TIRUCHI: Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) is gaining importance as a tool to prevent rather than detect defects and is a significant part of the overall quality plan of manufacturing, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) B. Prasada Rao said here on Thursday.
This meant that there had to be more real-time evaluation and in-built feedback control system.
This was an area of great potential for large-scale automation and multi-disciplinary integration, Mr. Rao said, inaugurating the national seminar and exhibition on NDE organised by the Tiruchi Chapter of the Indian Society for Non-Destructive Testing (ISNT).
The Tiruchi Chapter is organising the prestigious conference after 17 years. The exhibition on the theme is ‘NDE in power industry’.
NDE professionals had a great role to play in the context of the nation’s requirement of uninterrupted power generation from all its utilities. NDE today was an integral part of manufacturing system for quality control through on-line monitoring, structural integrity assessment of finished products and in residual life assessment of structural systems like aged power plants.
Power plant equipment manufacturers wanted NDE to be speedy, delinking human dependence on interpretation. It had to be defect-preventive, easily recordable and retrievable and, of course, reliable and repeatable.
“If you could pack these within a reasonable cost, you would have certainly delighted your customers,” Mr. Rao told the huge gathering of NDE professionals.
“As users, we have the liberty to ask for the NDE to be done when the weld is hot or just cooling, without waiting time. We may sound prima facie ridiculous, but we would demand NDE to be done on inaccessible areas. NDE should be non-contact type, when required.”
There were realms like online ultrasonic testing of tubular butt joints that BHEL needed to move into.
There was great potential for further improvements in speed through reduced NDE exposure times and automated on-line systems.
Delivering the key-note address, A.V. Krishnan, Executive Director, BHEL, Tiruchi, said the survival yardsticks in these demanding times essentially translated into trouble-free service of power plants.
This was where quality and NDE professionals had a big role.
There was a lot of effort behind defining the quality of raw materials.
The NDE provided confidence on the raw material. The demands on the NDE in manufacturing processes were growing, and many NDE techniques complemented the integrity assurance systems.
Efforts to update some of the conventional NDE techniques by taking advantage of developments in microprocessors, computers and digital processing techniques should continue.
Dilip Takbhate, president, ISNT, said that the Asia Pacific Conference on NDT would be held on a grand scale in the year 2013 in Mumbai.
Briefing about NDE 2009, R.J. Pardikar, convenor, said 180 technical papers would be presented in four parallel sessions.
Chairman of ISNT, Tiruchi Chapter, V. Thyagarajan, said the NDE 2009 would set a national benchmark.