a numerous ways safe and efficient maintenance and inspections among thembut the data that UAS technology provides is transforming the industry.

“Oil and gas companies will continue to explore new technologies and digitize their operations, especially as crude prices have fallen in recent months,” Renner Vaughn, Cape’s director of oil and gas, explains. “Remote vehicles, including UAVs and underwater ROVs, will be operationalized, as enterprises get beyond the testing phases and begin to realize the safety advantages, the time saved on asset inspections and the situational awareness that live aerial video can provide.”

Read the full article at

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Elcometer Expands into New Headquarters

Elcometer, one of world leaders in the design, manufacture and supply of inspection equipment for the coatings, concrete and Ultrasonic NDT sectors and manufacturer and supplier of a full range of abrasive blasting and ancillary equipment, has moved into their new North American Headquarters today, allowing them to achieve their growth strategy.

Based in Warren, Michigan, Elcometers modern 22,000ft (2050m) North American Headquarters not only provides state of the office space for Sales and Technical Support teams, but also accommodates their ISO 17025 Test Laboratory – providing fully accredited Servicing and Training Support to the coatings, blasting, concrete and ultrasonic NDT markets in the USA and Canada.

“North America is a very important market for Elcometer and the move to larger premises means we can accommodate demand for our US and Canadian customers well into the future,” Michael Sellars, Managing Director at Elcometer, stated. “Our new North American Headquarters allows our dedicated team of in-house sales & service engineers, technical support and training personnel to provide our customers with highest levels of customer support that they have come to expect from Elcometer.”

“Our new facility, also allows us to expand into new product ranges, including our new range of dry abrasive blast machines, precision media valves, blast hose, blast nozzles and personal protection equipment which, following the introduction in Europe and the Middle East in November, will be launched in North America in the Spring,” said Joe Walker, VP, Elcometer Inc.

“We enthusiastically welcome Elcometers North American Headquarters,” Said Jim Fouts, Mayor of Warren. “This is another example of a quality company moving to Warren and we wish them further success in the future.”

The Elcometer North American Headquarters is located at 6900 Miller Drive, Warren, Michigan 48092. USA. All other contact details remain the same.

About Elcometer

Elcometer is a leading manufacturer of high quality inspection equipment, with specialised divisions dedicated to coatings inspection, ultrasonic NDT inspection, concrete inspection, metal detection and blasting. For information on our full range of products visit our website or email [email protected]

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ZEISS Quality Excellence Center Grand Opening in Lake Forest, CA

Were opening the doors to our newest metrology location in Lake Forest, CA from 9 am to 5 pm for a full day of learning and technology demos.

You won’t want to miss this event!

We’ll be showing off the latest technology and solutions at our new facility, located not far from our old place in Irvine. From ZEISS, Ryan Stauffer will offer a CALYPSO GD&T course and CT expert Raghu Bhogaraju will show how to measure and evaluate entire components using X-ray. Both sessions are offered twice, morning and afternoon, with time in between to see our technology and chat with us.

Join us for either session or stop in just to see what’s new. Enjoy California cuisine on us with the Lime Truck on site from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, and register for a chance to win a pair of ZEISS TERRA binoculars!


Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology, LLC

ZEISS Quality Excellence Center

21084 Bake Parkway, Suite 106

Lake Forest, California 92630

[email protected]

Grand Opening Schedule

9:00 am Doors Open

9:30 am CALYPSO GD&T

10:30 am Break

11:00 am CT Scanning Technology

11:30 pm Lunch provided by ZEISS

1:30 pm CALYPSO GD&T

2:30 pm Break

3:00 pm CT Scanning Technology

5:00 pm Doors Close

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International Test Solutions Acquired By Control Union

Control Union Industrial Inspections is pleased to announce they have recently welcomed International Test Solutions (and Struqs Group) into the Control Union group of companies.

