Inspecta are an international testing agency with offices throughout northern Europe. The group employs more than 1500 employees in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland and the Baltic States. The company offers leading expert testing, inspection, certification, consultancy and training services. In both non-destructive and destructive testing Inspecta uses advanced methods and technologies to reveal hidden defects and highly skilled personnel in interpreting the results. Inspecta determine and specify the most suitable test methods for modern industrial inspection requirements and have access to the highest quality testing equipment to perform the test and give accurate and reliable results. Their customers expect high quality service with fast, accurate results and expert analysis of those results.
From their beginnings in Finland there are now Inspecta test laboratories across northern Europe. Inspecta Norway have been in operation since 2009 and both the business and laboratory has in recent times experienced rapid growth, supplying testing services to a wide range of industries throughout Norway.
In order to become one of the most successful testing laboratories in Norway, Inspecta has constantly increased the range of the testing services offered and also the throughput of the testing facilities. This continuing drive to deliver first class testing services has put pressure on testing equipment and also staff. Customers have become increasingly demanding of both metrological excellence, analytical insight and report turnaround times and Inspecta has constantly sought to deliver to these expectations.
One of the services the laboratory offers is hardness testing. Vickers hardness testing of welded specimens from a range of industries, including oil and gas, is an essential part of quality control and process control optimisation. This is a fast paced business with rapid response times required and the Vickers test process is by its nature a slow one. The ISO 6507 and ASTM E384 compliant test process requires the indentation process is performed with dwell times of 10 seconds and over and as 15-57 Vickers test results are commonly required from each welded specimen time demands on staff were signification.
Zwick Roell Indentec ZHV30-A hardness tester
Inspecta decided to take advantage of automatic hardness testing machinery in order to free up the time of skilled staff. The technical specification required that the machine and associated software would provide reliable testing, measurement and result gathering when run unsupervised for long periods, including overnight and over weekends. It was decided that reliability of automatic measurement and features allowing rapid multiple test planning and execution were the deciding factors in the choice of instrument.
A number of world class hardness tester manufacturer's models were investigated for metrological standards, reliability, ease of use and return on investment. It was decided that the Zwick Roell Indentec ZHV30-A Automatic Micro and Macro Vickers Hardness Tester was best suited to the decision criteria. The UK built testing machine offered full compliance to ISO and ASTM standards from a UKAS accredited ISO 17025 calibration laboratory. The ZHμ.HD software also offered a number of attractive features including: the reliability of automatic measurement on extremely variable surface finishes with minimised surface treatment especially when operating unsupervised; a "mosaic" stitching function for specimen image acquisition to allow fast and accurate test point planning; ease of use and intuitive access to software functionalities.
The ZHV30-A was delivered to Inspecta in 2011 and has been operating almost continuously since. The automatic hardness testing system has been an essential part of the success of the hardness testing laboratory. It has enabled Inspecta to test large numbers of welded specimens in a cost effective manner and to offer the speed of response and metrological excellence demanded by their customers. The speed, ease of use and reliability of the system have been proven over the years. Also important has been the attentiveness and reactivity of the technical support provided by Indentec head office, on-site UKAS accredited service engineers and local support from ZR Materialstesting.