Programme for the Assessment of NDT in Industry – PANI 3


The PANI project is funded by the Health and Safety Executive. The first two phases provided information on the performance of ultrasonic operators, which was interesting to say the least. The third phase of the project – PANI 3 – is intended to try to identify the factors which lead to the variability in performance identified in the first two studies.

The first study looked at the effectiveness of manual ultrasonics on a range of different components. The study identified some shortcomings and produced recommendations to improve reliability: specific training and practice specimens, inspection aids for scanning and data recording, improved procedures and techniques tailored to the specific geometry and defects, and the use of multiple, independent inspections. A useful result has been the publication by the HSE of a series of best practice documents on the application of NDT.

PANI 2 was a follow-up study intended to quantify the benefits of following the PANI 1 recommendations. But the results presented a problem: the variation in performance between operators swamped any benefits of applying the recommendations. Clearly there are other factors at work here and the HSE awarded a contract in July 2005 for a third PANI project.

The objective of the PANI 3 project is to reduce the affect of human perfomance variability on the results of manual ultrasonics. This is to be achieved by assessing relevant human factors issues so as to identify those factors which have the biggest influence in the performance of ultrasonic operators. These factors will then be used to develop solutions, which industry can implement to achieve greater reliability of manual ultrasonic inspection.

To read the report describing the work undertaken and the results obtained, click here.

A total of four guidance documents have been produced post-PANI and these are available on the HSE website at the links below: