·Table of Contents
·Activities of NDT Organizations
The Bulgarian NDT Society in front of its 40th AnniversarySkordev A., Mihovski M.
The aim of the present work is to make a survey and analyze the 38 years of public activity of the Bulgarian Society for NDT, using the facts and data gathered in the Chronicles of the Bulgarian non-destructive testing.
This division is relative and depends on the author's point of view. The public organization of the NDT experts in Bulgaria was known successively as Scientific NDT Section (1962-1964), NDT Section (1965-1970), National NDT Section (1970-1991) and Bulgarian Society for NDT (since 1991).
The first major public event in the field of NDT in Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula was the First National NDT Conference held on 15 and 16 September 1964 in Plovdiv. It was organized with the joint efforts of ZNIITMASH and the Scientific and Technical Union. According to  120 delegates, including 5 foreign authors - Prof. M.Radvan (Poland), M.Dobrovolski (Poland), Dr.H.U.Richter (DDR), Dr.E.Becker (DDR) and Dr.R.Gerstner (Austria) were presented at the Conference. An inquiry about the state of NDT was made and its results were summarized, concluding, "NDT is not used to its full capacity yet in our enterprises". A practice was created, usual for the non-governmental organizations, to vote a resolution for the most urgent tasks to be assigned to various governmental bodies and organizations. The recommendations of the First Conference were about the membership in ICNT and the creation of coordination NDT center in the "Laboratory for NDT and Radioscopy" in ZNIITMASH. In the list of participants at this Conference were the names of Dr. Eng. V.Michev - Director of ZNIITMASH, Milcho Janbastiev (State Machinery Factory - Kolarovgard), captain Milushev (devision 1110 - Kremikovtzi), I.Jaglichev (Boiler Factory "G.Kirkov" - Sofia), A.Ivanova (State Machinery Factory - Pleven), Res. Assoc. Eng. D. Boev, Res. Assoc. Eng. D.Avramov (ZNIITMASH), etc. It was at this Conference that Prof. Radvan said, "As the use of soap is a sign of the state of nation's culture, the application of NDT is a sign of the state of country's technology". And this phrase became a motto for a whole generation of NDT experts.
The Conferences promoted the Bulgarian scientific and technical achievements and served as a basis for the international recognition of the Bulgarian NDT experts. At these Conferences were made fruitful contacts and the latest information about the foreign achievements was available. The meetings, the discussions, the cultural and social events created confidence and respect for all colleagues. The 6 NDT Conferences turned into 6 holidays for the Bulgarian NDT experts. The role and the significance of the Conferences were well assessed by the basic governmental institutions responsible for this area, acting as co-organizers. Their high executives participated during the opening and the plenary sessions and observed the realization of the recommendations and the resolutions.
|no||Place||Year||Participants||Papers,total no||Papers from foreign authors|
|Table 1 : NDT Conferences|
As there is no record in the official statistics about the NDT activity, the plenary papers, the statements and the resolutions of the Conferences are a valuable source of information about NDT evolution in Bulgaria through the years. This precious data was gathered thanks to the efforts of the NDT Section.
The second important trend in the large-scale public activities were the public discussions on actual problems of the national NDT technology system at the seminars and meetings for active scientific and technology information listed in Table 2. Besides, the Section gave the opportunity to more than 10 foreign companies specialized in NDT equipment (Vitosonic UK, NUKEM, Heiling and Karl Deutsch from Germany, Agfa Gevert - Belgium, Sonotron - Israel, etc.) to present their products at company seminars and to try to develop their business in Bulgaria.
