Quality control is an important aspect of every manufacturing business. For some industries, testing materials requires non-destructive testing (NDT). And while NDT serves an integral function for some industries, it’s not always a necessity.
Do You Need NDT Methods for Your Business?
It all depends on your industry. If your business is in fabrication, and you only do limited runs for a client, then you don’t want to destroy your materials to test them. If your plant pumps out mass-produced printed circuit boards, then it’s probably okay to designate a lot or two for destructive testing.
Clients may require it. You may find some contracts you take on come with a stipulation that non-destructive testing is a part of the process.
There’s also the legal aspect. Some industries have to use NDT by law. If it’s a matter of worker or public safety then NDT comes as a part of your building or system maintenance and inspections. This can include things like,
- Piping and storage tanks which can corrode, explode, or leak hazardous liquids and gas
- Materials for buildings, large structures, or anything that holds people
- Products that must remain under any type of stress or pressure
You may just want to use NDT methods for your own peace of mind. You wouldn’t want to ship out a product and find out some time later there’s a defect that your QC methods missed. You could have prevented it, but now it can cost you a lot of money and a real blow to your reputation. In extreme cases, the defect can harm someone or cause an accident.
Are You Already Using NDT in Your QC Checks?
You probably already perform some kind of NDT in your facility. What are your quality control methods? Do you employ any of these inspection methods?
Visual Inspection (VI) – Eyeballing a piece and checking for surface defects is a legitimate form of NDT. Using your hands and other senses also falls under this category.
Impulse Excitation Technique (IET) – Tapping a piece with a small hammer is an example of this. You tap, and listen to the sound and vibrations. This is an old technique, and can get far more complicated, but it’s also an example of NDT.
These methods can’t help you with subsurface defects, nor will they find very fine defects on the surface. However, for many applications, that’s all you need.
When You Need Something More Robust
Unfortunately, a quick look and a hammer tap can’t find everything. When quality is of the utmost importance, you need advanced NDT methods. When safety and compliance are factors, then you need professional, certified, trained, and licensed NDT specialists.
NDT testing is a full suite of various methods and techniques. Each method has strengths and weaknesses depending on the types of defects you’re looking for and the types of materials you’re testing. In many cases, you will need an NDT specialist, like Techspec Ndt Ltd, to help you figure out what method of NDT will work for your specific needs.