One of the most critical elements in successful NDE/RT examinations is reporting. It also happens to be one of the most neglected.
“The paperwork” can be a tedious subject, but as one company found out the hard way, it doesn’t pay to skimp.
This company was involved in a build and trying to sell the pipeline they constructed. Unfortunately, due to a poor workflow and lack of understanding of their importance, the majority of the NDE examination and technique sheets supplied by their previous RT contractors were either misplaced or disposed of.
The techniques sheets tell you how a shot was taken, as opposed to the results of each test, which is provided on the reader sheet. This particular contractor filled them out by hand on one of those carbon- copy triplicate forms, separate from the reader sheet. Hard to read and easy to lose. Most firms place all the importance on whether welds were accepted or rejected, not the techniques, so its easy to overlook these documents, as this company did.
Long story short, the buyer would not approve the data book for the pipeline. In this business, if the report isn’t there, the job wasn’t done.
Another Problematic Scenario
If you have managed or run the construction of a new pipeline you have experienced having to re work or re do welds. The NDE calls the weld. The weld is redone and the weld gets NDE inspected. All to often in the push to complete construction the status of re welds and re NDE gets lost track of. The pipeline gets re buried and then later someone realizes that the weld was not re done or not re shot with NDE. What happens now? Re excavation….lost time…more expense.
What’s the answer? Effective daily tracking and databasing. If you can easily see what has needs re work you will naturally schedule it prior to burying the pipe.
What to Look for in New Construction NDE/RT Reports
The first consideration is to work with a vendor who understands that data books are part of the end game needed for regulatory purposes as well as for selling assets later, not just for invoicing. Missing information reduces their value because you cannot show the work was done 100 percent. Since everyone checks the data book, this presents a problem when it comes time to sell.
Typed, rather than handwritten
As stated earlier, many NDT firms still fill out triplicate forms with yellow and pink carbon copies by hand. This makes you subject not only to possibly illegible handwriting, but by the time you get to the third copy of a carbon copy form, it is very hard to make out what was written.
Technique sheets given proper weight
They should be filled completely and accurately every job, by technicians who understand what every single box means on the form. This seems like a “no-brainer right?” Well, in practice it is rarely done completely. For many technicians it is viewed as optional. That’s where a rigorous classroom training and performance demonstration make the difference. This is a big deal and its why we train our people thoroughly. The reporting matters. You can say the rest of it doesn’t matter if the report is not complete. Preferably, the techniques sheet is built right into the examination report.
Reproducibility – digital storage and databasing
Paper copies are susceptible to getting damaged or misfiled. If the original is done on paper, there should also be a scanned digital backup. This ensures you can always access a clean, original copy at any time.
One of our customers had a change in management, and their document storage suffered in the transition. When it came time try to sell a portion of their pipeline, they had to scramble to assemble and partially recreate their data book. This was similar to the situation referenced at the beginning of this post, the difference being that since they were a long-time customer, we had a digital copy of everything. Our digital copies are digitally produced and stored in a database, immediately searchable by AFE Number, job name, and line.
They called us in a panic, but within minutes we provided them with all the original copy reports, electronically. All the NDE was immediately reproduceable.
Daily tracking of each and every weld
Our quality system allows for a daily report listing the status of every weld. If there is rework on a weld it is highlighted in RED so that you cannot miss it. This has kept countless sections of pipe from being reburied prior to weld completion.
At IIA Field Services, we understand what these reports are used for and their importance. As such, we try to paint a full picture of what was done, what was found, and how it was done at every job. The result is that we’ve been told we have the best reports in the industry, something we are very proud of.
NDE/RT reporting and documentation quality matters. Keep these considerations in mind when choosing an NDT supplier.
To stay up to date with industry news and discover more solutions from the Industrial Inspection and Analysis, Inc. family of companies, please visit https://iiafieldservices.com/blog/ and https://infiniumnde.com/blog/