NDT – A very serious business.
Founded by aeronautical engineer Jens Buche in 2002, Pacific Southwest Engineering Pty Ltd has evolved into a progressive NDT [Non-Destructive Testing] service provider of inspection and testing services in the aerospace, construction, energy, manufacturing and transport industries enabled through the business venture, NDT Australia, in 2018.
The key flaw detection inspection services on offer are:
- visual inspection including microscopy, dye penetrant, fluorescent and magnetic particle;
- eddy current;
- ultrasonic; and
In addition, NDT Australia can offer:
- corrosion analysis;
- vibration analysis;
- industrial electrical test and tag to AS3760;
- thermographic analysis;
- lighting assessments;
- noise assessments;
- spectrometer services; and
- borescope (flexiscope) services.
“A reduction in the margin of safety is not necessarily unsafe, it just makes you statistically vulnerable“- a phrase coined by our founder, is a good reason to do non-destructive testing. With a keen eye for detail, and whilst roaming around a Douglas DC9 aircraft hangared at the Trans-Australia Airlines maintenance base at Sydney Kingsford-Smith Airport NSW in 1975, to change a light bulb on the landing gear inspection light, in the better light he spotted a hairline crack in a downlock actuator piston of the left main landing gear. Needless to say, the consequences of not finding that crack may have resulted in a black day in history for the government-owned carrier.
With a background in NDT acquired whilst working with Trans-Australia Airlines in the early 1970s, Jens Buche developed an engineering reliability background which saw NDT specialisations play a key role in improving availability of plant and equipment as well as reduce mean time between failure (MTBF).
Critical safety components need regular NDT. Leaving critical components in service longer does not diminish the time between inspections, rather brings about challenges to continue more frequent in-service inspections. Indeed, a failure to do this could result in the loss of an asset and the loss of human life in some instances.