Magnetic particle inspection is a simple, straightforward and quick non-destructive testing method. Relatively low costs and moderate skill requirements also make the method a popular choice for several applications such as in pipeline and ship hull inspections. Even hands-free operations are now possible with the right system and equipment.
But to get the most out of the method, it’s crucial to make the right choice in the equipment. Aside from accuracy, this is also important in cost savings as well as in making sure that the system is appropriate for your application.
How to choose the right system for your inspection
First, it’s all about your application. For instance, there are several NDT methods but each has its own strengths and weaknesses. To maximise the strengths and minimise the weaknesses, the method should be chosen according to the specific application.
This similarly applies to magnetic particle testing wherein the part or component as well as its weight and geometry should be considered before choosing a system for inspection. Complete information about the part of area to be inspected should be reviewed first. Drawings, actual samples and other relevant information are valuable in equipment choice. This is important both in repetitive testing or where the area is difficult to access or reach.
An additional note in choosing a system depending on where it will be used is the volume or frequency of inspection. There are equipment, systems and specific methods with an advantage in high-speed and high-volume inspections. The inspection rate should somehow match the production rate so that quotas are met while quality is still being prioritised. In many cases, additional personnel will be needed to keep up with the process rates.
This brings us to available personnel and budget. The entire system for inspection can cost from $1,000 to tens of thousands of dollars. Aside from the main equipment, you may need to purchase additional items and accessories to perform the job well. You also have to consider ongoing maintenance the equipment will incur during its lifetime. Also, more personnel might be needed as your inspection requirements increase. To get the full picture, you have to factor in both the upfront costs of the system as well as its ongoing maintenance and operation (including the number of personnel needed to make things operational).
It’s a step-by-step process where other factors such as type of discontinuity and requirement for demagnetisation should also be considered. To get competent technical advice, you can enquire here at NDT Equipment Sales. We can talk about your application, your budget and requirements as well as some brands (e.g. Parker, CrackCheck) that comply with standards and that are preferred in the market now. We will start with your application so that we can better understand your requirements.