pCall us toll free: +1 844 643 4273 (1-844-MIDGARD)

Have you ever heard of rope access? I bet you’ve seen it several times in your life. Did you know that you need to be certified before you can perform rope access work?


The movie Mission Impossible gives a good illustration of rope access. In the movie, there is a scene where Tom Cruise’s character must enter a room to access a secure computer. There are so many alarm triggers that he has to enter and exit the room from the ceiling. He, literally, used a rope to access his “work site.”


Getting back to the real world now, what if you are an NDT inspector and hear about a job that pays a little more than normal, but requires rope access certification before you can get hired?


Two of the organizations that provide qualification and certification guidance for this are SPRAT and IRATA. The North American society is called the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT), and the International association is called the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA International). In this article, we will limit our discussion to SPRAT, which is a non-profit organization.


Why do these organizations exist? After all, NDT didn’t just randomly come into existence. NDT grew out of a need to improve safety and increase efficiencies. The American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) evolved to support the ever-changing NDT requirements. ASNT is also a non-profit organization. Their website can be found here: https://www.asnt.org/.


On December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge in West Virginia collapsed, killing 46 people. This led to the Federal Highway Act of 1968, which caused the Secretary of Transportation to create the National Bridge Inspection Standard. A current list of these standards can be found here: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/nbis.cfm.


You may have a dare-devil friend who fearlessly climbs to heights that would make you dizzy. Most of us, however, would prefer to use a safety device to ensure we go home in one piece.


This is where rope access comes in. SPRAT, since the mid-1990’s, has developed a framework to make sure employers who require folks to work in dangerous locations do so safely and only do so after completing some training and examinations. Typical training for Levels I and II can be completed in a 5-day course, with the exams on the last day.


Rope access certifications are in addition to your NDT certifications. They can be used together, but each certification is geared toward a specific skill set. You could be an NDT Level III with 20 years of experience, and you will still start at Level I with rope access because NDT doesn’t teach you the intricacies of using a rope to get to where you need to inspect.


Experience can only be gained when you are performing work while on a rope, so certifications are sequential.


Certification to Level I does not require any experience. You will complete the training and must pass both a written exam and a skills evaluation. This certification remains valid for 3 years. You must be certified before any experience hours are counted.


Certification to Level II requires 500 hours and 6 months of experience as a Level I. Once again, you will be required to pass a written exam and a skills evaluation. This certification remains valid for 3 years.


Certification to Level III requires 500 hours and 6 months of experience as a Level II. This means you will need a total of 1000 hours in order to qualify to Level III. As with the previous levels, there is a written exam and a skills evaluation. An additional requirement for Level III certification is a current CPR AED and First Aid Certification. This certification remains valid for 3 years.


An obvious component of the skills evaluations is your ability to tie a variety of knots. Some of these are bowlines, Flemish Bends, and barrel knots. Remember, rope access, as it pertains to NDT, is about safely getting your body to a hard-to-reach location so you can perform an inspection.


Rope AccessOnce you master the knots and the basics of moving around on a rope, you will be ready to work as a Level I. Level II requirements go a little further. You will need to know how to place anchors, how to help another climber, how to slide, and how to rescue haul. As a Level III, you will have already mastered all of the previous requirements, so your focus will move to the bigger picture. You will be responsible for ensuring the safety of all rope access workers at a job site.


So, what types of job sites require rope access certifications? The short answer is, any location that can’t be accessed with other technology. Offshore rigs use rope access extensively. Also, ropes are much less expensive than cranes and cherry pickers, so they can be tailored to specific on-shore locations. Let’s say you need to inspect a bridge. There will be locations on the sides of the bridge that you need to inspect. There might also be locations on the bottom side of the bridge that need to be inspected. Different techniques are required to access each of these areas.


Rope access is not used solely for NDT. Other applications include, concrete repair, photography, cinematography, geological surveys, and pressure washing, to name a few.


To learn more about rope access, you can visit SPRAT at http://sprat.org/. You can find free downloadable standards and certification requirements at http://sprat.org/publications/standards/


To learn more about NDT, call us at 1-844-643-4273 (1-844-MIDGARD) or visit our website at www.midgardscientific.com.

It’s tough to read the news these days without coming across an article discussing how the cost of going to college continues to rise. We all know that Ivy League schools and out-of-state tuition are expensive. However, according to The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges, even in-state tuition at public institutions continues to rise. In fact, over the last five years, these tuition rates have increased between 3% and 54%, and all 50 states saw increases.


College tuition rates rise, NDT training rates remain cost effectiveWhen young adults graduate from high school, most have to choose between finding a job, and getting additional education. Some jobs, like military service, provide paid training followed by a service commitment. Many employment options for high school graduates will include entry-level manual labor. If someone earns a college degree, there is no guarantee that they will find a job that is both satisfying and high-paying. Additionally, after graduation, the bank will require monthly payments until the student loans have been paid off. To put this in perspective, a person who graduates from college with $20,000 to $40,000 in student loan debt will have a monthly payment similar to someone who bought a new car. The difference is that the student loan payment is in addition to this person’s car payment.


