Building the Foundation for a Successful Ultrasound Programme
Ultrasound is a key technology used by maintenance professionals all over the world. Its many applications and quick learning curve are adding to the popularity, but to get the maximum out of an ultrasonic inspection tool, companies need to invest in standardized Certification Training.
There is a lot one can do with an Ultrasonic inspection instrument. Leak detection is just one of its basic applications: listen to the leak, pinpoint it and fix it. Finding vacuum leaks, however, requires more experience and knowledge. The same goes for creating reports on detected and repaired leaks to include savings, costs, LPM losses and the carbon footprint.
More recently, ultrasound has become the primary choice when it comes to optimizing a lubrication programme. UE Systems Grease Caddies are designed specifically to perform condition-based lubrication. There is a lot more however: creating a lubrication programme using data management software like DMS or correctly setting up a dB baseline for bearings can make a huge difference in your asset’s lifetime.
Maintenance professionals can also use ultrasound for an efficient steam traps & valves inspection, with the right accessories and procedures. Ultrasound can even pick up certain electrical failures - do you know you can identify a specific electrical failure by making a sound recording with the ultrasonic instrument, and analysing it on special sound analysis software such as Spectralyzer?
There is a lot ultrasound can do for a maintenance programme. To get the maximum out of it, training is fundamental. Well-trained inspectors will be able to explore all of the potential of ultrasonic inspection instruments. And from a management perspective, having qualified engineers working with standard procedures is a safe road to success.
Ultrasound Certification Training
UE Systems offers two options for Ultrasound Certification Training – Level I and Level II – meeting the requirements of the American Society for Non-destructive Testing (ASNT) Recommended Practice, SNT-TC-1A and in accordance with ISO 18436-8, the standard for condition monitoring and diagnosis of machines. These are 32-hour courses, consisting on a mix of theory and hands-on practice, covering all application areas of ultrasound, operation, test procedures & how to use the software.
These are the topics covered by a Level I Ultrasound Training course:
- All aspects of airborne/structure borne ultrasound technology
- Effective mechanical analysis, leak detection and electrical inspections
- Compressed air leak surveys, condition-based lubrication, steam trap inspections, bearing analysis and electrical inspections
- How to improve asset availability and company profitability
- How to enhance recording and reporting skills through a data management software and special analysis software
- How to reduce and save on energy consumption
Maintenance professionals who wish to take their ultrasound programme even further can attend a Level II course, which will give them deeper knowledge on inspection techniques and procedures:
- Sound theory & ultrasound principles
- Advanced leak detection: pressure leaks, vacuum leaks, reporting and costs analysis, developing a compressed air programme/procedures
- Electrical inspection: inspection methods, spectral analysis, developing an electrical inspection programme
- Valve inspection: configure instruments, software for ABCD record keeping and reporting, review of compressors
- Steam traps: software for steam trap record keeping, data logging and steam cost analysis, review procedures
- Bearings: monitoring, trending and lubrication, set up alarm groups and trend reports, developing a bearing detection / lubrication programme
How to achieve Ultrasound Level I/Level II Certification
Normally the training courses consist of open enrolment sessions, which are scheduled in advance. UE Systems has available trainings all over the world, in different languages, offering more than 80 annual courses worldwide. On-site Level I training is also a possibility; in case a company wishes to train a whole maintenance team at their own facility.
In order to achieve the official certification, one must pass the general, specific and practical examinations with a score of 80 percent or more.
Level II certification can only be obtained after getting the Level I certification.
The complete agenda for the training sessions provided by UE Systems can be found at:
Europe: (training sessions available in English, French, German, Spanish and Polish)
Application & Implementation Training
Besides certification courses, UE Systems also provides other training solutions regarding the use of ultrasound in maintenance and reliability activities:
On-site introduction training
- Typically, ½ or 1-day course
- Operation of the equipment & software
- Where it can and where it cannot be used
On-site implementation training
- Typically, 2 or 2½ days (but can be customized)
- Custom tailored training depending on the application interests
- Hands-on orientated training to help setup a maintenance programme
- Setup of test cases & evaluation
Application specific training
- Typically 1-day course
- Application specific subjects:
- Steam trap inspection courses
- Leak auditing courses
- Electrical inspection courses
- Bearing inspection, optimizing lubrication programme courses
When companies want to achieve excellence in their maintenance programmes and get the maximum possible return on their investment, training their technicians is fundamental. A well-trained maintenance team will bring huge savings in money & energy spending and will keep the company’s assets always in top-condition, reducing downtimes and maintenance costs. Ultrasound technology together with training is a sure bet for any company and will prove its benefits and results in short time.
Neste Engineering Solutions has performed a dynamic simulation for Kiilto Oy, a producer of chemical industry products. The purpose of the dynamic simulation was to get a better understanding of how Kiilto's production facility's polymerizing reactor behaves in possible disturbances. The production facility is located in Tampere, Finland.
We have all read about it: leak detection should be a top priority since, if no leak detection program has been implemented, leaks can account for 30 to 40% of consumed volume. So, why is this issue still on the table? Why is it difficult to change things in the field?