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NDT.net Issue - 2007-10 - NEWS
NDT.net Issue: 2007-10
Publication: e-Journal of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) ISSN 1435-4934 (NDT.net Journal)

Low Cost NDT Ultrasonic Flaw Detector Now Available in U.S. Market from Precision Images

Starmans Electronics17, Prague, Czech Republic

LARGO, Fla. -- Precision Images, LLC of Largo, Florida has announced that it is now distributing the Starmans DIO 562LC one-channel digital flaw detector monitor for the non-destructive testing industry with a list price of $4,295.00. The Starmans unit, which features a sturdy metal case and a large display screen (128 x 256 pixels), is more than competitive, price-wise, with other flaw detectors that are priced at $7,000 and above.

The Starmans DIO 562LC is designed for use in harsh operating environments of 0(degree)C to +50(degree)C. It is used extensively by the oil and gas industry to monitor the condition and potential fatigue of numerous materials and equipment, ranging from pipelines to drilling bits. Ultrasonic testing is also used in a wide variety of industries including the manufacturing, aerospace, transportation, and the paper/pulp industries.

The 562LC features an ability to utilize plug in PCMCIA cards (1 MB) for up to 780 A-scans and an RS-232 (RS-485) communications interface. Other specifications for the unit include:

  • 100 AVG diagrams, 100 DAC
  • PRF: 20-5000 Hz diagrams
  • 100 device settings, w/6 minute
  • 300 device settings, w/o voice voice recording recording
  • Burst: 1.0-8 MHz
  • Max. range in steel: 10.5 m
  • Analogue filters: Wideband 2.5,
  • Digital Filters (FIR): 1, 2.5, 5.0, 4.0 MHz 5.0, 4.0 MHz
  • Gain: 20-100 dB in 0.1 dB steps
  • Propagation velocity: 1.000- 10.000 m/sec
  • Frequency Range: 0.5 - 20 MHz
  • Digitization rate: 36-256 MHz

The 562LC has an operating time of up to 7 hours with a NiMh battery of up to 12 hours with an optional LiIon battery.

According to Precision Images' President, Bob Fountaine, "The 'LC' model is an ideal product for companies and organizations who want to conduct their own NDT operations, as well as by consultants and outside labs. This product is a real value in terms of price vs. features and functions."

In the field, the Starmans 562 unit is already winning praises from NDT technicians who are using it. Gary Garceau, an NDT tech with TQS, Inc. of Houston, Texas, uses his "562" unit for destructive testing of metallic materials (carbon steel, stainless steel) prior to manufacture and also for inspections of welds, plates, and forging. 85% of Garceau's usage is fieldwork where he previously used a Sonatest unit for 12 years. Garceau says he finds the Starmans unit to be "easy to set up, easy to carry and easy to read (the display) in bright sunlight." "It does all I need it to do," he said, adding that he feels that the 562 offers a great value, with lots of good features at a price that's "about half of competitive models." The Starmans' variable programs and ease of access to multiple testing modes are important features that appeal to Garceau. He also likes the fact that his local Starmans Electronics distributor, Vince Harr of AIP in Houston, has the capability to service the Starmans unit locally versus returning the unit to the U.K. (as with the Sonatest system.)

Likewise, Kirk Corbin, a Level II NDT inspector with International Oilfield Services/PCI in Houston, uses a Starmans 562 to inspect weld integrity, metals thicknesses and straight beams in the harsh operating environments of the oil fields in Texas, Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico. He finds the 562 has good capabilities for D11 weld analysis; it simplifies the math calculations by doing them automatically in the machine (vs. manual transfer to a calculator); and it's extremely accurate, according to Corbin who cited one calculation was off by only 1/32" at angle and depth. He also talks about an instance where a customer rejected his use of his previous flaw detector - a Krautkramer USK-7 unit - which the customer felt didn't provide valid readings. Corbin used the Starmans unit instead.

He feels the 562 provides very good readability in both dark environments with its backlit display and in bright light where the contrast adjustment really helps especially for displays of D11 trigonometry results. He likes the unit's ability to go directly to desired screen, instead of "wading" through numerous menus. He also points out that it has ability to save calibrations, which saves time by allowing user to return/refer back to previous settings; he says he can "cal up" in less than 5 minutes. He's already recommended the unit to other techs, but cautions it's best used by experienced technicians and that it's not a device "to learn on." Like Garceau of TQS, Corbin, who's certified in UT, PT and VT, decided to purchase the Starmans 562 because of its low price and full feature set.

Standard accessories included with each unit include a metal carrying case, a field protection case, an accumulator box (ni-MH), a recharger, 1 BNC to Microdot cable, two LEMO 00 (small) 1.5 meter BNC cable, two LEMO 01 (big) 1.5 meter BNC cable, two 1.5-meter BNC-BNC cables, and one RS-232 PC connector cable.

The Starmans DIO 562 product family includes five different models, including a 2-channel version and a low-frequency version suited for materials with high attenuation of ultrasonic waves.

The Starmans DIO 562LC and other non-destructive testing products can be ordered through Precision Images' new e-commerce Web site: www.ndtpi.com

Starmans Electronics, based in the Czech Republic, is an established manufacturer and distributor of electronics products throughout the world. The company has been certified as meeting ISO 9001:2001 standards for quality management throughout its research, development, sales and service of electronics products for the NDT market.

Precision Images LLC is a Largo, Florida-based technology aggregator and service provider for the printed circuit board, non-destructive testing, surveillance/data recording/reprographics industries. The company is a national distributor for industrial film products from Kodak and FOMA Bohemia. Precision Images has separate divisions for sales of film products to the printed circuit board, NDT and surveillance, data recording and reprographics industries. For the non-destructive testing industry, the company markets radiography products, chemicals, parts & accessories, penetrants, magnetic particle, as well as ultrasonic testing equipment.

To learn more about high-quality, low cost NDT products and films, please visit our Websites at www.precision-images.biz or www.ndtpi.com

Contact Info: Precision Images, LLC, 10741-B Endeavour Way, Largo, FL 33777; Phone: 727.544.0201; Fax: 727.541.5888; E-Mail: business@precision-images.biz; Web: www.precision-images.biz

The "PI" logo is a registered trademark. (C) Precision Images, Inc. All rights reserved. All other names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

For more information on the Starmans DIO 562 product family click here here

Keywords: Ultrasonic Testing (UT) (4107), business (132), instrumentation (454),
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