We spend a lot of time, energy, and money capturing the current condition of an asset to calculate the remaining safe use of the equipment. All the measurements we take only have meaning though, if we know the original dimensions of the base metal and that the metal itself was manufactured to exacting tolerances.
The accuracy of our work can be greatly affected if we don't have an accurate starting point. For example, if I'm performing UT on a tank floor indication and it's showing me the remaining metal thickness of 171 millimeters, it will mean very little without knowing the nominal, or the original thickness of the metal. If our base metal was originally a quarter inch or 250 millimeters, then we can easily establish a corrosion rate from these two known points and evaluate the time it will take for the asset to fail.
But what if that plate was manufactured wrong? What if it started 15 millimeters thicker or thinner than what we're anticipating? There's a pretty good chance that this will affect the outcome of our calculations. Fortunately, there's a whole segment of manufacturing quality control ensuring that we have an accurate starting point. These folks are using a lot of the very same tools that we're using on the backend to capture the current state of infrastructure.
Jason Wilburn of Foerster Instruments operates on this bridge between NDT and manufacturing. Jason is the President of the North American division of Foerster, responsible for developing and manufacturing, instruments, and systems for the NDT enhanced quality control. I chatted with Jason on the latest episode of Route to Reliability to get his insight on NDT, manufacturing and the future state of the industry.
Below are a few excerpts from the conversation. Listen to the full episode here!
Let's start with how you found your way into inspection and reliability.