Quality Assurance for Non-Destructive Testing
Our customers’ production systems rely on our delivery of top-performing, defect-free components. Quality assurance for non-destructive testing methods (NDT) provides peace of mind for all involved, as it demonstrates control systems in place to “test the tests” so to speak. Providing QA to NDT makes us all A-OK.
NDT services help detect flaws in components to avoid potential catastrophes that cause damages to – or complete failure of – the production systems you have in place. Axenics uses several NDT methods to make certain your components are free from any leaks or damage points. And, here’s how we maintain control over those methods to ensure they are free of issues.
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Quality assurance on raw materials
Every piece of raw material delivered isn’t perfect. On rare occasions, faults occur in production or shipping or delivery, even from the most-trusted suppliers and vendors. Therefore, we believe testing a sample before we do any work, even on certified, pre-tested materials is wise. One issue we’ve seen is this: a longtime vendor changes their own third-party machining vendor (unannounced to you), which results in materials that are slightly different from your previous order.
Even miniscule size variation makes a huge difference when it comes to critical production. We evaluate raw materials and fittings for a change in quality/accuracy and instantly inquire with our vendors if we find something unusual.
By using a borescope with a camera, we can discover defects in stainless steel tubes. We take photos inside the tubes to detect deformities. In one situation, the dye that the vendor passed through the tube was breaking down and leaving scratches and inclusions on the inside of the tubes. When we catch and reject entire lots of metal, a faulty product never makes it to our customer, inevitably saving everyone money and time.
Cleanroom welding and assembly
Non-destructive testing on raw material doesn’t matter if the other steps in the manufacturing process occur in an environment that invited contamination. Controlling contamination during every stage is a top priority for manufacturers working with components used to produce products for the healthcare or science industries. From raw materials to finished components, those products must be contaminant-free to ensure they function as designed and do not cause a wrinkle in production.
A cleanroom is the ideal purification solution for each aspect of production, from inspecting materials through final testing and packaging. Axenics operates a Class 100 cleanroom. Generally, cleansing of tools occurs before they enter the cleanroom. Paper and cardboard are not allowed inside. Regular vacuuming, dusting and inspections maintain the environment. Air purification/filtration systems remove tiny contaminants, and technicians wear suits, gloves and footwear to cover all extremities in an effort to contain skin flaking and getting onto components.
Understand and accept limitations – and still make it happen
Like any other technology, manufacturing technology evolves continually. Some customers seek testing beyond current capabilities. For example, Axenics occasionally receives requests for component pressure tests higher than 3200 psi – not safe for our existing environment. To avoid in-house danger and to maintain customer satisfaction, we utilize trusted third-party testing facilities or laboratories for certain nondestructive tests, such as radiographic testing using x-rays.
Custom fabrications for production systems are costly enough – be it time spent in design, engineering and creation, or raw material spend – that it makes sense to have fail safes in place. For Axenics, those fail safes come in the form of non-destructive testing and quality control for those methods of NDT.