|1973||Radiation safety in NDT practice||103||3|
|1974||Unified price list and qualification directory for NDT experts||180||1|
|1977||Problems and achievements of the ultrasonic NDT||75||2|
|1977||Achievements and development perspectives of magnetic and electromagnetic methods||62||3|
|1978||10 years of NDT Training School||102||1|
|1978||50 years of ultrasonic NDT||90||3|
|1979||Reconstruction and modernization of NDT Laboratories||145||6|
|1982||20 years of National NDT Section and 20 years of National NDT Section in the Central Institute of Mechanical Engineering||187||14|
|1983||Implementation of the new mechanism in the field of NDT of the quality||53||4|
|1984||Application of NDT to improve the quality of welded joints||48||2|
|1985||Automation of NDT systems and means||98||9|
|1985||The role of NDT in improvement of the quality of castings||62||2|
|1986||Modern tendencies in NDT and its metrological assurance||60||4|
|1986||Problems of the metrological assurance of the NDT of quality||50||6|
|1986||New NDT technologies and results of the scientific and technical Competition "Efficient NDT technologies during the 1981-1986 period"||110||6|
|1987||Development of the scientific services in the NDT area||31||1|
|1987||NDT of structure composition, physical and mechanical properties of materials||73||3|
|1987||Application of microprocessors to improve the NDT efficiency||82||3|
|1988||NDT normative and technical documentation||98||4|
|1989||New NDT instruments and machines||63||5|
|1990||ISO standards for NDT||35||1|
|1990||NDT in nuclear power industry and heavy machinery industry in USSR||35||4|
|1991||NDT methods for investigating the structure and the physical and mechanical properties of materials||66||32|
|1992||30 years of public NDT activity in Bulgaria||54||2|
|1994||NDT of elements operating at high parameters of power supply equipment||80||14|
|1994||Ray protection and normative documents for the radiation NDT||64||7|
|1998||Improvement of the reliability and efficiency of NDT of power plant equipment||53||15|
|1999||Problems and solutions of NDT in the aircraft||52||11|
|1999||Bulgarian-Israeli meeting "Achievements and cooperation in NDT"||30||5|
|2000||The European instruments (EN, certification, accreditation, etc.) in the NDT practice||53||17|
|2000||European requirements in the field of NDT (personnel certification, accreditation, standards and control qualification)||52||9|
|Table 2 : Seminars, discussions and meetings for information exchange on NDT, organized by the NDT Section (Society)|
The resolutions of the Conferences, approved with consensus are a source of objective information about the development of NDT in Bulgaria. The following extracts prove that:
1968 - "The non-destructive methods of control are showing an increasing efficiency in all sectors of the national economy, resulting in considerably reduced and eliminated rejects, improved quality and cheaper production" (at that time the prevention of accidents was not even mentioned - author's remark).
1972 - "The available NDT equipment is not fully used. A part of it does not satisfy the modern technology requirements. The application of ultrasonic, penetrant and other methods of inspection in our country is still weak while the radiation method which rises the inspection costs is very common".
1977 - "NDT methods and means have wide application worldwide in all areas of science and industry to improve product quality and exploitation life. During the past period this tendency was evident in our country too, though not sufficient yet. The different activities in organizing and carrying out NDT are not rated, regulated and priced."
1982 - "For the past 20 years NDT has found its DESERVED WIDE APPLICATION in the national economy. Good technological and economic results were obtained through the use of NDT methods and means that gave BETTER QUALITY, RELIABILITY AND EFFICIENCY OF MATERIALS USE.
There are engineers and operators trained in the field of NDT. The use of post-graduate and professional training completed the education system for NDT personnel.
A state fund of standards, normatives and recommendations was created, placing our country AMONG THE LEADERS in this area within the Council for Economic Aid."
1987 - "The field of NDT is constantly developing new methods and means and its wide application in all fields of science and technology in Bulgaria make NDT A BASIC SUBSYSTEM OF THE TECHNICAL INSPECTION AND TESTING.
The Bulgarian production of NDT machines and instruments is successfully developing and new items are constantly included in the production lists.
The number of scientists and managers obtaining high qualification in the basic methods is increasing."
1989 - "NDT is undergoing a thorough and comprehensive development.
NDT as one of the BASIC TECHNOLOGIES has an important role in modern technology and equipment.
The harmonization of the training system for NDT personnel is successful.
The level of the reports of the Bulgarian scientists and experts corresponds to the high scientific and technology level of the Conference."
From all the above-mentioned we should pay particular attention to the evolution of the perception of NDT, from its comparison to soap (1964) to its recognition as one of the basic modern technologies (1989). I.e. for 25 years of NDT in Bulgaria the technical miracle turned into a large public practice.
