Building Confidence Through Competence

The Technical Bits...

People ask me why we don't offer online training.  It's a fairly simple answer:  Don't you want to see my lovely face every day for a few days or weeks?  No, seriously, online training for NDE is not what it needs to be to make good technicians.  The interaction with the instructor is hugely important for your success as an NDE'er and I really don't think that you're prepared without the opportunity to touch instruments and ask questions in real-time.  Read my thoughts on the subject in the attached article.  If you have questions or comments, please e-mail me at and I'll get back to you personally.

Old (but still relevant) Bits...

We do a lot of certifications.  One of the things that we always try to tell candidates is that certification should by an example of your best work, not your every day work.  Some folks get it and some don't.  Well, we've had some difficulties in certifying ultrasonic thickness technicians as of late because we have people scan plates, not just tell us what the thickness is on a CML.  We do this at the request of our customers where appropriate because it gives a better indication of the skills of the technician.

When we ask someone to scan a plate or pipe or whatever, we always ask that the technician do his or her best at giving us the size of the indication, length and width, as well as the minimum thickness associated with the area.  We are finding that several things seem to be evident:

  • The technician may have never scanned with a thickness unit or flaw detector
  • Sizing isn't as easy as one would think
  • People aren't training how to size in the classroom

This installment of the Technical Bits describes the most basic of methods for sizing pits (or other indications) using a longitudinal beam transducer.  We're purposely not going on to how to determine the minimum thickness, we'll save that for later.