Latest Branch News

News from the Institute Branches – January 2019 

| Scottish Branch
Successful Scottish events

Mike Farley reports

The Scottish Branch is pleased to report on three successful events, held on Friday 25 January 2019 at the Watermill Hotel, Paisley, UK. The events were designed to complement each other and ensure a productive day leading up to the Annual Burns Supper in the evening.

NDT Table-Top Exhibition
The following companies, plus BINDT, exhibited this year, filling the room: Agility NDE, Ashtead Technology, Baker Hughes GE, Eddyfi, ETher NDE, GB Inspection Systems, JR Technologies, Novosound, Oceanscan, Olympus, Peak NDT and Sonatest. The event ran from 10.00 am until 3.30 pm, with attendance being boosted during a morning coffee break and then an extended lunch by 50+ attendees from the workshop. Feedback from the exhibitors was good.

Workshop on NDT for Safety-Critical Applications
The objective of the workshop was to showcase NDT used for safety-critical applications and, along the way:
  • Showcase some examples of Scottish NDT;
  • Bring some international speakers to the Scottish Branch;
  • Give some students the chance to hear broader talks; and
  • Provide an update on the development of the BINDT apprenticeship scheme.

Co-Chairs, BINDT Past Presidents Caroline Bull and Mike Farley, introduced each of the speakers and kept proceedings on time. Francis Hancock managed the computer projector with customary efficiency.

It was a pleasure to hear Dr Arny Bereson, CEO of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), introduce the workshop with his talk, titled: ‘Safety has no seasons’, emphasising the importance of NDT and seeking to motivate all involved in making the world safer. Dr Bereson has been instrumental in introducing a more outward vision to ASNT and has worked very well with the International Committee for Non-Destructive Testing (ICNDT) during his term in post. Dr Farley thanked him for this and wished him well in his retirement.

Barry Dikstra described 30 years of world-class automated ultrasonic testing carried out by Doosan Babcock (Renfrew) in the UK, France, Argentina and Sweden. The starting point was successful participation in round-robin trials (the ‘Defect Detection Trials’) organised to collect evidence in support of the case for building the Sizewell B Power Station. Doosan has gained extensive experience of inspection qualification over the intervening years of automated manufacturing, pre-service inspection and in-service inspection of reactors, vessels and pipework on submarines and power plant.

Ian Baillie, Rolls-Royce plc, took advantage of publicly available information to describe a detailed case study of a very serious uncontained engine failure of a Trent 900 engine on an Airbus A380-842 back in 2010. The failure of an immediate pressure (IP) turbine disc was initiated by the failure of an oil feed pipe. This led to a large and urgent programme to develop on-wing inspections on the fleet of planes and inspections to implement on new-build engines. One of the lessons learned was the need to have a high level of background experience with the types of high-tech NDT that can then be brought to bear in emergency situations.

Dr Sajeesh Babu, ICNDT Chair, spoke about the application of NDT on the Singapore marine oil terminal, where his company is the largest supplier of oil tanks and gas pressure vessels.

Dr Daniel Kanzler of Applied Validation Berlin, which provides consultancy, moderation and training in NDT reliability, started his presentation with a frightening album of images of spectacular failures, some caused by failures in NDT. He summarised the history of the study of NDE reliability from the early work of Ward Rummel on aircraft engines to his present ambitions to create ICNDT Guidelines. Building on the seven European-American workshops held between 1997 and 2017, Daniel is now organising an International Workshop on NDE Reliability that will be held during the 20th World Conference in 2020. 

Alison Glover, QinetiQ Rosyth, and Matthew McInnes, University of Strathclyde, described several examples of critical maritime NDE, with some examples on submarines, some on surface ships and some on experimental plant. QinetiQ Rosyth has 75 years of experience in advising the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and commercial and international customers. It currently specialises in surface ship and submarine structures, design and fatigue (including finite element analysis (FEA) modelling), acoustic and magnetic signatures, shock testing and survivability. Alison’s group provides support using conventional and high-tech NDT. She gave a fascinating overview of a range of high-tech applications, including time-of-flight diffraction (TOFD) and automatic sentencing, phased array ultrasonics, eddy current arrays, pulsed eddy current and microwave for corrosion under insulation (CUI). Alison then introduced Matthew, who is an engineering doctorate student studying the use of CIVA modelling, focusing on the ultrasound applications that Alison had covered.

