NDT in Opryland

This year, the ASNT Fall Conference took place in Nashville, Tennessee, from 30 October to 2 November. It was held in the Convention Center adjoining the Opryland Resort. Pictures of the resort fail to depict its size, never mind that of the Convention Center. Suffice to say that the attendees walked (literally) miles, while getting lost and frequently having to retrace their steps.

The programme was extensive, relevant and very well attended. The conference started with the keynote lecture on the Tuesday morning featuring Robin Crow, CEO at Dark Horse Records, whose artists include Taylor Swift, Neil Diamond, Tim McGraw, Jewel and many others. His journey from struggling musician to RCA recording artist, best-selling author and accomplished entrepreneur is an American success story. In a high-energy presentation, accompanied by dramatic guitar riffs, Robin laid out practical tools and techniques for long-term sustainability and profitability.

The next day, Richard Bossi presented his Lester/Mehl Honor Lecture based upon his extensive experience with carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), a material of choice for aircraft and aerospace product applications. He described how ultrasonics is the primary inspection method in this context, supported by bond testing, thermography, shearography and radiography.

The Plenary Lecture was presented by John Stewart from the American Aerospace Technical Academy (AATA), in which he provided a comprehensive analysis and overview of the NDT equipment market.
There were three days of technical presentations with sessions filled to bursting. On Wednesday, I chaired three sessions on chemical and petroleum issues. These included presentations by David Alleyne of Guided Ultrasonics, Tim Armitt of Lavender International and Michael Smith of TSC Inspection Services.

The exhibitors’ gallery provided a plethora of NDT-related products and was the biggest show that I can recall!

UK-based exhibitors included the following: BINDT, Guided Ultrasonics Ltd, Lavender International, TSC Inspection Systems, Peak NDT, Phoenix Inspection Systems, Plant Integrity Ltd, Technology Design Ltd and Ultrasonic Sciences Ltd.

The North American Branch of BINDT held its Annual General Meeting in conjunction with the conference. The following officers were re-elected: myself (Ronald Nisbet, Chairman), Brian Anderson (Vice Chairman) and Brian Shannon (Secretary/Treasurer).

Next year’s ASNT Fall Conference will be held in Houston, Texas. Hopefully the host hotel will be measured in square feet, not sore feet!

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