In 2021, after years of design and development JME released the DXB:1. A system introduced into the market to provide a light-weight, portable solution producing high quality digital Imaging for pipeline and stand-alone weld inspection applications.
Due to their desire to remain at the forefront of the industry National Inspection Services (NIS) based in Louisiana, USA brought the DXB:1 system into their product range, and subsequently Digital Radiography into the list of services they provide. To ensure smooth deployment in the real-world environment JME worked closely with the team at National Inspection from the offset to provide one to one training on the equipment to ensure that all functions including the CR2 Pipeline Crawler integration were fully understood and optimized.
The team at NIS are experienced JME CR2 Pipeline Crawler operators, having completed many projects in the past, they are now able to benefit from the effciencies offered by the DXB:1 system.
In early 2023 NIS engaged on a project in Carlsbad, New Mexico. A project requiring a short deployment but an aggressive production rate of 1,500 welds on a 16” mainline over a period of 14 days on both SCH10 and SCH20 using Digital Radiography / RTR.
The project required inspection in accordance with API 1104 with all welds audited 100% by an ANT Level III Technician.
National Inspection Services opted to deploy 100% back-up on the project, ensuring they could demonstrate a significantly reduced risk of downtime, and providing the client with assurance of maintaining project deadlines.
2 x JME 10:CR2 Pipeline crawler systems
2 x COMET 300P X-Ray tubes
2 x JME DXB:1 Digital Radiography systems
Implementing the use of Duplex Penetrometer for Daily verification of Spatial Resolution and Sensitivity, and the use of ASTM Wire Type IQI for validation of sensitivity through the weld.
Prior to site work commencing the weld qualification process was undertaken to verify that radiographs captured by the systems were within code requirements.
At this stage the NIS team could begin to utilise how the DXB:1 and CR2 crawler systems integrate seamlessly and use the control tablet for the DXB to provide real time feedback/adjustment of all parameters on the Crawler and DXB, making adjustments and system monitoring simple and intuitive, streamlining the pre-qualification process.
Once the project commenced the 3-man team were able to complete between 90 and 110 welds per day, even identifying days in which it would have been possible to achieve a production rate in excess of 120 welds with the DXB:1 system while even encountering several dust storms, in temperatures ranging from 30°F (-1°C) – 90°F (32°C). A 4.5-minute transition from one weld to next was also verified.
Another key gain in productivity would be the ability of the system to view images wirelessly to the control tablet in real time, and once complete transferring the fully stitched images via USB, HDD, or the internet / Server so the QM / Inspector / Level III could instantly review/approve as required. Also enabling instant Back up.
This provided the ability to rapidly identify defects including Inadequate Penetration, Incomplete fusion, Inadequate cross penetration, Internal Concavity, Incomplete fusion, Burn-through, Slag Inclusions, Porosity, Cracks, Undercutting, Accumulation of Imperfections and Pipe or Fitting Imperfections. With the resolution, clarity, and sensitivity on the captured radiographs maintained throughout the project.
Example Weld Radiograph
The Project and resulting X-Ray work was successful in identifying multiple discontinuities and defects and repairs were made to remedy the defective welds.
Furthermore, during the project the DXB:1 was able to identify a defect to the seam on the parent material. It was agreed by the NIS team that identification of this defect would have been impossible to see using conventional radiography.
The project was delivered in a timely manner and in line with the end customers requirements. This activity provided confirmation of the ability of the NIS operatives to confidently operate a completely integrated solution to consistently achieve a production rate of more than 100 welds per day.
During the project the DXB:1 was able to identify a defect to the seam on the parent material.
It was agreed by the NIS team that identification of this defect would have been impossible to see using conventional radiography.
Gabriel Hollier: Vice President / CRSO / ASNT LV III National Inspection Services