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- since 1996 -

Materials Research Institute
Consulting to the NDT industry.
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Technical Discussions
bert smith
bert smith
02:24 May-15-2004
U/T training

My son recently failed an exam in U/T at a well known UK ndt training school.He said that the training was mostly remembering lots of maths that the old hands said he would never need. He is pretty good with computers and was surprised that most of the work was on a blackboard,which he then copied.

If there is a shortage of people entering the industry maybe its because students now need more up to date training methods.



 
 Reply 
 
Dave
Dave
06:53 May-18-2004
Re: U/T training
----------- Start Original Message -----------
: My son recently failed an exam in U/T at a well known UK ndt training school.He said that the training was mostly remembering lots of maths that the old hands said he would never need. He is pretty good with computers and was surprised that most of the work was on a blackboard,which he then copied.
: If there is a shortage of people entering the industry maybe its because students now need more up to date training methods.
------------ End Original Message ------------


As someone who used to teach NDT, and a long time practitioner (40 years) I agree that the emphasis on the use of formulae is sometimes hard to take when all you want to do is play with the instruments. I also rebelled against the maths but have found over the years that the basic theory has helped in many situations. If the old hands think a little harder I am sure they have used the results of the maths on many occasions, probably without thinking about it.
I suggest your son looks on it as a basic skill and within the context of the inspection. Don't fight it, learn from it, if you can't remember the formula can you remember the change in wavelength with frequency change for instance? and how that relates to beam spread, where is that spurious echo coming from? do you have a wide beam impinging on the side of a part? can you improve matters by changing frequency?
As for the blackboard, I take that every time with segments of graphic images and video. The board is so adaptable and points can be expanded on depending on the class feedback, this is sometimes difficult when following a fixed computerised course plan.
Also remember that to be an accredited course,the school has to follow a strict syllabus for each method, these being put together by people with wide experience in the field.
I don't feel that we are losing potential practitioners because of the training but rather the image of the profession. NDT needs to improve the status of the industry, look at pay grades, hours of work etc. NDT staff turn up at a job in a rattly old van where the stationery salesman turns up in an executive saloon.
All too often, when we turn up on site we are seen as trouble makers not as valuable members of the team working to a common goal.
Let's improve our image, believe in ourselves and the recruits will come.


 
 Reply 
 
Fiorenzo Sorcinelli
Fiorenzo Sorcinelli
06:24 May-19-2004
Re: U/T training
Because your son like computer I suggest to download from our web site (www.simula.it)the demo of our multimedia computer based training courses on NDT.
I think he will find them very interesting and pleasant.
He can also request a demo cdrom to Sonatest (sales@sonatest-plc.com)wich is our distributor for the english version of our NDT trraining cdrom.
Best regards.


 
 Reply 
 
colin
colin
03:09 May-19-2004
Re: U/T training
----------- Start Original Message -----------
: Because your son like computer I suggest to download from our web site (www.simula.it)the demo of our multimedia computer based training courses on NDT.
: I think he will find them very interesting and pleasant.
: He can also request a demo cdrom to Sonatest (sales@sonatest-plc.com)wich is our distributor for the english version of our NDT trraining cdrom.
: Best regards.
------------ End Original Message ------------

"Believe me guys you will need this stuff one day " is the cry of most UT trainers. 30 tear experienced UT techs have rarely found the need to use information on the manufacture of transducers except for cerification exams.
Better to let students play and get constant feedback from true to life simulations of the real thing.Remembering formula then becomes more meaningful and enduring.
UT training has changed little in the past 40 years.
How many training schools give their students personal computers to help visualise and understand
the method.?
UT needs to embrace all the modern teaching aids available and dump chalk and talk in favour of computer generated pictures.
www.auto-ut.com have developed fun interactice computer based UT exams for people who deserve training that is at least as smart as the classroom for modern 10 year olds .