The formal documents closing the deal were signed in November by the companies directors:

Ron Winands (Managing Director of Control Union Industrial Inspections), Rudy Wilhelm

(Managing Director ITS) and Steef de Kievit (Operations Director ITS).

Ron Winands, Managing Director of Control Union Industrial Inspections, comments: “We have been working with ITS for several years and we saw a good fit with our Control Union values and vision. After a number of successful projects, we decided we were ready for the next step and welcomed ITS into the Control Union group of companies. ITS has an excellent track record in research and development and considerable technical expertise on Advanced NDT and Structural Steel Assessments. Combined with the global network of Control Union, we will be able to offer our customers extensive coverage around the world”.

Rudy Wilhelm further explains: “Both ITS and Control Union are solution driven and client focused. As we are now part of Control Union, we will be able to further increase our mutual aim to solve our clients technical challenges. In addition, the enhanced global coverage will also enable our current clients to be served on a global scale and enable us to approach new markets.”

The new arrangement has already led to a major job, offering various NDT services to one of ITS clients making use of Control Unions DNV-GL NDT approval. We are confident more exciting opportunities are ahead.

About International Test Solutions & Struqs

International Test Solutions, part of Struqs Group, offers several quality ensuring services such as Non-Destructive Testing, Quality Control, Project management and Advanced NDT Solutions. With excellent knowledge and high standards, ITS is the new go to company for your inspection needs.

For more information go to or

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Eddyfi M2M Capture Facilitates Corrosion Mapping and Composite Inspection

PAUT and TFM inspection speeded up with last M2M Capture release

Les Ulis, France, December 20, 2018 Eddyfi Technologies is proud to announce the latest release of M2M Capture. Natively embedded on both M2M Gekko and M2M Mantis PAUT flaw detectors, Capture v2.3 offers new advanced features and dedicated tools to improve the user experience and speed up NDT inspection. Released twice a year, Capture software is an evolutive platform combining state-of-the art technologies and highly intuitive interface to answer new market challenges.

On this latest upgrade, M2M introduces significant improvements required by customers. New applicative setups and tools now facilitate the corrosion mapping and composite inspection, and a complete set of analysis tools for TOFD inspections is available. Capture v2.3 offers unparalleled possibilities with the new fast Total Focusing Method mode, now 3.5 times faster while maintaining maximum resolution; or with the new calibration wizards for curved wedges (AOD/COD) for long seam inspection.

“This new v2.3 version maintains innovation at a top level, says Grgoire Benoist, Portable line product manager. The R&D team dedicated to Capture and the software developers work continuously to target new application cases, improve usability and make the setup creation and analysis faster.”

Capture is one of the key successes of the PAUT flaw detector Gekko and Mantis. Capture offers field operators a smart interface allowing a great ease of use of standard (PE, TOFD, PA) and advanced techniques such as TFM. TFM is a highly advanced PAUT techniques over the last decade, that allows better flaw detection as well as easier defect characterization.

About Eddyfi Technologies

Eddyfi Technologies maximizes the potential of multiple advanced NDT inspection technologies. It focuses on offering high-performance NDT solutions for the inspection of critical components and assets through its complementary brands and product lines: Eddyfi, Silverwing, Teletest, TSC, and M2M. Eddyfi Technologies serves customers in more than 80 countries in such major industries as power generation, oil & gas, aerospace, and manufacturing. The group employs more than 320 people and leverages nine centers of excellence and sales offices worldwide, all staffed by NDT experts. /

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FF35 CT Scanner Wins Mexico Technology Award

YXLON International, a company of the Swiss tech holding Comet Group, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a prestigious Mexico Technology Award in the category of Metrology for its FF35 CT Metrology System. The award was presented to the company during a Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018 ceremony that took place during the SMTA Guadalajara Expo & Tech Forum.

