Person who has the biggest influence on your life?
The person who has the biggest influence in my life has to be my wife. Anita and I have been married for 25 years and she has always fully supported everything that I have attempted.
Person who has the biggest influence on your NDT career?
No one person comes to mind. However, through the years I have had dealings with Lecturers, Technicians and Inspectors and worked under Managers, Co-ordinators and Supervisors and for Clients, many of whom I consider to be the best in the industry. I have learned much and taken advice from these individuals and I am grateful for the opportunity to have done that. I hope that I have been able to teach and inspire others just as much in return.
How did you begin your career in NDT?
Fresh out of the two-year conscription military service back in July 1989, I started working as an NDT technician, doing radiography on nightshift in Ellisras. This was during the construction of Matimba Power Station. I ended up working for the same company for nine years doing NDT examinations on most of the Eskom power stations in the Highveld.
What are your current qualifications?
Currently, I hold Level II qualifications in the four conventional NDT methods-
MT, PT, RT and UT. In addition to NDT qualifications, I am certified in Pressure Vessel Inspection and Aboveground Storage Tank inspection with the American Petroleum Industry and South African Qualification and Certification Committee (SAQCC) Competent Person Pressure Vessels.
Which Method do you enjoy most and why?
I enjoy three of the methods most:
- Radiographic Testing - because of the radiographs that are produced at the end of the day. The challenge is to use the different set-ups to create quality radiographs of different objects. It provides me with a sense of achievement to achieve a good quality film.
- Magnetic Particle Testing - because of the different techniques that can be applied to create magnetic fields during the examination. In addition to handheld yokes, I have used fixed coils, flexible coils, head shots and threaded bars to inspect a variety of items.
- Ultrasonic Testing - to inspect for cracks and weld defects, because every object needs a different procedure to find discontinuities due to dimensions and configuration.
- Penetrant Testing - is a reliable method in its own right, but is much less of a challenge and hence the reason why it is the method that I enjoy the least.
What Industries or Sectors have you been involved in?
- Coal Fired Power Stations and our Nuclear Power Station - Matimba and Majuba Power Station.
- Petrochemical Refineries.
- Sugar and Paper Mills.
- Smelters (Chrome, Steel and Stainless Steel).
- Off-shore Exploration Oil Rigs.
- Off-shore Production Platforms Offshore.
- Oil and Gas industry On-Shore: Upstream Oil and Gas production plants.
What are your biggest challenges in NDT?
Cleaning before NDT. There are two different grades of cleaning, the first is the welder or cleaning contractor clean, then there is the inspector clean. The surface used for testing is could never be clean enough for an inspector to test! It is a constant requirement to keep checking that the area is well prepared.
Most humorous NDT incident that you can remember?
Clocking out early at a power station and driving back home one day, I got home a whole 2 hours earlier and had some valuable family time. I then realised that the dials on my wrist-watch had turned forward while using an electromagnetic yoke on site.
I have been working out of the country for the last 16 years and my hope for the future is to participate in the inspection and NDT field in South Africa to serve the industries where safe operations depend upon quality inspections and examinations to ensure equipment integrity.
A ‘must visit’ NDT website that you recommend and why you recommend it?