Seeing through the cracks
State-of-the-art x-ray and nuclear diagnostics test facility in Flintshire is primed for further expansion.
James Fisher’s 25,000 sq ft facility at Deeside, is the single biggest investment in radiography bays in Europe and now James Fisher NDT's (JFNDT’s) second site accredited by NADCAP for digital radiography.
This, and its UKAS accreditation means the site is a fully registered laboratory and meets quality levels expected within the aerospace sector, which, in combination with the significant investment in new technology, provides a showcase for James Fisher’s commitment to quality and safety.
Deeside’s four dedicated x-ray bays are already much in demand by the aerospace industry which uses them to assess the condition of components and castings before they go to final assembly. However, investment in cutting edge digital radiography also offers exciting opportunities for manufacturers in the oil, gas and water industries too.
Two of the existing x-ray bays are 160kV, and two are 320 kV, but space has been secured for the creation of four additional x-ray bays (160kV) and one 450kV bay over the next few months, with a view to creating still more in the future if needed. All bays have been built in such a way that they can be easily converted from conventional to digital radiography.
They have also been future-proofed to enable JFNDT to add fully automated Digital Detector Array (DDA) systems for client specific work. This is a highly effective way of detecting flaws and because images can be viewed immediately on a high resolution monitor, there are significant time and environmental savings to be had.
"We have huge potential to grow the site, at the moment we are only using a quarter of the premises," says business development manager at James Fisher Nuclear’s NDT division, Ian Moore.
The site’s aerospace manager, Anita Andrews, with the help of Staci Patterson-Bright and Vikki Urwin, has been instrumental in the set-up of the site and securing its accreditation.
"Quality control is vital in this highly regulated industry and Anita and her team have ensured the site was up and running to the required standard," continues Ian.
Plans are underway to offer space at Deeside to companies in the nuclear industry to use as a rig hall (where mock-up rigs can be used to train operators and carry out rehearsals in a benign environment) and a pond to allow realistic testing of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and underwater testing equipment.
What's going on with NDT?
The new Deeside facility has prompted the move of significant projects:
• Phase two of an existing project to deliver ultrasonic corrosion mapping to the Orpheus project for SGN.
• Contract win with Scottish Water for the inspection and testing of assets in Scotland - part of a 6 year £20 million contract.
• Multiple advanced and conventional NDT contracts completed for AMEC Foster Wheeler at Growhow, Ince, Chester.
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