A college degree vs an NDT career is in no way an equal match. The field of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) continues to see growth year after year. Why? NDT is useful in a wide variety of applications. NDT professionals use various methods to inspect things without damaging them. Most people have seen a radiograph. The film can show a tiny bone fracture. Likewise, NDT inspectors can see cracks in various structures such as aircraft, ships, pressure vessels, bridges, sculptures, etc. Virtually anything can be inspected with one of the 15 inspection methods accepted by the recommended practice SNT-TC-1A, and the technology improves every year. Tuition prices at universities continue to rise and with state funding decreasing, universities are relying on tuition more and more. NDT wins!


Why might this matter to you? If you are looking for a different career or have recently graduated and have never heard of NDT, there are lots of opportunities out there. Once qualified and certified, you could work in an oil and gas field in Texas or on a pipeline in northern Alaska. You could inspect windfarms in the Midwest or fly to another country to work for 6 months and then fly home with enough money for the rest of the year. It’s up to you. There aren’t many sure things in the world these days, but continued growth in the NDT field and the increased need for qualified inspectors come pretty close to a sure thing. Most employers will pay you while you complete the formal training requirements and then place you under the supervision of an NDT Level II until you have enough experience hours. As you learn more, you can earn more.


The question comes down to Nondestructive Testing as a career or a college degree with no promise of an income. For more information on annual income, positions, wages etc, we recommend reviewing the PQNDT Salary Survey 2014.


If you are interested in formal Midgard Academy NDT Training we recommend filling out our secure information form.

Non-destructive Testing (NDT) and the Automotive Industry go hand in hand. The automotive industry spans a wide range of corporations that involves the marketing, development, and manufacturing of motor vehicles. Motor vehicles serve many functional roles these days. They also serve to drive our desire for adventures, long journeys, road trips and exploration. Motor vehicles have made our lives easier. Travelling, going to work, and driving children to school over long distances is now commonplace.


We take for granted, the safety a modern motor vehicle provides and we place little thought into the advanced testing each one has undergone prior to, during and after production. Lesser still are any thoughts to the little-known process called non-destructive testing or NDT.


During the production and testing of a vehicle, engineers can calculate approximations of wear and breakage of vehicle components. Ultimately these parts must be assembled and tested. Many tests occur on individual components prior to the assembly of a vehicle, and many tests occur after the assembly is complete. It is when something breaks down, or becomes defective that a measure of that defect must be taken. A non-destructive technician will then perform an inspection primarily for data collection. This data then aids an engineer to redesign the component to ensure greater longevity or safety. The use of NDT results is helpful to the outcome.


Read more!

Fine Art and Nondestructive Testing (NDT) may seem unlikely companions.  The current paradigm of NDT focuses primarily on industrial needs. This is most likely due to the scientific nature of NDT as well as the need for NDT arising from industries associated with manufacturing and the preservation of engineered items.


The pool of industries utilizing nondestructive methods is growing and with this growth comes the need for NDT companies to either proact or react to new potentials. In the pursuit of being proactive Midgard Scientific, LLC has opened a new division to focus on the quality preservation of priceless cultural mediums.


The conservation of fine art requires mechanical data collection by nondestructive means. Destructive testing of a priceless symbol of the human experience cannot be employed. Long-term preservation demands advanced knowledge of an item’s mechanical or material properties.


The current Art Conservation industry will more likely offer up someone with a Degree in the Arts. This is unlikely to change over time as Art as a reflection of the inner world, remains at the core of the industry. That being said, art conservation is increasingly relying on science.


800px-Diana_MSGReflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), Photogrammetry, and Algorithmic Rendering are a few new methods Midgard Conservations will provide. These methods are primarily used for aging Classical or Neo-Classical Paintings.  Standard Ultrasonic Thickness testing and Radiography is typically used on Statue Preservation. Ultimately the central direction of conservation work remains as it has been for decades, however with the introduction of Nondestructive Testing added to the Conservators tool belt, the ability for long-term preservation is enhanced.


A good example of Nondestructive Testing within the Fine Art world is the Gilded Diana. Also known as “Diana of the Tower”, the copper statue, created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, required extensive conservation efforts. For over thirty years, it sat atop the Madison Square Garden building. Diana’s golden surface and the sculpture went through degradation due to the effects and exposure to the weather atop the building. In 1925, just prior to the demolition of the building, the statue was removed from atop the building. The time spent atop the tower had diminished the look of the golden finish.


The Philidelphia Museum of Art adopted the statue and began its preservation in 2013. The transformation of the statue was astounding. In 2014, the restoration was completed and included the use of Nondestructive Testing methods.


For more on the Gilded Diana please visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the state of the art in digital capture and documentation of the world’s cultural, historic, and artistic treasures.” CHI has developed some remarkable technology toward the preservation of history. Midgard Scientific’s Conservation services will be utilizing a few of these technologies.