One of the most important contributions were the results of the public Competition for efficient NDT technologies, implemented between 1981 and 1986. The 10 projects presented by 8 teams had real economic effect in the enterprises where they were applied and a benefit of more than 4 million BGL (which was an important sum at that time). Everyone was sharing the feeling that this Competition was particularly encouraging for the experts, members of the Section. During this period in the field of NDT in Bulgaria were presented 126 development projects, 68 new and improved products (11 of them in regular production), 33 new and improved technologies and 18 normative and technical regulations. NDT was applied in 61 enterprises and NDT machines and instruments for several million BGL were exported. The results of the Competition and the activity of different governmental organizations led to the recognition of NDT as one of the top 10 technologies for the technological development of Bulgaria up to year 2000. 
Among the large-scale events we would like to mention the ones developing principally new subjects, which widened the national NDT technology system introducing new norms and standards, metrological assurance and NDT structure investigation and testing of the physical and mechanical properties. In this way the Bulgarian NDT system became one of the most modern in Europe. Unfortunately this system was part of the non-efficient national economy and the capacities of NDT were not fully used.
One of the important achievements of the NDT Section were the presentations by outstanding foreign NDT experts and specialists like Prof. L.G.Merkulov, Prof. N.I.Ermolov, Prof. V.M.Baranov (USSR), Prof. Z.Pavlovski (Poland), Prof. H.U.Richter (DDR), Dr. E. Becker (DDR), Dr. Cizek (CSSR), Dr. E.Heiberg (USA), Eng. V.Mihnovski (Poland), Eng. D.Jurgenson (USSR), etc.
We are proud of the thousands of pages of publications: 5 volumes of Conference Proceedings, 3 scientific news journals, 4 volumes of ANTI(Meetings for active scientific and technology information) and about 250 papers registered in the Central Institute for Technology Information.
The national NDT Section also organized the participation of its members in international conferences. The Bulgarian science and technology was well presented (by 82 participants) at the 10th NDT World Conference in Moscow in 1982. 13 papers were presented. After this impressive presentation experts from all over the world started to talk about their Bulgarian colleagues with interest and respect. The nomination of Bulgaria and its National NDT Section to host the 5th European NDT Conference, discussed in 1987 by ECNDT in London is a proof of its international recognition. Unfortunately for us and the European NDT experts the European NDT Conference in 1990 was to be hosted by the Yugoslavian Society and Sarajevo (11 votes against our 7 and one abstained) and the Conference was spoiled by the war.
Bulgaria was well presented in ICNT by its public NDT organization (since 1973) and in ECNDT (since 1984). Our delegation, authorized by the Government was among the first delegations to ratify the documents of the ICNT about NDT personnel qualification levels and the minimum training programs.
At this time further to the continuous organization strengthening and democratic relationship between the members, the Society was striving to establish territorial sections because of the constantly increasing number of members and followers (from 30 members in 1975 to 600 in 1989). In  you could see that the number of registered NDT experts in 1989 was about 1000, compared to the 50 members in 1964. Regional sections were established in Haskovo, Russe, Lovech, Varna, Pleven, Pernik and Mihailovgrad (today - Montana). We have to mention the favorable influence and the strong organizational environment existing in the Scientific and Technical Union of Mechanical Engineering, as the National NDT Section was a part of it.
The huge dimensions of the activities described above (6 conferences with 1511 participants, 22 seminars with 1860 participants and a total of 524 papers) required many efforts and hard work from the active members of the Section and its executives. The members of the public NDT Section were motivated by the patriotic idea to develop the NDT scientific and technology system and thus obtain a better personal and professional realization.
During this period the Section was headed by Assoc. Prof. Eng. Slavcho Popov - Chairman until 1982 and honorary Chairman until 1983, Assoc. Prof. Dr. A.Skordev - Chairman from 1982, Eng. D.Boev - Secretary until 1985, physicist K.Shivarov - Secretary (1987-1989), Prof. Dr.Hab. M.Mihovski - Secretary (1985-1987) and Vice-Chairman from 1987, Eng. Jurist K.Panev - Deputy Chairman (1982-1987). At that time Board members and active section members were: Assoc. Prof. D.Avramov (CIME), Phys. K.Marinov (Machinery Production Factory "Fr. Engels"), Phys. Z.Pechenikova (Ministry of Health Care), Assoc. Prof. Eng. D.Tzvetkov (Higher Institute of Mechanical Engineering), Res. Assoc. Phys. A.Nikolova ("Heavy Machinery Factory"-Radomir), Phys. M.Geshev ("Kremikovtzi" Factory), Phys. G.Ivanov ("Energoremont"), Z.Vassilev (Bulgarian Army), Res. Assoc. Eng. I.Bachvarov (CIME), Assoc. Prof. Eng. M.Lozev (HIMMASH), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eng. B.Tabakova (Higher Institute of Mechanical Engineering), Eng. M.Denev ("Metalurgavtomatika"), Phys. B.Katzarski (Automated Equipment Production Factory), Hr.Chukachev ("Chemical Factories"-Devnja), Eng. A.Andreev (Heavy Machinery Factory-Russe), Phys. M.Zagorska ("Autotractor Factory"-Stara Zagora), Eng. I.Angelov ("Minstroy"), Phys. G.Asparouhov (Ministry of Health Care), Res. Assoc. Eng. Assen Petrov etc.
