Wire rope inspection assessment for global brand highlights IMES expertise

14 Nov 2014

IMES has successfully completed a complex wire rope inspection assessment for a global business where it helped resolve a major issue with warehouse lifting operations.

The company, which has its headquarters in Aberdeen, provides load life cycle management solutions to the oil and gas, defence and industrial markets. Additionally, the company has established itself in the marine and subsea sectors.

IMES was engaged by a leading global brand to perform a wire rope non-destructive testing (NDT) survey at the firm’s London-based facility.

The business had experienced a series of issues with broken wires on 12 automated high bay cranes, resulting in a failure on one of the site’s main hoist crane wires. Following visual internal inspection tests, staff had repeatedly replaced the complete hoist wires on these cranes.

In order to find a long-term solution, the business approached several firms, including IMES, to discover the integrity of the wire rope fitted to its cranes. IMES’ wire rope NDT sensor head technology enables both internal and external inspection of the rope to be performed quickly and accurately.

Jason Smith, chief operating officer at IMES, said: “Due to the previous failure, the business had understandably lost confidence in the capability of visual inspection tests alone to identify faults in the wire rope.

“The high bay crane hoist wires fitted at this particular site are under continual tension, which makes it highly unlikely that any broken wire would be identified with the human eye.

“By performing only a visual inspection examination, it could lead to additional factors being missed, such as the running speed of the wire under inspection, location of internal broken wires, interstrand nicking and corrosion.”

Faced with this challenge, IMES carried out a wire rope NDT inspection on three of the high bay crane wires. The company’s wire rope NDT sensor head utilises magnetic saturation and flux leakage to detect discontinuities within wire rope. Whilst carrying out the inspection on two of the high bay crane hoist wires, a number of broken wires were identified that had not been found during previous visual inspections.

The remaining inspection on the third high bay crane found no broken wires despite the wire rope having previously been listed as defective by a third party.

Jason added: “The successful completion of this project highlights the wide range of capabilities possessed by the team at IMES. Working with a global business proved to be an excellent opportunity to demonstrate our level of competence and technical expertise and ability to find effective solutions to complex problems.

“In addition to resolving the lifting issue, our inspection team proved there was no fault where the client previously thought that they had a problem; helping to save time, money and resources.”

The wire rope NDT equipment provides assurances on internal and external wire rope integrity. Surface, as well as internal faults, are detected and measured, while inspections are not affected by wire rope lubricant, paint, dirt or plastic sealing material.

It also reduces the opportunity for human error as it does not rely entirely on the naked eye, which has the potential to miss defects.

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