Theodosia Stratoudaki from the University of Strathclyde spoke about laser-induced phased arrays (LIPAs) for remote ultrasonic imaging of additive manufactured components. The work, which is a collaboration between the universities of Strathclyde, Nottingham and Bristol, seeks to answer the question of whether phased array technology could be part of a non-contact technique for remote imaging. Theodosia demonstrated that using lasers to generate and detect ultrasound, combined with full matrix capture and the total focusing method for analysing the data, could address these issues. The next challenge is to speed up data capture and processing. 

Two shorter presentations concluded the first part of the workshop, both describing new technology in ultrasonic probes.

John Skidmore of GB Inspection Systems described the TULA probe (TOFT ultra-low angle) method of detecting high-temperature hydrogen attack. The probes were developed by John’s company and the technique was developed and proven in a multi-company project organised by Lavender International and led by Tim Armitt. 

Dr David Hughes of Novosound, a recent start-up company that spun out of the University of the West of Scotland in Paisley, described his company’s novel ‘printed’ ultrasound probes. Novosound’s technology pushes the limits of ultrasound in high-frequency, high-resolution probes, very high-temperature arrays and conformable arrays.

The final session of the workshop was devoted to the topic of ‘Apprenticeships in NDT in Scotland’ and those present were fortunate to have the two leaders in the development of the BINDT apprenticeships as speakers. Roger Lyon gave a rapid rundown of the creation and early success of the family of apprenticeships, which meet the UK government’s criteria for Trailblazer apprenticeships, match directly with Engineering Council Registration requirements and satisfy the needs of industry by delivering certificated NDT personnel (PCN or EN 4179). 

These apprenticeships are only available in England, with training being a responsibility of the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Ian Baillie explained the benefits of the BINDT apprenticeships compared to the apprenticeship scheme currently available in Scotland, which in his opinion was less efficient. He would like to use the BINDT apprenticeship scheme for apprentices based at the Rolls-Royce Hillington factory. 

In the subsequent discussion, it was explained that the Sector Skills Council applicable for NDT in Scotland is the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB). It was concluded that the way forward would be to draw up a gap analysis between the BINDT scheme and the Scottish scheme and then approach ECITB to see if the Scottish scheme could be adapted to better match the BINDT one.
In conclusion, the Co-Chairs expressed satisfaction at the quality of the presentations during the workshop and thanked the speakers for their contributions and for keeping to time. The objectives were met with an attendance of 55. It was excellent from the point of view of the Scottish Branch that five of the presentations showcased world-class NDT in Scotland to an audience that included the Board of EFNDT and senior officers of ICNDT. The local audience (including six students) had enjoyed the opportunity to hear three eminent overseas speakers from the USA, Singapore and Germany. 

The full programme and presentations, where available, can be found on the BINDT website at: 

Other meetings
BINDT hosted a meeting of the Board of EFNDT (President Roger Lyon), a meeting of the ICNDT Executive Committee (Chair Dr Sajeesh Babu) and the online Annual Meeting of ICNDT during a very busy but rewarding couple of days for Mike Farley and David Gilbert.

Annual Burns Supper
Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet of world renown, was born on 25 January 1759. Only rarely does the Scottish Branch Burns Supper take place on the exact anniversary of Burns’ birth, so it was very appropriate that the 2019 event was a bumper one, with 115 booked to attend, 17 more than in 2018. This included 15 visitors from overseas and the usual contingent from south of the border. Fifteen companies booked places, including newcomers Novosound and TRAC Chair.

The President of BINDT (John Hansen), the Chair of ICNDT (Dr Sajeesh Babu), the President of EFNDT (Roger Lyon) and the Chair of the Scottish Branch (Professor Tony Gachagan) were piped in by Colin Johnston. Tony welcomed the guests, including the EFNDT Board, five Past Presidents of BINDT, the CEO of BINDT (David Gilbert), the CEO of ASNT (Dr Arny Bereson) and the current Chair of the Board of ASNT (David Mandina). 

The haggis was piped in and the Address to the Haggis was delivered, word perfect once again, by Francis Hancock. After a powerful delivery of the Selkirk Grace by Fraser Hardie, an excellent meal of cock-a-leekie soup, haggis, neeps and tatties, steak pie and seasonable vegetables and raspberry cranachan with coffee and tea was duly served.

