Hendrich Lim

Our interviewee for this instalment of People in NDE is Hendrich Lim from Singapore, who is the Asia-Pacific Region Responsible Level III at Rolls-Royce and has over 40 years’ experience in NDT. Hendrich started his career as a precision metal machinist in an aerospace company in 1976, but within one year he was offered a job working in the NDT Department and took up the challenge with no NDT knowledge…

Briefly describe your current role
I joined Rolls-Royce joint ventures, Singapore Aero Engine
Services Pte Ltd (SAESL), in 2004 and Rolls-Royce Singapore in 2012 as the Asia-Pacific Region Responsible Level III. My roles and responsibilities are to oversee the Singapore NDT laboratory, which supports the life management plan inspection on engine-critical parts, to conduct NDT maintenance audits at the suppliers’ facilities and to certify Level IIs and Level IIIs within the Asia-Pacific region. I am responsible for both the new manufacture and the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities and NDT processes and systems compliance. My role includes qualifying inspectors on new techniques, supporting suppliers and, at times, working as a Level III consultant for Rolls-Royce joint ventures or suppliers.
I was assigned to UMW, Malaysia, as their Level III consultant between 2016 and 2017. My tasks were to set up the fluorescent penetrant inspection (FPI) systems in the pre-production facilities for training and development purposes and then set up the computed radiography and FPI systems in the main production facilities. I also trained and approved the Level II and Level III NDT personnel after they were qualified to Rolls-Royce requirements.

I will be doing my phased array ultrasonic training in the UK on a specific system that inspects the critical components. This will ultimately enable me to be more competent in the specific ultrasonic testing (UT) system and process audits in China and Japan.
What education training/route did you follow?
After completing my GCE O Level, I joined the Economic Development Board (EDB) apprentice programme in precision machining and engineering. During my industrial attachment at FAS-Orient Pte Ltd, an aircraft component overhaul shop, I was offered work in the NDT section and that is where I began my NDT career in 1976. I carried out FPI after attending the theory and practical FPI training and attained my Level II approvals. During my working years in different aerospace and non-aerospace companies (between 1976 and 2004), I attained my Level II qualifications in radiography (both conventional and digital), ultrasonic testing (contact and immersion), fluorescent penetrant inspection, magnetic particle inspection and eddy current testing (manual and automatic). In 2013, I graduated from the University of Northampton (UK) with a BSc in NDT by distance learning.

What other roles/jobs have you had in the past?
My first job was in an MRO facility for helicopters and fixed-wing components. I then worked for Singapore Test Services Pte Ltd (1989 to 1993), which mainly provides NDT services to the general industrial sector, including power plants, shipbuilding and oil & gas. My third job was at Singapore Technologies Aviation Services, in its wide-bodied aircraft maintenance facilities (1993 to 1996). I then joined Turbine Overhaul Services Pte Ltd, Pratt and Whitney (1996 to 2004), working on the MRO of engine bades and vanes. In 2004, I left for SAESL (2004 to 2012), working on Rolls-Royce engine MRO.

In 2009, I was promoted to Head of NDT (Standards) and nominated as SAESL Responsible Level III.

What would you consider to be your biggest NDE career achievements and challenges to date?
In 2010, being the Responsible Level III for two different sites at SAESL, I was tasked with ensuring that both SAESL sites (engine and blades/vanes facilities) were Nadcap accredited. This assignment was very challenging because originally the Nadcap accreditation programme was meant for the new manufacturer. In the case of new manufacture, the whole facility is in a well-controlled environment, unlike in MRO, which deals with in-service engines and components and can result in difficulties relating to the maintenance and up-keep of the facilities.

With great support from the Rolls-Royce NDT team in the UK, management and the operation personnel, we managed to attain the Nadcap accreditation for both of the sites: SAESL Calshot in August 2013 (FPI, MPI and radiography) and Loyang in October 2012 (FPI).

What do you think are the pressing challenges for the NDT industry?
It is a challenge to recruit new NDT Level II personnel, who have the major responsibility of ensuring that NDT results are correctly and accurately reported during any NDT inspection. NDT personnel are required to be involved in compliance audits, whereby they are required to perform demonstrations ‘on the job’ to the auditors or authorities. They also must undergo an annual maintenance review and re-examination every five years.

In Singapore, another challenge is the lack of direct support in advanced NDT technologies or systems, such as collaboration between the NDT original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and the end-user. This is because most of the OEMs are in Europe or the USA and only approved agents are available locally in Singapore.

In order to implement any advanced NDT method/s or system/s, the cost and need for skilled/trained personnel is also a challenge.

What changes, if any, do you foresee for NDT in the future?
The technology used in NDT is changing a lot. In Singapore, it is good that we have the A*Star Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre and local universities working on new technologies. I have also noticed that local polytechnics and universities are increasingly including NDT study modules in their curriculum. The Rolls-Royce Capability Acquisition Team also enables us to progress more efficiently.

What is your involvement with NDT societies, if any?
I am a Fellow Member of the NDT Society (Singapore) (NDTSS) and a Member of the American Society for NDT (ASNT). I am also the Board Committee Member of the recently formed Singapore National Aerospace NDT Board (SNANDTB), where I represent Rolls-Royce. The aim of SNANDTB is to provide guidance to NDT qualification and examination services in accordance with the relevant international standards and control of all of the NDT training and examination providers.

Please get in touch if you have any recommendations for future interviewees or would like to be interviewed yourself. Contact the editor at ndtnews@bindt.org or email Maria Felice direct at mvfelice@gmail.com

Comments by members

This forum post has no comments, be the first to leave a comment.

Submit your comment

You need to log in to submit a Comment. Please click here to log in or register.

<< Back