Element Materials Technology, the world’s fastest growing independent materials testing company, has struck a collaborative agreement with Bodycote Hardingscentrum B.V., the leading provider of thermal processing services, to launch a new automatic ultrasonic testing (AUT) validation service to oil and gas clients.
A requirement under Offshore Standard DNV-OS-F101, AUT process validation is critical to majors and supply chain partners in demonstrating that weld inspection systems are capable of accurately detecting and sizing defects, ensuring pipelines are free of critical faults.
Rick Sluiters, Element’s Vice President of European Operations, said, “This partnership agreement positions Element at the forefront of AUT validation, offering customers access to industry leading expertise from two globally recognised providers. Performed in the heart of continental Europe’s oil and gas hub in the Netherlands, the nature of Element’s global platform means that the service will benefit US-based customers too, as knowledge, methodologies and systems are shared across our 40 laboratories worldwide to form a consistent service.”
Under the service agreement, Element Breda and Amsterdam, Netherlands, will undertake the complex metallurgical sectioning required to perform AUT validation, while Bodycote Hardingscentrum B.V. in Diemen, Netherlands, will provide immersion ultrasonic testing (IUT) support.
“As the oil and gas industry’s focus continues to centre on deeper, colder and more extreme environments, enhanced pipeline testing services capable of identifying smaller defects are being sought by key customers,” continued Sluiters. “The development of this enhanced service has been a direct result of Element’s partner-led approach to investment, whereby the company continuously strengthens its capabilities in consultation with customers and assessing their needs.”
The launch of its new AUT validation service is the latest capability and capacity expansion made by Element as part of a wider strategic investment programme in its oil and gas testing capabilities. It follows announcements of several laboratory upgrade projects, including the creation of a US$ 5 million technology centre in Houston, the first of its kind in the country, a US$ 2 million redesign of a facility in Breda, the US$ 1 million move of the Amsterdam facility and the strategic move of the Antwerp facility to an improved standalone location, which includes machining capabilities. The company has also hired several world-renowned technical experts over the past year as it seeks to establish its Engineering Critical Assessment (ECA) service.
Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling
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