Committee members sold raffle tickets during the break and the entertainment started with Jan Cranston singing the Burns classic ‘Comin’ thro’ the rye’. Peter McAlister, also back for a second year, sang ‘There was a lad born in Kyle’ and proposed the toast to the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns. This was followed by a’gaithered standing for the playing of The Lament by Colin Johnston. Jan then sang ‘Red, red rose’ and, once again, the highlight of the night was Peter McAlister’s superb rendition of Burns’ epic ‘Tam o’ Shanter’. While perhaps not everyone in the audience followed every word of the old Scots dialect, everyone appreciated the energy of the performance and Peter’s interpretation. Colin Johnston entertained with a Scottish medley on the bagpipes and invited those brave enough in the audience to have a go. Michael Donnelly and Richard Watson each managed to make more than a squeak! Peter McAlister came back to recite ‘Scotch drink’, a poem in which Robert Burns demonstrates his personal knowledge of Scotch whisky! Jan sang ‘Ae fond kiss (and then we sever)’ to close the entertainment.

The prize raffle was drawn and many prizes (mostly Scotch drink), kindly donated by the companies present, were widely distributed. As a result, there will be a donation of £275 to the BINDT Benevolent Fund. Thanks to all.

The 2019 Bob Service Award was presented by President John Hansen. The award is given each year to a person (under the age of 35) who has made a significant contribution to NDT in Scotland. Given the current interest in promoting NDT apprenticeships, it was very appropriate that this year’s winner was Alan Paton, who has completed an apprenticeship with Doosan Babcock. Alan joined Doosan Babcock ten years ago as a dye penetrant technician who wanted to improve his career prospects. He was one of an inaugural cohort of NDT apprentices and on successful completion of his apprenticeship went on to gain an NDT foundation degree (with distinction), closely followed by a BSc in NDT. He is currently working towards an MBA.

During his career, Alan graduated quickly from being a manual NDT technician to a specialised automated NDT engineer and has increasingly taken on more responsibility. He has mentored the Doosan Babcock NDT apprentices for some time and currently manages the company’s automated NDT contract at Sizewell B. His success is an inspiration to up-and-coming technicians and engineers.

The evening closed with a vote of thanks by Tony Gachagan and everyone joining hands to sing Auld Lang Syne.

The Scottish Branch committee, and the author of this report in particular, would like to acknowledge the assistance given by BINDT staff in the preparation for the three events.

| Yorkshire Branch
In-service corrosion assessment for high-temperature plant

John Moody reports

The first meeting for 2019 was fated from the beginning and continued to be challenging. The original presenter had to visit America so, at short notice, was not available. There was then a major incident on the M1 motorway that made the journey very difficult for some attendees, while some were still arriving as the presentation ended. Also, the reception at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) was unmanned, resulting in difficulty getting into the building. I am very happy to report that there was still a very good attendance despite all of the problems.

Fortunately, the presenter, Dr Tim Stevenson of Ionix Advanced Technologies, arrived with plenty of time to prepare for the meeting. The company evolved from the University of Leeds in 2011 and now holds several accreditations, including ISO 9001. The presentation was centred on HotSense™ ultrasonic sensors for use with in-service wall thickness monitoring. These transducers have been developed to work in extreme environments, with a temperature range of –55°C to +3800°C, whereas typical transducers have a maximum operating temperature of 2000°C. Ionix has also developed a transducer that can operate up to 5000°C, but this has not currently been guaranteed for five years due to the lack of proving time that has been available. The transducers can also continue to operate where there is 5 mGy of ionising radiation.

The transducer offers online calibration using an integrated delay line that accommodates temperature changes. The transducers are strapped to the pipework and the minimum diameter is typically 2", with a maximum of 24", due to the expansion of the strap. To allow effective sound transfer to be achieved, a metal foil couplant replacement is used. The system can be hardwired for remote data collection or a wand can be placed close to the transducer, enabling a reading to be made. Any insulation removed for access to position the transducers can be replaced and Ionix can provide a replacement preformed insulation jacket for this purpose.

The disadvantage is the static location of the transducers. Novel applications have included using two 45° probes in tandem on either side of a weld to monitor in-service crack growth at elevated temperatures. Current applications include refineries, oil & gas, energy, nuclear, aerospace and product sectors, with the need being driven by the HSE in the UK; however, there is an international adoption of this technology. 

