In many cases, periodic inspections alone are not enough to detect damage to industrial equipment early enough to prevent it from deteriorating, and the equipment has to be replaced. However, as in the medical field, when it comes to monitoring industrial risks, prevention is better than cure. In all industrial sectors, including pharmaceuticals and chemicals, for example.
As a global specialist in non-destructive testing, and a driving force in the protection of installations and the control of industrial risks for over 40 years, the Mistras Group helps industry players to detect damage to their installations as a preventive measure. The group has won the trust of major players in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, by offering fast, reliable and effective advanced testing solutions, focused on the technical issues commonly encountered by these industries.
When it comes to plant monitoring, acoustic emission (AE), the Group's core business, is the only NDT technology that enables comprehensive, non-intrusive inspection and monitoring of pressurized equipment (P.E.S.). As a forerunner in this technology, Mistras has developed a number of integrated EA solutions to meet a variety of requirements.
This is the case with the Corpac method, designed to detect the early spread of localized corrosion (CSC, HIC, Sohic, etc.). This method is particularly well suited to identifying the onset of pitting on chilled, glycol or purified water networks, for example.
In the context of a one-off monitoring campaign, it enables the rapid identification of areas where corrosion is active, greatly simplifying operational decision-making and helping manufacturers to achieve economic added value. By way of example, the latest Corpac monitoring campaign (twenty-two zones) carried out at one of Mistras' customers following a drilling operation, revealed the existence of two active zones. The necessary measures for these two zones were thus implemented by the customer, saving him from having to replace his entire installation - a saving of around €400,000. A preventive inspection could have revealed the active zones, in particular the one at the origin of the breakthrough.
Comprehensive, non-intrusive ESP inspection
After more than 25 years of research and field experience, Mistras has developed the Ipac/Monpac method, which is also based on EA technology. It is used to assess the integrity of ESPs (especially those with removable lids and quick-closing devices) such as autoclaves, sterilizers and freeze-dryers.
This comprehensive solution, which is non-intrusive, fast, economical and compliant with the regulatory framework (decree of 20/11/2017), is suitable for maintenance operations, inspections and periodic requalifications, replacing hydraulic testing. Unlike a traditional test, it considerably limits the downtime of production resources, and completely eliminates the risks of technical incidents, such as flooding of premises and exceeding load capacities, or the presence of water, which can eventually lead to corrosion problems.
Deployment of PM2I
Mistras has the experience and the human and material resources needed to support manufacturers in applying the Industrial Modernization Plan (PM2I) - a plan launched by the French Secretary of State for Ecology in 2010 to take better account of the behavior of certain "risky" equipment over time - to their facilities.
Mistras' experts start by defining the scope of surveillance and, if necessary, implementing a Risk Based Inspection (RBI) approach in line with industrial constraints. They then draw up equipment diagrams (piping, tanks, air, steam and chilled water networks, etc.), define inspection plans and select the methods best suited to the problem and the type of equipment in question, then carry out all inspections and manage scheduling.
Mistras' know-how also covers one of the richest panels of advanced non-destructive testing techniques on the market. The company offers expertise in the field of Guided Wave Testing (GWT), a rapid inspection method for large pipe sections that uses long-range guided waves to provide a classification of pipe wall thickness by severity level. We also have expertise in Touch Point Corrosion (TPC) (method for detecting and evaluating corrosion under supports), and Guided Bulk Wave (GBW)/HOMC (non-intrusive method for inspecting areas inaccessible to traditional methods using short-range guided waves, which rapidly identifies corroded areas and enables corrosion levels to be classified by zone). Also to its credit: the OpenVision method (a real-time X-ray imaging method for identifying and locating the presence of corrosion under insulation and refrigeration on insulated piping lines, for which Mistras recently received authorization to supply from the ASN - Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire)) and multi-element eddy current (ECA) (a method enabling C-scan corrosion mapping to detect, among other things, leaks on half-shell reactors).
Rope access inspection in hard-to-reach areas
As on some storage tanks, rope access is sometimes the only cost-effective way to inspect a specific area. Mistras provides traditional and advanced NDT, rope access inspection and maintenance services to help manufacturers reduce their access costs. Mistras is the first French NDT company to be accredited as an Irata (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) Operator.
"We regularly call on Mistras to carry out inspections as part of our plan to modernize our industrial facilities, and to provide expertise and NDT services. The Mitsras staff provide in-depth inspections, the maps of defects found at the end of the inspections are very precise, and we are advised by qualified and experienced personnel to set up the relevant NDT according to our problems. Mistras' plus: its know-how in rope access inspection, thanks to its own teams of experienced rope access technicians, to inspect installations at height".comments Stanislas Camus, materials engineer and service provider for a major pharmaceutical group.
Come and visit us at Pharmatech Cosmetech (formerly Pharmacosmetech) on September 14, 15 and 16, 2021, in Chartres! Mistras will be showcasing all its solutions dedicated to the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors.
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