Midgard Scientific ConservationReflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) is an imaging technique used in natural history and cultural heritage preservation. It enables the study of minute surface details. Multiple photos are taken, while light from differing angles is projected onto an object. The information from the light is synthesized so that the viewer can enhance the representation of the object’s surface.


Algorithmic Rendering (AR) essentially vectors or plots, mathematically, a reliable digital illustration of a non-digital work, such as a painting or sculpture. AR extracts relevant visual information from photographic datasets. AR incorporates these results and yields answers to critical questions using selective emphasis and abstraction.


Aside from new technologies, general Conservation methods are important.  As Nondestructive Testing is currently used to preserve the value of modern industrial machines and infrastructure, so too is the need to preserve our cultural and natural history.  No quantification of price can provide the true cost of ensuring the story of humanity is preserved for future generations.


In the grand quest for the perfect Nondestructive Testing and Eddy Current Array solution, Eddyfi has developed a unique approach. Recently Eddyfi launched Reddy™, a turnkey eddy current array (ECA) unit. This device is acclaimed as the only portable offering in its class and designed for in-service needs of the power generation, aerospace, and oil and gas industries.


The Reddy™ eddy current array (ECA) unit comes with a large, premium-quality display and easy to use software that is top of the line. The portable system is the state-of-the-art solution to surface ECA testing. Quite simply the Reddy™ is faster and more efficient than traditional means of determining cracks and corrosion on welds, tanks, pipes, and vessels.


Combining Eddyfi’s ECA or tangential ECA (TECA™) probes, their powerful Magnifi® and Magnifi GO software, and expert support, they may have generated the finest packages for surface eddy current array inspections.

Read more!

Midgard Scientific, LLC is fully DICONDE ASTM E07.11, ASTM E2339, ASTM E2663, ASTM 2767, ASTM E2699, ASTM WK20537, and ASTM E2738 compliant.


Digital Imaging and Communication in Nondestructive Evaluation (DICONDE) is concerned with the formulation of standards for the communication and storage of image data generated by all nondestructive testing methodologies capable of displaying images/data in an electronic format. The communication and storage standard called ASTM DICONDE is based on the universally adopted medical standard DICOM.


Critical infrastructure such as aviation, transportation, energy, and defense all require long-term retention of inspection data. DICONDE is more than merely a file format, as it features a communication protocol, workflow, security, display consistency, and application hosting. Ultimately the benefits include remote data access and review, automated escalation processes for non-standard inspection results, confidence data has not been modified, ability to know how the inspector viewed the image when making accept/reject decisions, and custom data processing modules that will run on all DICONDE image review stations.


ASTM DICONDE concept began in 1985. Originally grown from the medical field it is beginning to show up in Nondestructive Testing labs through vendors adopting the standard to improve the quality of their data collection and overall service.


ASTM DICONDE is used by Midgard Scientific NDT

DICONDE Timeline


The DICONDE standard practices are ASTM E2339, ASTM E2663, ASTM 2767, ASTM E2699, ASTM WK20537, and ASTM E2738.


ASTM E2339 is the general DICONDE Standard, from it the (UT) Ultrasound, (RT) Radiographic Testing, (CR) Computed Radiography, and (CT) Computed Tomography Standards kick in.


We decided to conform to the DICONDE Standard to ensure data consistency throughout all of our files management processes. Changes to computer hardware and software, changes to vendors and maintaining all metadata is no longer a concern.


ASTM E07.11 is the ASTM Subcommittee E07.11 on Digital Imaging and Communication in Nondestructive Evaluation (DICONDE). The full stack listing of the E07.11 is:


E1475-13 Standard Guide for Data Fields for Computerized Transfer of Digital Radiological Examination Data – http://www.astm.org/Standards/E1475.htm


E2339-11 Standard Practice for Digital Imaging and Communication in Nondestructive Evaluation (DICONDE) – http://www.astm.org/Standards/E2339.htm


E2663-14 Standard Practice for Digital Imaging and Communication in Nondestructive Evaluation (DICONDE) for Ultrasonic Test Methods – http://www.astm.org/Standards/E2663.htm


E2699-13 Standard Practice for Digital Imaging and Communication in Nondestructive Evaluation (DICONDE) for Digital Radiographic (DR) Test Methods – http://www.astm.org/Standards/E2699.htm


E2738-13e1 Standard Practice for Digital Imaging and Communication Nondestructive Evaluation (DICONDE) for Computed Radiography (CR) Test Methods – http://www.astm.org/Standards/E2738.htm


E2767-13 Standard Practice for Digital Imaging and Communication in Nondestructive Evaluation (DICONDE) for X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) Test Methods – http://www.astm.org/Standards/E2767.htm


E2934-14 Standard Practice for Digital Imaging and Communication in Nondestructive Evaluation (DICONDE) for Eddy Current (EC) Test Methods – http://www.astm.org/Standards/E2934.htm


For more information on DICONDE Standard please visit the ASTM website. Click here for a brief overview.