NDT

Innovations

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“E-data” Management

NRL’s in-house ICT division has developed a bespoke “e-data” requesting and reporting system, which captures and manages the electronic export of client generated requests and weld data. The purpose of this system is to account for every separate string of weld data that we receive so that its progress through our workflow can be clearly seen at a moments notice. The system is the hub of data around which an extensive suite of documentation revolves, including; radiological data sheets, production work lists, technical procedures, reshoot measuring devices and management information all designed to meet the clients’ specific requirements.

The system auto-populates reports with all client specified data (weld line number, welder id, component configuration, spec, location, contract number etc) and allocates a unique sequential number to each report to enable 100% traceability and integration with client operated Life Time Quality Records, (LTQR).

E-data facilitates “live tracking” of welds showing in real time when client requests were received, the progress status of the radiography, when and by whom the component was inspected, by what method and, when the completed radiograph report was made available to the client (or a third-party inspector).

Additionally, it provides the data platform for the production of management information reports which show progress against the job forecast, weld reject rate, daily production, by area (if required) and it allows for a graphical representation of the data and the demonstration of any client imposed KPIs all contained within an auditable centralised and secure system.

E-data – Client Benefits

E-data is currently in use with 7 clients across 5 site locations. Its introduction to our operations has had a significant impact on the information that is available for our clients’ benefit. This is evidenced by the number of client enquiries we receive on a daily basis requesting assistance with MI or specific weld progress/weld traveller information safe in the knowledge that the answers they need are available instantly.

Computed Radiography (CR) and Digital Radiography (DR)

CR and DR utilise flexible phosphor imaging plates or “flat panel” digital radiation sensors instead of industrial radiographic film. The key advantages over conventional film radiography are:

  • Capacity to immediately view the weld image
  • Ability to digitally transfer the weld image
  • Reduction in the amount of radiation
  • Lower barrier controlled off limits hazard areas
  • Greater compliance with HSE ALARP principles
  • No film processing, reducing costs and the environmental impact as there is no chemical usage
  • Elimination of darkroom re-shoots

Ability to enhance image quality (but not the original image), to allow for over/under exposure on areas of uneven penetration (such as stop/starts).

NRL have pioneered the initial introduction of the above technologies into the “Sellafield Market” production environment. Development and further investment, in particular on the data/image management process, is on going.