Encorus is proud to offer guaranteed reliability through our established American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Nuclear Quality Assurance Program (NQA-1).
Lindse Runge, one of Encorus’s Quality Assurance Technicians, gives some insight regarding what the NQA-1 Program is, what she does, and what type of clients would benefit from the program. NQA-1 is a nuclear quality assurance standard for nuclear facilities in the U.S. It relates to the design, construction and operation of such sites, and is a highly-regarded industry standard. ASME NQA-1 was created and is maintained by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). This standard provides requirements and guidelines for the establishment and execution of quality assurance programs during siting, design, construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear facilities. This standard reflects industry experience and current understanding of the quality assurance requirements necessary to achieve safe, reliable, and efficient utilization of nuclear energy, and management and processing of radioactive materials. The standard focuses on the achievement of results, emphasizes the role of the individual and line management in the achievement of quality, and fosters the application of these requirements in a manner consistent with the relative importance of the item or activity.
Lindse’s responsibilities include enforcing and implementing the requirements of Encorus’s QA program, developing / revising documents as required to comply with customer QA requirements and ASME NQA-1 requirements, reviewing customer purchase orders for QA requirements in order to develop plans to implement requirements throughout the project, reviewing Encorus purchase orders for QA requirements to ensure flow-down of customer requirements, participating in audits and surveys, and maintaining project files and documentation to ensure legibility, revision control, and traceability of records.
Encorus has a Quality Assurance Program that conforms to NQA-1 requirements to allow us to supply items and services to nuclear facilities. Clients that would benefit from an NQA-1 Program include the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, nuclear constructors, nuclear fabricators, and nuclear power plants.
If you think you would benefit from Encorus Group’s NQA-1 Program, please contact Quality Assurance Technician Lindse Runge at (716) 592-3980 ext 137 or email@example.com.
Inspections are a key part of any commercial facility, and an important part of maintenance for many personal properties as well. It’s important to ensure that equipment, safety measures, and other important aspects of a structure are in adequate condition to continue to serve their intended purposes. Risk-based inspections are a useful form of evaluation that provide a property or facility owner with insight into the probability and consequences of failure associated with each piece of equipment.
Risk-based inspections are included in the category of business practices known as optimal maintenance, which are procedures designed to maintain systems in ways which maximize a company’s profits and minimize its costs. Risk-based inspections and other optimal maintenance procedures are useful in operating a business as efficiently as possible. Many procedures for risk-based inspection are based on the American Petroleum Institute’s recommended practices, and are performed via nondestructive testing.
A risk-based inspection usually involves 2 key components: a probability of failure analysis and a consequence of failure analysis. Each of these serves a unique role in developing a plan to maximize efficiency.
Probability of Failure (PoF) is the likelihood of a piece of equipment to break at a given time. This information can be important in determining the risk posed by the condition of the equipment and in deciding what inspection intervals to set in order to best monitor the condition of the equipment as time progresses. PoF is calculated using a generic failure frequency based on industry averages, a management system factor based on how well management and labor force are trained to handle both daily activities and emergency procedures, and the overall damage factor, which is the combination of all of the various damage possessed by the equipment at the time of evaluation.
Consequence of Failure evaluations are another part of risk-based inspections, and give the critical aspect of determining the significance of damage that could potentially occur if a piece of equipment were to fail. The evaluation acknowledges all important possibilities, including potential safety hazards, economic damages, and environmental damages. This allows engineers to understand how dangerous a piece of equipment could be when nearing the end of its lifespan.
A major benefit of a risk-based inspection is that it categorizes each piece of equipment by its risks and risk drivers, and is able to better prioritize further inspections and safety measures. Knowing how and when equipment may fail allows employees and management to make safe and educated decisions about how to continue operating equipment at all times, but especially when equipment is approaching the end of its usable lifespan.
If you are in need of a risk-based inspection for your business’s assets, contact Keith Taylor, Director of Mechanical Integrity with Encorus Group, at (716) 592-3980 ext 143 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to our summer intern Mara Gilmartin for this article.
Encorus is in Leeds! Massachusetts, that is.
Employees traveled to the Northampton VA Medical Center in Leeds, MA to assess the condition of masonry, exterior walls, and roofs. The objective of this project is to design for the correction of deficiencies in order to prevent safety issues or service interruptions, and to stop any structural deficiencies from becoming more severe. Vince Roberts and Dan Sullivan are pictured here performing inspections.
Vince Roberts gives a thumbs up as he and Dan Sullivan perform inspections of the roof, masonry, and exterior walls at the Northampton VA Medical Center in Leeds, MA.
Encorus Group’s John Allan has had an article published in American City & County magazine. The article talks about the importance of automatic fire detection and suppression systems for the protection of municipal assets such as trucks, snowplows, emergency vehicles, and other equipment.
You can read the article by clicking here.
Welds can be tested using three different methods: destructive, in which the weld is destroyed to examine the physical properties of the metal and components; mechanical, which is used to determine the properties of a metal under force; and non-destructive, in which the integrity of the weld can be determined without destroying the weld itself. The primary advantage of non-destructive examinations (NDE) is the ability to examine a component’s surface, sub-surface, and internal makeup for defects while keeping the weld intact. Its two most common types are radiographic testing and ultrasonic testing.
Radiographic Weld Testing
Also known as x-ray inspection, radiographic testing involves the use of commercial x-ray or gamma units to examine visible discontinuities on the interior of the weld, including:
– Scattered porosity
The process is similar to that used to take x-rays of the human body. Gamma rays are passed through a tube onto photographic film to produce an image of internal components. As in the medical field, special expertise is required to perform radiographic weld testing and interpret the results. Due to its requirement for specific equipment, highly qualified personnel, and extensive safety precautions, its cost tends to run higher than other types of testing. However, radiographic testing is acknowledged as one of the most versatile and widely accepted forms of NDE, as it’s required to meet the welding codes and standards established by many relevant organizations, such as American Welding Society (AWS) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Ultrasonic Weld Testing
Used to check for surface and sub-surface discontinuities, ultrasonic weld testing involves the direction of a high-frequency energy beam through the object. If the beam detects an interruption, sound will reflect back and be collected by the pulse-echo equipment, which then amplifies it and displays it visually in video format. Ultrasonic testing is very sensitive and can determine the exact location of discontinuities, particularly gas pores, lamination, and other defects that are too small to be observed with other methods. While it requires interfacing with computers or equipment with built-in memory to produce a permanent record, it allows for a closer inspection of joints than radiographic testing can provide. Like radiographic testing, only highly trained professionals can perform ultrasonic weld testing.
While radiographic and ultrasonic testing each offer their own advantages and disadvantages, both forms of non-destructive examinations are indispensable to the welding industry. At Encorus Group, we offer these and other NDE options, all of which meet or exceed requirements and are performed by our experienced technicians using advanced equipment. For more information, contact Director of Testing Services Jim Handzlik at 716.592.3980, ext. 148.
Join us in welcoming Radomir Pupovac to Encorus Group! Radomir is a recent graduate of State University of New York College at Buffalo where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering as well as a Bachelor’s in Math. He will be joining the Design Group as an Associate Electrical Engineer. Welcome, Radomir!