It was a very interesting meeting with many questions, which Tim comfortably answered. Our thanks go to Tim.

| South Wales Branch
Roger Lyon, warts and all

Colin Macfarlane reports

The South Wales Branch was very pleased to welcome Roger Lyon to the Village Hotel, Cardiff, where he had agreed to give a talk on his life in NDT. The evening began with IT problems, trying to connect to the meeting room’s large-screen television, and a fire alarm that resulted in everyone retreating to the hotel car park! Back in the room, with the IT issues overcome, Roger began his presentation, titled: ‘Roger Lyon, warts and all’, by describing a fairly unsuccessful school life, which included spending dinner money on cigarettes, playing truant, being in trouble with the police and “driving [his] Mum and Dad around the bend”. He left school at 15 without any qualifications.

Roger then went on to talk about his working life, beginning as a store assistant with Straw’s Hardware, which lasted two months, and then a chicken splitter at Greggs’ high street butchers, again lasting two months. 12 years in the Royal Navy followed and, upon leaving, he noted that there was not much call in ‘Civvy Street’ for a gun layer armourer!

Roger’s first introduction to NDT came through his uncle, Ron Burgess, who worked alongside Ron Halmshaw, a British Institute of NDT (BINDT) Past President, in the Woolwich Arsenal. This link resulted in a four-week course at Kodak covering X- and gamma ray radiography, with an exam at the end and a Lloyd’s approval. The Head of the School was John Grimwade, yet another BINDT Past President. The name dropping continued, when Roger joined GKN Kent Alloys as an image intensifier operator, working for Ralph Couchman (Founder Chairman) and Ray Miles. Three years on, Roger next spent a short time at Palatine Radiographic Services, a predecessor to CET Medway, as a radiographic supervisor and then went on to ASME vessels for a further three years as Chief Radiologist, involving X- and gamma ray inspection of stainless steel pressure vessels.

His ‘big break in NDT’, as Roger describes it, came when he was offered a job as a third engineer in the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) South East region, based at Littlebrook Engineering Centre. After seven years, Roger moved on to the South West Region as a second engineer and, with privatisation, transferred to National Power as a first engineer, being employed as Section Head, NDT, Swindon. Numerous company name and ownership changes followed and so did promotions and increasing responsibilities, with Roger eventually becoming Section Head, Inspection Management (Principal Engineer). 

The presentation went on to highlight some of the many NDT solutions that were developed by Roger and his team to meet some of the unique inspection requirements that he was confronted with. These included: Train Rail – Profile and weld configuration, thermotool weld inspection and thermographic inspection of glass-reinforced polymer (GRP). A particular issue was the ‘Didcot bore crack’, which eventually required a combination of ultrasonic methods, including pulse-echo, time-of-flight diffraction (TOFD) and phased array. Other developments included a rotor bore scanner to enable in-situ end ring inspection, magnetic particle inspection (MPI) of keyways and electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMATs) for boiler tube wall thickness surveys.

In addition to a full-time job, Roger described his extensive involvement with BINDT. He was initially a member of the PCN Technical Committee and then Chairman of the Certification Governing Board, Chairman of the Certification Advisory Board, Chairman of the Certification Management Committee, Member of Council, Vice President, President Elect, President and Member of the Industry Committee, Membership, Qualification and Education Committee (MQ&E), Engineering Council Working Group (ECWG), Executive Committee, European Federation for Non-Destructive Testing (EFNDT) and BINDT/ICorr Policy Group! Roger retired from RWE nPower in 2009 and soon after accepted a job with BINDT, which meant he was able to continue to promote NDT and the work of the Institute. The presentation listed an extraordinary number of roles, responsibilities and committees that Roger has been involved with over the years. Though Roger retired from BINDT in 2012, he still continues to contribute tirelessly to NDT and to the Institute, in particular in the development of the apprenticeship schemes and most recently the MSc and IEng registration.

In a reflective final slide, Roger noted that if he had his time again he:
  • Would have tried harder at school
  • Probably would not have joined the Navy
  • May have gone to university
  • Probably would not have achieved as much as he has.

The South Wales Branch would like to express its gratitude to Roger for an inspirational, fascinating and enjoyable presentation.