During many decades the quality of products and services is one of the general aspects in the competitive ability of products and assurance of their safety.
It is well known that quality doesn't arise in itself, it is formed on the stage of designing and is ensured during production, installation and in service.
That's why all these stages of life cycle of critical objects are under supervision of the bodies of state inspection and the supervision of the processes of testing, technical measurements and diagnostics is realized in the first turn.
The requirements to the presence of defects in critical objects are very high and in many cases all-round testing of products is stipulated, especially in welded joints. In this situation the results of quality testing of the object depend upon the correct choice both of the methods and equipment and of the quality of the testing realization.
The beginning of the third millenium is characterized by hard competition on the market of providing services in NDT and technical diagnostics. One of the main conditions for winning in competition is the quality of services and competence of departments that grant them.
The problem of the quality of testing assurance is long ago on the international level and some approaches to its resolving are developed, among them accreditation of departments that realize NDT, technical diagnostics and assessment of the effectiveness of the quality systems of these departments. Just the quality systems, forming the chain of interconnected processes, assure unique and weighed approach to the quality. Any organization, laboratory or another department that bids for technical competence must demonstrate that it is functioning in compliance with the quality system meeting the requirements of ISO 9001 or ISO 9002 and can provide technically valid results of testing and diagnostics.
This requirement to the quality system is specified by ISO/CASCO 17025 draft. Conformity of the laboratory to the requirements of this standard will provide recognition of testing and inspection results.
The system approach to organization and realization of NDT, taking into account the requirement of ISO 9001, shall assure quality of testing.
The quality system shall provide:
The confidence credit to the results of testing can be assured only when the unique normative basis and laboratories of NDT and technical diagnostics accredited for technical competence are available.
- Traceability of measurements and testing. The traceability envisages strict observance of metrological rules and includes:
- registration, calibration and inspection of the equipment for measuring and testing;
- availability of procedures for calibration, testing and inspection;
- availability and observance of instructions for the equipment use, technical service and repair;
- maintenance of the equipment and accessories;
- sufficient number of standard specimens within the range of measurement for adjusting equipment and checking their technical parameters.
- Legalization of the procedures of testing if they have no legal status. The correctness of the developed procedure of testing must be confirmed and it must have the required status. For critical objects new procedure must be validated and agreed with relevant departments of state inspection.
The procedures can be developed for testing of definite types of defects and/or types of objects on the ranges of parameters to be tested. If an international or state standard for testing are used where presented procedure is available for testing or an approved procedure of industrial branch is applied then the technological process charts must be identified, registered and included in the list of the quality system documents.
- Quality of testing results. Statistical methods of the results of testing and participation in robin-round testing are the most effective mean for assure quality of testing results.
- Assessment of the quality system by the management. This procedure of the highest responsibility shall be realized by the manager himself and is provided for ensure constant readiness of the laboratory to introduce any necessary changes, improvements, preventive actions.
The assessment of critical objects and definition of the possibility for their further improvement foresees realization of technical measurements, testing and technical diagnostics side by side with NDT. In this case the laboratory must meet the claims laid to the organizations that realize inspection of objects in the whole, i.e. the requirements of EN 45004.
In compliance with this norm the inspection body is a body that realizes testing, i.e. laboratory of NDT and technical diagnostics may be considered as an inspection body.
This approach is now in practice in Western Europe and the assessment of technical competence of an independent laboratory in all countries is realized in compliance with EN 45004. Using the unique requirements and unique order of assessment for the laboratories accreditation creates real pre-conditions for recognition of the results of NDT and technical diagnostics that is very important problem for the countries of the former USSR.
The disasters don't recognize national boundaries, that's why the normative documents that shall protect us of the fall-outs must be international and we do all our best for introduce in force European and International standards.
The efforts of the Committee on Supervision of Industrial and Nuclear Safety and Belorussian Association on NDT and Technical Diagnostics are united in this direction.