NDT News, information and announcements

Students Schooled on Careers in NDT and Manufacturing

Current worker shortages nationwide have begun changing community conversations about the future of the next generation and the value of trade-based occupations, according to Kate Lufkin with the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce. On Wednesday, Flathead High School sophomores, juniors and seniors got the opportunity to explore some of those trades through hands-on learning with professors at Flathead Valley Community College and tours of local businesses.

Dubbed “Pursuing the Trades,” the event, organized by Lufkin, Mike Kelly of the Flathead High School Career Center and the Occupational Trades Department at FVCC, offered an educational first look at some potential careers for the students selected to attend.

“I dare you to look around and find something that wasnt manufactured,” Lufkin said. “You cant do it. Everything has to be made and somebody has to make it.”

Todays job market, according to Lufkin, supports seven trade jobs for every one position that requires a masters degree.

The majority of the students in attendance, according to Lufkin, expressed little to no interest in pursuing a college career, but show aptitude and interest in more vocational skills.

FVCC offered a unique opportunity for those students to learn about some of the training, equipment and real-life applications for trades such as welding, heavy equipment operation and electrical work…

Read the full article at DailyInterlake.com.

Read More

Eckhart Acquires PRI Robotics & Automation

Eckhart, Inc. announced today that it has acquired PRI Robotics & Automation, a specialty robotic systems integrator located in Plymouth, Minnesota. Eckhart is an Industry 4.0 leader that designs, builds, and integrates turn-key systems for the largest industrial companies in the world. Eckharts suite of solutions includes AUTOCRAFT autonomous guided vehicles, collaborative robotics, 3D printing, automated conveyance & assembly systems, mechanical & electrical design services, simulation, and specialized ergonomic assembly line tools and equipment.

PRI Robotics & Automation, established in 1995, designs, builds, and integrates robotic systems for applications that include machine tending, assembly, dispensing, material removal, arc welding, and quality inspection. Located in the heart of the Twin Cities with direct access to nineteen Fortune 500 headquarters, one of the largest privately held companies in the world, and the 2nd largest medical device manufacturing center in the United States, PRI Robotics serves a diverse customer base spanning many industries and end markets.

John Quinn, President of PRI Robotics & Automation, said, “Our team has been designing and integrating highly engineered robotic systems for over 24 years. From welding safety critical products used out on the oil fields of North Dakota to completing the assembly of high precision medical devices in Puerto Rico, our team of technical experts deliver reliable solutions that make customers lives easier. As companies accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0 technology, our team helps them build flexible manufacturing systems that improve safety, quality, and productivity by automating repetitive tasks.” Quinn continued, “With an installed base that exceeds 500 systems, we sought a partner with an established track record of bringing innovation and new ideas to coworkers and customers. The integrity of Eckharts leadership team, their proven commitment to invest locally, and their desire to expand solution offerings was compelling. Their continued investment in service and support represented a significant opportunity for both my coworkers and our customers to succeed.”

Eckhart President & CEO Andy Storm said, “This acquisition signals our unwavering commitment to Industry 4.0 and the systems expertise we believe is requisite to accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies across the manufacturing spectrum. PRI Robotics & Automation will help us expand and grow our footprint in the Twin Cities region, enable unmatched local service & support for our growing list of customers across Americas heartland, and provide direct access to some of Eckharts most valued technology partners who are also located in the Twin Cities.”

Storm continued, “The unprecedented growth and continued geographic expansion of our company is a testament to the hard work of all Eckhart employees. As a team we will continue to seek out opportunities to help customers solve difficult problems and together we will rapidly accelerate the deployment of Industry 4.0 technologies to industries that we believe will shape the future of the world.”

About Eckhart, Inc.

With over 60 years of experience and based in Warren, Michigan, Eckhart engineers advanced industrial solutions that enhance the quality of life. Eckharts proven portfolio of Industry 4.0 technology includes AUTOCRAFT autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs), collaborative robotic systems, traditional robotics, assembly line design & simulation, 3D printing tool development & production, and ergonomic assembly tooling solutions for the worlds largest manufacturers. Eckhart serves an established and loyal, blue-chip customer base of leading automotive and industrial original equipment manufacturers that include General Mills, Cargill, Stryker Medical, Boeing, John Deere, Bradford White, and Schneider Electric. For additional information, please visit http://www.eckhartusa.com

