Construction quality standards are dictated by engineering design or regulatory requirements. The type of service determines the specific nondestructive examination (NDE) requirements. Petrochemical, power, and high-pressure service are typical areas of construction that use codes and standards to specify quality requirements.
Most of the construction industry employs NDE subcontractors to perform required nondestructive examinations. Some companies use approved vendor lists for the selection of subcontractors. The evaluation of subcontractor programs and personnel is a cost to construction. Where it is not required, evaluations are often eliminated to reduce costs to construction.
A better system is needed to assure more consistent performance of nondestructive examinations. The present cost to industry resulting from substandard performance is excessive. Prequalification of NDE subcontractors programs and personnel will reduce the costs to construction that are associated with poor performance.
Increased utilization of ASTM Practice for Determining the Qualification of Nondestructive Testing Agencies (E 543) will improve the general qualifications of the nondestructive testing agencies and result in improved performance.
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