The history of the intensive NDT development in Bulgaria and its relations worldwide are still to be written. The 28 large-scale events with more than 1500 participants and over 524 papers, 14 published editions, 25 visits to foreign countries are a serious analysis base. Obviously the Bulgarian experts can be proud of such an important public activity. And they can compare their work to the past achievements and try to reach new highs in the future.
The Society continued its routine - conferences, seminars and visits of its members in foreign countries. An editorial was established, headed by M.Mihovski starting to publish regularly the Society Bulletin. In order to provide resources for the Society's activity "Principles for reasonable commercialization" were accepted introducing higher membership and participation fees, advertising in the publications and finding sponsors. The Society was one of the founders of the Technical Standards Committee N 24 "Non-destructive Testing" established in 1992 on a voluntary stakeholder basis and a Certification Center (1996). The international contacts got wider by signing agreements and contracts for collaboration and professional contacts with similar societies: NAK NK of the Union of Democratic States (ex-URSS) (1992), BANKTD - Bjelorussia and the Israel Society (1993), AroENd - Romania (1994), HSNDT - Croatia and CSNDT - Canada (1996). In 1996 the National NDT Societies of Bulgaria and Israel signed an agreement for mutual recognition of the qualification of NDT experts. In 1998 we signed agreements for professional cooperation with ASNT (USA), USNDN (Ukraine), TNDT Committee (Turkey), RSNDT TD (Russia), ISNDTMD (Italy) and renewal of the agreement for corresponding membership with DGZfP (Germany). In 1998 BG S NDT became one of the founders of EFNDT and regularly pays the membership fee.
Another successful attempt was the establishment of a Society of private companies in the field of NDT in 1993. In 1992 the Executive Board of the Society took the initiative to propose amendments of the "Law for peaceful use of the atomic energy and permitted private property on radiation NDT means" (Article 2). 
The number of Society members is constantly increasing - from 24 founders in 1992 we had 176 individual and 16 group in the end of 1999. The general meeting of the Society is held regularly - every year.
The administration of the Society was based on democracy principles. Management Board, Executive Board and a Revision Committee were established. An award in the name of Slavcho Popov and a "honorary member" title was founded. The first seven experts of the Society were chosen.
In spite of the difficult situation we organized 8 national conferences with international participation with 1130 participants and 444 papers, as well as 9 seminars with 504 participants and 112 papers. Along with the conferences we are organizing youth schools for NDT structure investigation and testing of physical and mechanical properties. We have a permanent scientific seminar where our members report about their scientific work (doctorats). These events were not attended by so many people as it used to be in the past, but there were undoubted improvements in qualitative and quantitative aspects.
After the foundation of the Bulgarian Accreditation Body in 1998, a Personnel Certification Center for the NDT personnel at BG SNDT started to work. It is a fact now with the inestimable help of the honorary member of BG S NDT H. Wessel from DGZfP. The experts from BG S NDT supported the EFNDT's idea to amend the European Convention for transportation of dangerous freights. The idea of an agreement for regional professional cooperation came up. Its objective is to develop the non-governmental activity in the field of NDT in all the countries of the Balkan Peninsula and to prepare the membership of the rest of the Balkan countries (8 countries) still not members of ICNT.
During this period the Managing Board was headed by M.Mihovski, A.Skordev was the Chairman of the Society and K.Panev headed the Revision Committee. M.Kolarova (1990-1994), V.Boev (1990-1992) and P.Raikov (since 1994) were Secretaries.
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