The FF35 CT Metrology is a market-leading X-ray system that takes measurement to another level, providing precise non-destructive measurements of inner structures with increased complexity via an optimized imaging chain. Especially in the automotive and aerospace industries, construction and production of electromechanical and electronical components benefit from these capabilities ensuring flawless quality. Each YXLON FF35 CT Metrology system offers: temperature control and compensation, a stable focal spot due to water cooling, accurate sample positioning due to Heidenhain encoders, all of which gives the operator unprecedented levels of measurement accuracy and repeatability.

Joandre Galarza, YXLON’s U.S. Sales Director, commented: “We are so proud to receive the Mexico Technology Award. This is the third award that we have received for the FF35 CT Metrology since its introduction last year. This solidifies that the YXLON product philosophy of combining precise dimensional measuring with high versatility and exceptional intuitive workflows like the fully automated acceptance test is well accepted in the market.”

The YXLON FF35 CT Metrology enables users to perform actual to nominal comparison of very small features and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T), something almost unique in our industry. Additionally, the system is able to make unstitched images of large assemblies including tablets that can then be viewed at the sub-micron level.

The Mexico Technology Awards recognize the best new innovations in the electronics manufacturing industry in Mexico. The goal of the award program is to celebrate the companies and people that are achieving the highest standards and driving the industry forward.

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Industrial Inspection & Analysis Announces New Leadership

Industrial Inspection & Analysis (IIA), a high-growth inspection, testing and analytical business, is pleased to announce the appointment of Harold E. Queen as chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Queen is an accomplished leader with more than 40 years of industry experience. His long-term vision for IIA centers is around Story-Worthy customer service and technical leadership serving a diversified group of promising sub-sectors and a commitment to aggressively growing IIA for years to come.

“I am excited and honored to take on this role,” says Queen. “I look forward to continuing to build on the vision and values that define IIA and set us apart from others by leading through focus on service, integrity and technical expertise. Our success to date reflects the joint vision John and I shared to build a national inspection, testing and certification company with a commitment of creating a Story-Worthy experience for every customer.”

With the appointment of Queen as CEO, John Cote, IIA’s co-founder and former CEO, has transitioned to the role of chairman. In this role, Cote will focus on acquisitions, advise on strategy and organic growth, and share best practices with IIA from other Sunny River Management (SRM) platforms.

“Harold has been a trusted partner since IIA’s founding, back when IIA was just an idea, and is a key reason why IIA has grown so rapidly to where it is today,” says Cote. “Harold’s appointment to CEO helps clarify our roles and will allow IIA to continue its growth trajectory as he will be focused on leading IIA, while the Sunny River team and I can focus on acquisitions and strategy, working closely with Harold on those fronts to continue IIA’s growth.”

Harold Queen Biography.

Originally from Ringgold, Georgia, Harold brought his work ethic to the NDT industry at a young age working for Combustion Engineering. In his 40-plus-year career in the industry, Harold has held technical and leadership roles at organizations such as Structural Integrity Associates Inc., AEA Sonomatic Inc., ABB and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Harold has long been known as a premier expert in the field of advanced NDE, especially advanced UT. Prior to founding Infinium NDE and co-founding IIA, Harold led the NDE division for structural integrity. Harold brings a rare mixture of world-class technical expertise, a proven general management track record, a true passion for customer service and an unquenchable desire to continually improve his knowledge and evolve to meet tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities.

About Industrial Inspection & Analysis

IIA is a high-growth inspection, testing and analytical business committed to providing Story-Worthy Service and Solutions even through the most challenging situations to customers nationwide and beyond. To learn more about all of the IIA brands, visit

About Sunny River Management LLC

SRM is a private family investment firm focused on building great mid-sized businesses in a few select highly desirable industries. SRM builds its platform businesses through partnering with small businesses and investing in growth within those businesses as part of a larger platform. SRM takes a long-term view with its acquisitions and investments. SRM’s current platforms include Industrial Inspection & Analysis, Fire Safety & Protection and United Medical Imaging. To learn more about SRM, visit

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