Why Advanced Ultrasonic Testing Software is Key to an Effective NDT Strategy

By: Publisher Team | Dec 24, 2020 11:03 AM
Why Advanced Ultrasonic Testing Software is Key to an Effective NDT Strategy

Ultrasonic testing software is an essential component of ultrasonic nondestructive testing (NDT) equipment. It can also manage the procurement phased array ultrasonic signals while providing impeccable data. Advanced software allows NDT analysts to read data quicker while finishing the inspection process faster, providing key features such as high-quality live data streaming, numerous customization options, and more.

Quality UT Software Fosters High-Definition Live Readings

The advanced imaging features of quality UT software allow users to create a 3D image of the tested area, with live results streamed instantly. The 3D function helps analysts gain a wider context into the testing radius and any flaws spotted in the process, allowing the analyst to pinpoint the full profile of even the most difficult defects to detect. These minor flaws and stress points are harder to read and easily overlooked when using lower-quality equipment and software.

Example: A third-party NDT agency has been using magnetic particle testing (MPT) for two years, but the manager decided to invest in PAUT instrumentation as an experiment. The company must test steel welds. One analyst applies the MPT method, while the other applies PAUT. While the MPT inspector is busy finding an electrical source with which to power the MPT device, the analyst using PAUT is already probing the stainless steel—their portable PAUT instrument does not require an external power source to operate. Thanks to the advanced capabilities of the PAUT instruments’ software, the PAUT analyst is able to scan the welds more accurately and in less time than their MPT partner—leaving no doubt in the manager’s mind as to which method to continue investing in going forward.

Advanced Software Allows for Additional Custom Parameters

Analysts can apply ray tracing using mapping technology to assess the inspection parameters accordingly. This function is especially useful when combining TOFD and PAUT. The software also calculates UT parameters so the inspection can begin without delay. The calculator behind the advanced software can adjust the following UT and TOFD criterion:

  • Dead zones
  • Probe center separation (PCS)
  • Front wedges spacing (FWS)

The calculation function fosters a wider view of the inspection field using various channels. From there, users will get an optimized layout that considers calibration sensitivity in addition to wedge delay and angle velocity. 

Further, UT software dispels the need for extensive setup times before testing begins by using calibration metrics. When it comes to probe/wedge use, for instance, it can track all connected probes, and the auto probe detection feature can highlight irregularities or deviations within the probes. This allows for further customization schemes and adjustment as the testing phase commences. Moreover, the software helps the probe and instrument adapt to the shape and curvature of the tested item through focal law calculation. This method ensures that the probe is able to adapt easily to either flat or irregular surfaces. 

Testing software also helps users conform the probes to objects with irregular compositions.

Example: A level 2 NDT analyst must test an oil pipeline section. However, a standard UT probe produced limited data that did not paint a full picture. The problem did not lie with the UT method itself, but partially with the outdated software powering the equipment—equipment which was acquired from a company that failed to invest in the latest NDT software. Instead, the analyst tries a new portable corrosion scanner from another company that specializes in NDT training and UT equipment. The corrosion scanner comes with advanced software that will help the probe adjust to the curvature of the pipe. The corrosion scanner adjusts to the curved surface of the pipe using two encoded wheels. The wheels provide a comprehensive layout of the surface, with the software also providing a user-friendly interface that’s easy to read.

The software behind the probing and instrumentation eliminates trial and error as the user scans defects. No matter how revolutionary the probe and instrument might be, it is the software that provides extensive image mapping while helping the instrument adjust to unconventional surfaces in real time. Above all, the best software allows users to focus on finding flaws thanks to the system’s ability to streamline data acquisition and analysis.

The Long-Term Value of Powerful Ultrasonic Testing Software

The best UT software has a user-friendly interface that will conform to NDT training courses. Regardless of skill level, any analyst can read the data on-screen as the testing commences. The software should be capable of producing detailed drawings, reports, and templates that make the data more digestible. Modern UT software is a step above more traditional NDT methods, where manual processing and lengthy setup times require precious time that analysts could have put to better use in the form of additional NDT excursions.

Quality software will produce the best data in real time while fostering additional custom parameters that help users detect more anomalies. Advanced software helps large and small companies draft quality maintenance budgets that preserve asset integrity. In the long term, it will trim operating costs while maintaining worker and public safety. 

Zetec offers a variety of cutting-edge tools for UT and ECT inspections. For more information on our NDT software and instrumentation, contact Zetec today.

Source: Why Advanced Ultrasonic Testing Software is Key to an Effective NDT Strategy | Zetec


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