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From our three distinct business centres in the UK, USA and CANADA, Sonatest design and produce a leading range of high performance ultrasonic NDT equipment and accessories.

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Technical Discussions
Dick Gray
Engineering,
Canada, Joined Nov 1999, 14

Dick Gray

Engineering,
Canada,
Joined Nov 1999
14
02:01 Sep-16-2005
Ultrasonic phased array file formats

I purchase phased array inspection services from a variety of vendors, some in the client group served by RD-Tech and some by Zetec. The manufacturer's software has subtle differences that can cause problems when trying to exchange data between them. No doubt in time these differences will become greater.

Has anyone written contractual language for procurement of phased array services to ensure the data generated is transparent to all?

How do you deal with software patches? An upgrade to resolve a particular problem may jeopardize the ability to interchange data between the different software packages.





    
 
 
Ed Ginzel
R & D, -
Materials Research Institute, Canada, Joined Nov 1998, 1219

Ed Ginzel

R & D, -
Materials Research Institute,
Canada,
Joined Nov 1998
1219
00:21 Sep-18-2005
Re: Ultrasonic phased array file formats
Dick:
There is actually such a requirement in the medical industry for obvious reasons. Data must be readable by doctors at different locations probably with different systems.

An attempt was made in this area in industrial NDT some years ago at EPRI I believe. Apparently some demonstration of feasibility was carried out but I think it failed to move forward because some NDT companies felt that their proprietary interests might be compromised. As well, there may be other commercial reasons for not sharing a single data format.
There does not be the same consumer pressures in NDT as there is in medical so it is left to the manufacturers to do what is best for their interests/products.

NDT software users are, I think, not so numerous as medical users so we do not have the same influence. But perhaps it is also a matter of need. The fact is not a lot of companies need more than one software package so why make a conversion patch or even an exchange format for a few dozen or even just a few hundred potential users. It is easier for developers to develop changes in their own software if unimpeded by an over riding imposed protocol.

But even in-house there can be issues. I worked on some of the systems used in OPG that were run using OPG-made software. I wonder if you could extract the information off the old reel-to-reel or digital cassette tapes we stored the data on 20 years ago and use it on your new form of GDCPS?

This is an interesting topic, I hope we can hear from some programmers on the subject.
Ed

----------- Start Original Message -----------
: I purchase phased array inspection services from a variety of vendors, some in the client group served by RD-Tech and some by Zetec. The manufacturer's software has subtle differences that can cause problems when trying to exchange data between them. No doubt in time these differences will become greater.
: Has anyone written contractual language for procurement of phased array services to ensure the data generated is transparent to all?
: How do you deal with software patches? An upgrade to resolve a particular problem may jeopardize the ability to interchange data between the different software packages.
------------ End Original Message ------------




    
 
 
Dick Gray
Engineering,
Canada, Joined Nov 1999, 14

Dick Gray

Engineering,
Canada,
Joined Nov 1999
14
05:19 Sep-21-2005
Re: Ultrasonic phased array file formats
Ed,

You have made some valid points; especially with respect to archival storage of date, however, my problem is with current equipment and software.

Drawing a parallel with general computing, it’s as if a Dell laptop can’t exchange files with a Compaq. Theoretically there shouldn’t be a problem, but some unseen nuance of BIOS, Windows XP or Microsoft Office version prevents exchange of data. In this situation, consumer pressure would force resolution but in the smaller NDT environment, resolution seems an uphill battle.

Without some standardization of file formats and software protocols, an opportunity for greater acceptance of phased array ultrasonics as an engineering tool is lost in a morass of commercial secrecy, non disclosure agreements, quarterly results and turf wars.

Finite Element Analysis is usually my “customer” so why can’t the defect found by phased array, be up loaded into ALGOR or similar packages for disposition ? Getting to this stage would require something like the IGES format in computer aided design. Export of a 3D model of the defect would also remove some of the black magic art of interpretation of the data.

In the short term, a spreadsheet or similar, showing what combinations of hardware, BIOS, operating system, UT software and “patches” are compatible would go a long way to de-bugging the problems at shop floor level.

----------- Start Original Message -----------
: Dick:
: There is actually such a requirement in the medical industry for obvious reasons. Data must be readable by doctors at different locations probably with different systems.
: An attempt was made in this area in industrial NDT some years ago at EPRI I believe. Apparently some demonstration of feasibility was carried out but I think it failed to move forward because some NDT companies felt that their proprietary interests might be compromised. As well, there may be other commercial reasons for not sharing a single data format.
: There does not be the same consumer pressures in NDTas there is in medical so it is left to the manufacturers to do what is best for their interests/products.
: NDT software users are, I think, not so numerous as medical users so we do not have the same influence. But perhaps it is also a matter of need. The fact is not a lot of companies need more than one software package so why make a conversion patch or even an exchange format for a few dozen or even just a few hundred potential users. It is easier for developers to develop changes in their own software if unimpeded by an over riding imposed protocol.
: But even in-house there can be issues. I worked on some of the systems used in OPG that were run using OPG-made software. I wonder if you could extract the information off the old reel-to-reel or digital cassette tapes we stored the data on 20 years ago and use it on your new form of GDCPS?
: This is an interesting topic, I hope we can hear from some programmers on the subject.
: Ed
: : I purchase phased array inspection services from a variety of vendors, some in the client group served by RD-Tech and some by Zetec. The manufacturer's software has subtle differences that can cause problems when trying to exchange data between them. No doubt in time these differences will become greater.
: : Has anyone written contractual language for procurement of phased array services to ensure the data generated is transparent to all?
: : How do you deal with software patches? An upgrade to resolve a particular problem may jeopardize the ability to interchange data between the different software packages.
------------ End Original Message ------------




    
 
 
David Forsyth
R & D
TRI/Austin, USA, Joined Nov 2001, 41

David Forsyth

R & D
TRI/Austin,
USA,
Joined Nov 2001
41
09:37 Sep-21-2005
Re: Ultrasonic phased array file formats
Good thread. This is a problem not just for phased array UT. In my previous job at NRC Canada, we wrote code to access the data from multiple vendors, usually with the vendors' help. I do remember one vendor saying that their file format was proprietary, and they would not give us access!

ASTM has approved a version of the medical radiography file format for use in NDE, see ASTM E 2339-04 Standard Practice for Digital Imaging and Communication in Nondestructive Evaluation. I have not evaluated this closely to see if it can be used for the wide array of data we use in NDE. Has anyone used this?

Regards, Dave.





    
 
 

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