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Quality Digest


Reduce Your Cost of Quality with an In-Line NDT Thermal Inspection System

Efficiency is key to profitability

Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2022 - 11:58

(Invisual E: Toronto) -- In the modern world of tube and pipe manufacturing, success depends upon producing the right product for the lowest cost. New innovations regularly receive attention when they can increase a facility’s productivity and efficiency. Cutting-edge techniques have started to streamline a market that once required tedious and time-consuming efforts to ensure quality.

Tube suppliers understand the importance of efficiency, so quality is paramount for mills to be profitable.

A thermal inspection system measures the heat radiation coming from a weld seam. This data transfers into the software layer to convert the thermal data into a visual representation and calculated parameters. These parameters are then used to identify potential problems in the weld and improper mechanical setup.

Invisual E thermal imaging
Thermal system on the mill

Defect undetected by eddy current

Many parameters can affect the eddy current responses. This means that the signal from a desired material characteristic may be masked by an unwanted parameter. Tests are generally restricted to surface-breaking conditions and slightly subsurface flaws. Common issues undetected by eddy current and UT include cold welds, pasty welds, and lack of penetration. A thermal system can detect this right away by measuring the width of thermal field and setting control limits for pass/fail conditions.

thermal scan of cold weld condition
Cold weld condition

User-friendly HMI

Mill operator friendliness is critical to adoptive use by the front line. They are the first people to see disturbances when they happen and can take important corrective action. The advantage of the thermal system is that the scanning takes place at the weld point, saving valuable time to take corrective action.

Thermal HMI scan screen shot
Thermal HMI screen shot

Data is passed to a robust OPC/SPC layer where the operator can see the control charts in real time, and SPC clients—quality managers, supervisors, and managers—can view the thermal data in a more detailed view. Data is archived and can be exported for viewing and analysis.

About Invisual E. Inc.

Pierre Huot founded Invisual E. Inc. with the desire to implement his vision to the market for identified manufacturing needs. Huot’s adherence to a customer-driven development approach, combined with his strategic abilities helping OEM, integrators, and manufacturers, delivers improvements on key objectives to build brands, expand markets, and grow revenues through the implementation of control systems, process improvement, and quality management systems. Huot possesses an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, and a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Ottawa. He is the author of several published case studies and white papers.


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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.