About PRI Robotics

Established in 1995 and based in Plymouth, Minnesota, PRI Robotics & Automation has been designing, building, installing, and servicing robotic systems for over 24 years. Core solutions include automated machine tending, assembly, dispensing, material removal, arc welding, and quality inspection for the agriculture, refrigerated transportation, medical device, automotive, and outdoor/recreational industries. As one of less than thirty FANUC Certified Servicing Integrators in the United States, PRI Robotics & Automation provides industry leading service and support to an installed base that exceeds 500 robotic systems. PRI customers include Honeywell, Medtronic, Federal Mogul, Case New Holland, ThermoKing, Toro, Horton, Bobalee, and Post Consumer Brands. For additional information, please visit http://prirobotics.com

Read More

LMI Technologies Launches Next Evolution in 3D Scanning and Inspection

LMI Technologies (LMI), the global leader in 3D scanning and inspection, is pleased to announce the official release of three new game-changing products. All three were displayed at Vision 2018 in Stuttgart.

Gocator 2500 Smart Laser Profiler Series – Blazing Speed

With dedicated FPGA processing, advanced optics, and a high speed 2.4 MP custom camera, the Gocator 2500 sensors excel at the scanning and inspection of fast-moving parts in a compact, all-in-one industrial package at rates up to 10 kHz. Users can leverage onboard processing for 3D surface generation, 6DOF alignment, part segmentation, and built-in 3D measurement tools for feature extraction and decision making to build a full inspection solutionfrom raw image data to 3D results for 100% quality control. In comparison, “non-smart” sensors have to send profile data downstream to PCs or external controllers to carry out 3D surface generation and apply measurement tools, adding data latency and unnecessary cost and complexity.

Gocator 3504 Smart 3D Snapshot Sensor – Highest Resolution

This stereo snapshot sensor offers point-and-shoot 3D in a compact, industrial form factor that delivers exceptional resolution. The Gocator 3504 leverages a number of technology advancements in order to achieve a high level of performance at 6.7 micron XY resolution with a Z repeatability of 0.2 microns, and an industry-leading speed of 6 Hz (with acceleration)making it an excellent upgrade over traditional confocal or white light interferometry measurement systems.

GoMax Smart Vision Accelerator – The Next Step In Vision Performance

GoMax simplifies how factories achieve inline production speed by leveraging a new breed of computing based on the NVIDIA TX2 Jetson module. Simply add GoMax to a single or multi-Gocator sensor network to dramatically improve overall scan and inspect cycle times. Inside GoMax is a preloaded Linux OS with the Gocator Accelerator (GoX) runtime offering 3D point cloud generation and measurement tool processing optimized for execution on the 256 CUDA cores.

GoMax offers a small form factor and a low power usage of only 15 watts. Plus, setup is quick and easy. Just power up, connect via web browser, and activate acceleration for any Gocator 3D smart sensor to get improved speed.

About LMI Technologies

At LMI Technologies we work to advance 3D measurement with smart sensor technology. Our award-winning, FactorySmart sensors improve the quality and efficiency of factory production by providing fast, accurate, and reliable inspection that leverages smart 3D technologies. Unlike contact based measurement or 2D vision, our product removes complexity and dramatically reduces implementation cost.

Read More

Introduction to Automated Macro Indentation Testing

Industrial infrastructure components undergo time-dependent material and property degradation associated with thermomechanical loads (temperature, pressures, dynamic loads) and operating environments (corrosive media, H2) which influences the structural integrity, and in rare scenarios lead to failure. The traditional approach has been to schedule periodic inspections to evaluate defect size, location and statistics which is represented as solid line in bath tub curve.

The emerging trend is to go beyond traditional risk-based inspection (RBI) to knowledge based inspection (KBI) which aims to understand mechanisms and use information to schedule the next inspection, represented by the dotted line in the bath tub curve. The benefit of this approach is an increase in plant availability factor as well as extended operational life beyond design limits.

AMIT (automated macro indentation test) falls in the category of knowledge-based inspection system.

What is AMIT ?

AMIT, automated macro indentation test, is a technique used for in-situ determination of key mechanical properties of components, such as yield strength (YS), ultimate tensile strength (UTS), strain hardening exponent (n), hardness (BHN) and fracture toughness (KIC). This technique was jointly developed by Ducom Instruments in partnership with NML, Jamshedpur.

Read the full article at Azom.com.

