Inspecta Chooses Vidisco for Superior NDT X-ray Inspections
An Interview with Mr. Kari Latvala, Senior Adviser at Inspecta
By Rachel Lieberman
With an annual turnover of 150 M€, 75,000 customers, and 1400 employees, Inspecta is one of the largest providers of NDT services in Europe. The company provides Inspections, testing, certification, technical consultancy and training services for a wide range of customers in Denmark, Estonia, Finalnd, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden.
In an interview with Kari Latvala, Special Adviser at Inspecta, he explains that the company’s NDT department, which was founded in the 1960’s, has always focused on its field inspections and searched for the most suitable methods to meet its customers’ technical needs.
Initially, the company used traditional film X-rays, which typically resulted in repeated shots, long exposure time, delayed results and costly storage. It then began studies related to the digital system technique. Latvala notes: “While the experiments were promising, usage was impaired onsite due to cumbersome equipment and wiring systems. I first visited Vidisco in Israel in 2003. After viewing demonstrations of its digital radiology systems, it became clear that the equipment was ideal for onsite activity and that it produced promising image quality. We purchased the first system shortly after my visit. We now have almost 20 Vidisco systems in Finland, Sweden and Norway and their number is constantly growing.”
Inspecta had several considerations when it decided to acquire Vidisco products. “The first step, which included film-based erosion and corrosion examinations with digital conversion and orientations, was very positive. Also, it became clear that pulsed X- ray machines give more flexible possibilities for use in radiographic inspections with reduced safety areas.”
He adds: “A more sensitive response against radiation energy presents many possibilities to use CP X- ray machines for the thickest steel wall, by far exceeding results with traditional X- ray film. That means shorter exposure times, and less dispersion of X- ray doses into the environment.“
Latvala notes that nowadays inspections for welds and castings are more and more DDA-oriented. Some customers accept only digital radiography technique for their products, without an option for NDT service providers to revert to traditional X- ray film.
Why Vidisco? we asked. Latvala explains that the primary criterion is system suitability for onsite activities, because almost every call involves activity at the customer’s premises. Another important consideration is the image quality, which must meet the standard requirements.
Latvala points out that based on digital radiography, Vidisco systems offer unique advantages, the most important of which are shorter exposure time, no reshooting and no film developing or reading process following an exposure. An added advantage is the flexible choice of radiation sources for DDA, whether it is pulsed X- ray, CP X- ray or gamma ray. Inspecta regularly uses Vidisico’s new XbitPro software, which offers sophisticated functions such as fast modifications (enhancements) with special features on weld defects. “We often use the intensity and dimension measuring tools as well as the Region of Interest statistic (SNR – Signal-to-Noise Ratio) according to the standard requirements.”
Latvala anticipates even greater cooperation with Vidisco in the future: “We cannot turn back history. Digital techniques will continue to replace traditional film methods. Our strategy is to use only the most advanced techniques in our daily work. Inevitably, we will need to acquire more cutting-edge equipment to constantly improve our performance.”
Below is an illustration of Inspecta NDT inspection of a steam cooler using a Vidisco DR system. In this inspection, the total thickness of penetrated steel was about 80 mm. The test was carried out with an Ir-192 radiation source, but the same penetrating thickness can be researched by 300 kV X- ray generator, when the radiation safety area is smaller and exposure time is about 50 seconds.
“The repair action of the cooler can be planned as the next stage of service, because the crack is detected on the joint before the unit is removed from the chamber.”
Taking all of the above-mentioned advantages into consideration, Kari Latvala concludes: “Our experience has proven that Vidisco is the best choice for all our needs.”