 
 Reply 
 
bert smith
bert smith
03:34 May-19-2004
Re: U/T training
----------- Start Original Message -----------
: : My son recently failed an exam in U/T at a well known UK ndt training school.He said that the training was mostly remembering lots of maths that the old hands said he would never need. He is pretty good with computers and was surprised that most of the work was on a blackboard,which he then copied.
: : If there is a shortage of people entering the industry maybe its because students now need more up to date training methods.
:
: As someone who used to teach NDT, and a long time practitioner (40 years) I agree that the emphasis on the use of formulae is sometimes hard to take when all you want to do is play with the instruments. I also rebelled against the maths but have found over the years that the basic theory has helped in many situations. If the old hands think a little harder I am sure they have used the results of the maths on many occasions, probably without thinking about it.
: I suggest your son looks on it as a basic skill and within the context of the inspection. Don't fight it, learn from it, if you can't remember the formula can you remember the change in wavelength with frequency change for instance? and how that relates to beam spread, where is that spurious echo coming from? do you have a wide beam impinging on the side of a part? can you improve matters by changing frequency?
: As for the blackboard, I take that every time with segments of graphic images and video. The board is so adaptable and points can be expanded on depending on the class feedback, this is sometimes difficult when following a fixed computerised course plan.
: Also remember that to be an accredited course,the school has to follow a strict syllabus for each method, these being put together by people with wide experience in the field.
: I don't feel that we are losing potential practitioners because of the training but rather the image of the profession. NDT needs to improve the status of the industry, look at pay grades, hours of work etc. NDT staffturn up at a job in a rattly old van where the stationery salesman turns up in an executive saloon.
: All too often, when we turn up on site we are seen as trouble makers not as valuable members of the team working to a common goal.
: Let's improve our image, believe in ourselves and the recruits will come.
------------ End Original Message ------------

UT training classrooms are designed for beatniks.I would have hoped that the hippy generation would have burned the blackboards.Now its up to our grandchildren to demand training thats fit for the digital generation .As for image its time the teachers treated chalk like WMD.





 
 Reply 
 
Danial Carls
Danial Carls
00:23 May-20-2004
Re: U/T training
have been to a well know uk training school for my UT training and found that the training is outdated.
I was sat in front of the UT set and simply shown how to calibrate it, once I could do that I was told to find defects in samples giving to me.
The theory side was basically a large folder full of maths.
This was for me to revise and learn all by myself when I was at the digs, after training, but the theory reads out as if you have a ut set in front of you to practice with what you are learning.
When I did ask for help I was simple shown what was in the book, just on the blackboard.
I didn't even take my UT examination then as I knew I would have failed.

I have since been playing with some UT/AUT software online, the software I used simplifies the training, and taught me everything from sizing up the defects, to calibrating the set, this was more than I learned from the training course.

When I went in for my MPI we were show examples of what we didn't understand on a whiteboard (the new generation in training I think, or just cleaner than blackboards) The whiteboard was used about three times.
The rest of the time, our trainer wrote everything on paper, photo copied it and we had to revise it at night.
We were told what we needed to know for the exam, and what bits would not be in the exam, so we could forget them.

With the practical side of the course, we were giving test pieces, we would test them, but find other defects which were not there when they were entered for the exam (I daren't ask how old they are) The trainer would tell us not to note them down as the samples are damaged from mishandling and dropping them on the floor.
When we thought we were finished we were told that there is one more defect and shown a large area where it could be (it was in the indicated area) or we were told to stop as we had found everything.

If this is what training is, then a PCN can not show that you can do the job as I had found on one job were before I was qualified in UT I had to calibrate a set for a UT operator that can do thickness checking but can not calibrate a set, others just do half the job and guess the rest.
Is this what you call being qualified?
I personally think there is a need to change the training and bring it into the 20 century with competence testing.


