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Ashtead Technology adds advanced NDT equipment to its rental fleet

Published: 6 December 2013 - Rachael Morling

As part of a strategy to create a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) equipment, Ashtead Technology has invested in a fleet of the latest OmniScan flaw detection instruments from Olympus.

This initiative is bringing the advantages of advanced NDT to a wider group of professionals within markets such as aerospace, manufacturing, engineering, military, power generation including renewable energy, oil and gas, and the petrochemical sector.

One of the first companies to exploit the ability to rent the OmniScan instruments was Forth Inspection Service, which works closely with clients, including testing companies, to develop specialist NDT procedures for the inspection of both new and in-service components.

Managing director, Darren Kinsella, said: “In addition to NDT application specific training and consultancy, the development of validated techniques is a vitally important part of our business, so the facility to hire this high specification equipment for short periods enables us to exploit the advantages of the latest technology without heavy capital expenditure.

“The technical support that Ashtead Technology provides is also extremely useful; helping us to choose the most appropriate instruments, probes and accessories for each job.”

Ashtead Technology’s NDT market manager, Neil Harrap, said: “It is vitally important that we help clients to choose the most appropriate instruments for every application, so that their inspection work is as efficient and effective as possible.”

Many of Forth’s clients work on high-profile projects involving valuable assets, so advanced NDT has a vital role to perform. Validated techniques are essential, and an OmniScan SX was recently hired from Ashtead Technology to help develop reference samples with a range of different defects. These samples are usually developed for a specific client, using the same material as that to be inspected and incorporating the same types of flaw that are likely to be detected.

The OmniScan SX and OmniScan MX2 are the latest in a line of ultrasonic flaw detectors. Both instruments offer high acquisition rates and new powerful software features for efficient manual and automated inspection performance, combined with a new streamlined software interface displayed on a large bright touchscreen (SX = 21.3cm; MX2 = 26.4cm).

The OmniScan SX is designed for less demanding applications where cost and simplicity are a priority. Ideal for linear zero-degree inspection, such as corrosion mapping and composite inspection, the SX is also suitable for weld inspection using one phased array group or one TOFD channel. The many high-end features of the SX include two-axis encoding with data archiving capacity, and SX PA: 16:64 phased array configuration and one UT channel for P/E, P-C, or TOFD inspection.

The development of a comprehensive fleet of advanced NDT equipment was a significant investment for Ashtead Technology, but Neil Harrap said he is “delighted with the volume of new business that this has generated. The NDT market is generally buoyant, but we are seeing growth in demand for phased array ultrasonics as clients take advantage of the improved inspection capability that this offers."

Industry Connections: Ashtead Technology Rental

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