Read More

Optics How-to: The Makings of a Successful Imaging Lens

Imaging and machine vision technology is under more pressure than ever to meet the increasingly demanding needs of a diverse set of markets, and truly understanding imaging is becoming quite the valuable skill. The first part of this article series reviewed how to create a specification to meet your application need and finding the proper balance between cost, development time, system size, and weight. In part two, we reviewed how those earlier decisions translate into a design and the possible trade-offs between performance-based specifications that could be required. Finding balance between the perfect nominal design and a design that can be manufactured is critical. Finally, in this article we will cover lens testing methodology and creating alignment between validating your desired performance and your suppliers production and testing processes.


Once you have your final lens design, it is critical to set proper expectations with your supplier about everything that will happen next before you cut the orders for prototypes or production units. In the earlier parts of this series, we saw that there are many details required to create your full lens specification. The specification document for your project could be 50 or 100 entries long. What is your expectation about testing every line in that matrix? Do you actually desire or require testing on only a few critical parameters? Do you want detailed, highly granular testing reports, or is pass/fail data sufficient? Is the testing methodology, philosophy, and equipment utilized important to end goals?

Taking the time to answer these questions now can prevent issues and delays from occurring later. Make sure you and your supplier have a detailed, written understanding of how you will both validate that the supplier delivered what you both agreed to at the end of the design process…

Read the full article at Vision-Systems.com.

Image: Interferometry is used to quantify the surface accuracy of individual glass components.

Read More

SuperSoniX – A new UT Couplant with a Historic Name

In May of 1940, Floyd Firestone, a Professor in the department of Physics at the University of Michigan, filed US patent 2280226 in which he described an instrument for the detection of flaws and measuring thickness in metal objects. Dr. Firestone used the term “Supersonic Vibration Waves” to describe what we now refer to as pulse-echo Ultrasound Testing (UT).

The term “Supersonic Inspection” was used in reference to UT officially until the first manned aircraft flight by USAF Captain Chuck Yeager exceeded the sound barrier of 768 mph in October of 1947. Captain Yeagers flight in the Bell X-1 “Rocket plane” became known as supersonic flight. Gradually the term Ultrasonic Testing replace d Supersonic Testing in NDT.

Echo UltraSonics new water-based gel couplant, SuperSoniX, is named in honor of Dr. Firestone and his work which gave rise to our world of UT.

SuperSoniX is our third-generation acrylic polymer water based couplant that improves on the electrolyte stability and reduces the tendency for the polymer to collapse when exposed to corrosion or marine salts. In practice this means less reapplication of couplant during a test procedure, especially on objects that are exposed to the environment.

SuperSoniX offers several benefits, including; a broader operating range, a slower evaporation rate, a longer drying time, improved stability against corrosion salts and is environmental and operator friendly.

While many couplants will couple sound and perform adequately for the same inspection, often one will deliver performance that will make a significant improvement on inspection reproducibility and defect detection (the #1 goal of UT). The right couplant can minimize couplant re-application during an inspection, reduce total time for the inspection and lower cost. Let us recommend the most appropriate couplant for your application and temperature range.

Contact Marian (360) 671-9121 or [email protected]) for more information and free samples. We have over 50 years of history developing and manufacturing most of the couplants in use yesterday and today and can help in selecting the best couplant for your specific application.

Echo Ultrasonics, LLC / www.echoultrasonics.com / Bellingham, WA USA

Read More

CWI Prep Courses MN and TX

Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) Exam Prep Courses Offered in Texas and Minnesota

(Baxter, MN) The interest and talent entering into trades have dropped in the past decade at alarming rates. Mechanics, welders, plumbers and more are now in more demand than ever before and the numbers are dwindling.

To help encourage more people to invest their time and energy into these trades, the American Institute of Nondestructive Testing, LLC offers quality training and exam prep courses to help ensure students have the best chance of success possible. Now, the company is proud to welcome John Pariseau to the AINDT team as the Director of Curriculum Development and the instructor for all AWS related Prep courses.

“Our CWI Exam Prep Course starts with a 60-hour online course that students are able to move through at their own pace,” stated American Institute of Nondestructive Testing, LLC spokesperson Don Booth. “The online part of the CWI exam prep course covers the fundamentals of welding technology, which was established by the American Welding Society as well as in-depth training in the navigation of welding codes. This in-depth training into the welding code part of the exam is based on the code selected for a students AWS exam, AWS D1.1 or API 1104. The training coincides with Part A and C of the CWI Exam.”

“The remaining 40 hours of your exam prep course takes place in either Houston, Texas or our Baxter, MN facility,” continued Booth. “This part of your training consists of extensive, practical hands-on visual inspection techniques that meet the specification of the NEW Part B of the CWI exam, in addition to extra lectures, study preparation, as well as practice exams covering welding fundaments and codebook portions of the exam.”