 
 Reply 
 
Ed Ginzel
R & D, -
Materials Research Institute, Canada, Joined Nov 1998, 1274

Ed Ginzel

R & D, -
Materials Research Institute,
Canada,
Joined Nov 1998
1274
02:17 May-25-2004
Re: U/T training
----------- Start Original Message -----------
: : My son recently failed an exam in U/T at a well known UK ndt training school.He said that the training was mostly remembering lots of maths that the old hands said he would never need. He is pretty good with computers and was surprised that most of the work was on a blackboard,which he then copied.
: : If there is a shortage of people entering the industry maybe its because students now need more up to date training methods.
:
: As someone who used to teach NDT, and a long time practitioner (40 years) I agree that the emphasis on the use of formulae is sometimes hard to take when all you want to do is play with the instruments. I also rebelled against the maths but have found over the years that the basic theory has helped in many situations. If the old hands think a little harder I am sure they have used the results of the maths on many occasions, probably without thinking about it.
: I suggest your son looks on it as a basic skill and within the context of the inspection. Don't fight it, learn from it, if you can't remember the formula can you remember the change in wavelength with frequency change for instance? and how that relates to beam spread, where is that spurious echo coming from? do you have a wide beam impinging on the side of a part? can you improve matters by changing frequency?
: As for the blackboard, I take that every time with segments of graphic images and video. The board is so adaptable and points can be expanded on depending on the class feedback, this is sometimes difficult when following a fixed computerised course plan.
: Also remember that to be an accredited course,the school has to follow a strict syllabus for each method, these being put together by people with wide experience in the field.
: I don't feel that we are losing potential practitioners because of the training but rather the image of the profession. NDT needs to improve the status of the industry, look at pay grades, hours of work etc. NDT staffturn up at a job in a rattly old van where the stationery salesman turns up in an executive saloon.
: All too often, when we turn up on site we are seen as trouble makers not as valuable members of the team working to a common goal.
: Let's improve our image, believe in ourselves and the recruits will come.
------------ End Original Message ------------

I would like to endorse Mr. Davies perspective on training. Trying to dodge the mental aspects of NDT as though all real NDT is a simple matter of pushing a probe, cranking a source or spraying some particles over a surface, seems to avoid the real issue of training. If all NDT was as mundane as that then no training would be required. Perhaps for in-house certification on limited applications a relatively “math free” environment can be tolerated. However, nowadays most of the world is trending to a central certification system such as EN or ISO standards and the UK has been a leader in this trend. Such certification schemes mean that the certification is portable so “certified” technicians are “expected” to be adaptable and capable of thought processes that can solve problems, not just go through the motions of NDT.

Perhaps NDT teaching “methods” have not changed so much in the past 40 years, but the material covered has changed. That does not mean that the teaching method is out of date! The same methods are common to most teaching. In spite of now being in the 21st century and the trend towards computerisation, I still see most professors using overlays on projectors and blackboards (although most “blackboards” are now white and use colour markers). I have some of my material on “PowerPoint” but without a surface to draw on I could never provide the custom responses with visual solutions to the questions asked by students. Videos, screen projectors from computers and hand held samples are nice enhancements to training but not all situations and questions asked by students can be handled by these enhancements.

Contrary to the suggestion by the originator of this thread, I think that the need for mathematic understanding in NDT (especially UT) is greater now than it ever was. Computerisation has made NDT more graphic and descriptive. In so doing the underlying details are now far more complex than they were 40 years ago. If I ask a student how to increase the bandwidth of his probe to improve the lateral-wave dead zone I expect him to come up with solutions, not excuses. Solution require he understand the underlying concepts of bandwidth, pulser tuning by the effects of pulse length, whether or not the pulse is a bi-polar or uni-polar square wave, pulse voltage effects, etc. etc. And I then expect them to understand how to calculate the length of the lateral-wave dead zone (it is in the code and a Level 2 is expected to be aware of the Code contents). Even if they do not memorise the equation they should know where to get it so they can come up with the answer upon solving it. And what if the computer the UT Level 2 is using isnot able to store the file from the scan because the file size is too big? What options do they have to reduce file size? Without being able to calculate the effects of AD conversion rates, without knowing if the AD conversion is 7, 8 or 12 bit, or if data collection is 1 data sample per mm or 10 per mm, the effect of signal averaging, etc., the Level 2 will have no idea what options there are to complete the scan in an acceptable fashion.

Perhaps a Level 1 candidate can get by with a minimum of math to calculate simple aspects such as Snell’s Law, near field length and divergence, but a Level 2 candidate should be able to think about solutions to a variety of problems, not avoid the academics and just prepare to be an automaton. Perhaps in the “good old days” math was not as important but now more than ever math and a broader technical background is essential if a technician wants to find a place in the computerised applications of NDT.




 
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