After the online training is complete, students are given the opportunity to take the AWS CWI exam at the training facility on Saturday directly after completing the CWI Exam Prep Course.

More information about the courses offered, as well as the new staff member can be found by visiting the American Institute of Nondestructive Testing, LLC website.


Dedicated to providing high-quality online and hands-on training for individuals and companies, the American Institute of Nondestructive Testing, LLC is continuing to enhance their services and offerings.

Read More

Improving Inspection Processes with Wireless Technology, Cloud Computing, and Machine Learning

In August of 2018, TechKnowServ approached Workpad LLC to investigate possible solutions for an automated pipe wall thickness data collection and analysis system. TechKnowServ has a number of customers who utilize a diverse selection of pipe components in the field, including elbows, tees, and connectors used to pump drilling fluid at elevated pressures. These components have a limited working life, and are inspected both when new and at regular intervals for wall thickness, corrosion, and defects.

The current method of using ultrasonic thickness gauges in the field resulted in many inefficiencies and inaccuracies in the data generated by the field inspectors. Transferring data manually with memory cards to a stand-alone computer was slow, and offered no ability to securely store data and analyze at scale.

TechKnowServ endeavored to build an integrated inspection, data collection, and analysis system which could improve the efficiency of this process and create a repository of useful data which could provide not only a history of individual parts, but also predict expected service life of components. The goal was to enable customers to predict the service life of parts and assemblies segmented by manufacturer, part geometry, operating environment, and other factors.

Download the case study and learn how Workpad implemented an automated system with machine learning capabilities to improve the process and accurately predict in-service lifetimes of piping components.

Read More

Phoenix Extends Transducer Range with Phased Array Probes

Phoenix Inspection Systems Limited has expanded its product offering with the addition of a new range of Linear Phased Array transducers.

The high performance probes are available to order from stock in a range of 5MHz 7.5MHz and from 16 to 64 elements. Designed with piezo-composite elements, Phoenix phased array probes provide; high resolution imaging – to maximise sensitivity, accurate ultrasonic detection and sizing of defects in welds and effective corrosion mapping of various materials. Housed in a rugged stainless steel case the probes have performed consistently well in customer trials and are suitable for all on-site industrial NDT applications.

Andrew Brewis, Sales Manager at Phoenix ISL said: “The introduction of this new range offers our customers the convenience of ordering premium off the shelf linear phased array probes and allows us to satisfy the demand for orders with short delivery timescales. The range is compatible with Phoenix phased array wedges, toolposts and cradles which means Phoenix now offers its own complete phased array solutions with its dynamic range of manual and automated scanners.”

About Phoenix Inspection Systems Limited

We are specialists in design and manufacture of ultrasonic non-destructive testing solutions serving sectors such as energy, aerospace, process industries and rail.

Phoenix offer a dynamic range of standard NDT products, from manual and automated scanners, transducers and instrumentation to sophisticated nuclear inspection and turbine and generator systems all using the latest techniques, including TOFD and phased array.

Read More

Infrasense Evaluates Condition of Stone Arch Bridge

In July of 2018, Infrasense mobilized a two-man team to perform a ground coupled GPR survey of the road surface on a stone arch bridge in Orange, CT. With the help of a traffic control unit and a local police officer, the condition survey was carried out during overnight hours with minimal disruption to traffic.

The survey implemented a ground coupled 900-MHz antenna and SIR-4000 control unit manufactured by GSSI, Inc. of Nashua, NH. The antenna was maneuvered across the roadway surface of the bridge in a grid pattern and the data was taken back to the office for evaluation.

The results included tabular results of the asphalt cover thickness, rebar depth, and bottom of concrete depth by lane. Eight cores were extracted by a coring team to compare chloride content with the GPR results, which were found to correlate reasonably well. A color-coded plan view condition plot of the bridge with the concrete deterioration results found by GPR and coring was provided in the final report.

About Infrasense, Inc.

Since 1987, Infrasense, Inc. has applied advanced technologies to address the most difficult challenges in subsurface scanning. Infrasense’s engineers nondestructively extract critical information from a diverse range of structures. In addition to providing ongoing subsurface evaluation services to clients across the country, the firm has also conducted numerous research programs to advance the field of subsurface detection and nondestructive evaluation. To learn more about Infrasense and the services we provide, visit our website, http://www.infrasense.com

Read More