Electricity and Control February 2022


Testing and inspection services in the water sector

Dekra Industrial SA, well-known for its non-destructive testing (NDT) and inspection services across a range of industries – including power generation, nuclear, oil and gas, construction, petrochemical and renewable energy – is expanding its existing services to the water sector. With 96 years in the industry through its global parent company, Dekra Industrial has established a reputation as a leader in NDT and inspection services, including material testing, laboratory testing, ‘one-stop’ NDT in- spection and corrosion control with rope access, lifting and drone inspections, advanced NDT, and asset integ- rity. It also provides industry training through the Dekra Institute of Learning (IOL). Until 2021, the water sector represented a limited share of the Dekra Industrial portfolio of work, but it is looking to change this. “We see the expansion of our service offering in the water sector becoming an integral part of our one-stop NDT and inspection services, generating new business for the company and adding value to the water sector,” says Johan Gerber, Managing Director, Dekra Industrial SA. Every industry needs water With a shortage of water – or the lack of water – becom- ing a concerning threat to South Africa’s sustained eco- nomic development, Dekra Industrial recognises that its experience in corrosion control and NDT solutions can be extended in the water sector. “Our entire services portfolio correlates with the test and inspection needs in the water sector and it therefore makes sense – for Dekra Industrial and our clients – that we extend our services in this vital sector,” says Gerber. The company will position itself to offer a holistic, ‘one- stop’ service of NDT inspection, corrosion control, weld- ing, water leakage detection, and certification services. “We will additionally offer corrosion control, painting and blasting to the water sector,” says General Manager Eddie van Hansen. “Above-ground pipelines, water purification plants, reservoirs, tanks and dam walls are all areas where corrosion takes place. Offering a multi- faceted approach, we will be able to supply our clients with a complete solution.” Pushing the boundaries of inspection Dekra Industrial will also offer clients in the water sec- tor advanced NDT and inspection solutions using drone technology. “For example, when we do concrete inspections us- ing drone technology, we can pick up problems that were previously hard to detect,” says van Hansen. “In the wa- ter sector, drone inspections can be done on dam walls and other concrete structures which are affected by water and corrosion. Furthermore, by offering concrete inspections on water tanks, we can detect leakages, sav- ing money and greater maintenance costs further down the line for private and municipal water entities.”

The company believes that automated drone inspec- tions can be used to address water losses resulting from ageing or poorly maintained infrastructure. Drones can be programmed to follow a specific route and digitally map cracks and leakages. Dekra Industrial’s Advanced Technology Manager and Level 3 Custodian, MC Liebenberg, who is responsible for the company’s drone inspection services, explains. “The camera essentially controls the drone and can de- tect hazards in water reservoirs or tanks, for example. The visual data obtained from the drone is recorded and, with the use of dimension data analytics and thermal im- aging, water infrastructure such as tanks, dam walls or reservoirs can then be repaired, section by section.” He highlights, for example, “Important water resourc- es such as the Vaal Dam would benefit hugely from reg- ular drone inspection. It has been estimated that up to 30% of its water volume is lost before it reaches stor- age, due to rust and corrosion leakages in underground pipes. Using drone inspection, we would be able to lo- cate the leakages and present solutions, applying our ‘one-stop’ ethos.” Other NDT technologies that can be put to use in the water sector include ultrasonic testing, alternating cur- rent field measurement (ACFM), acoustic emission (AE) measurement, and Hovermaps (where an additional thermographic camera with built-in software is attached to a drone). “Ground-penetrating radar is particularly effective where detection of water leaks under substrate such as tarmac is required,” Liebenberg adds, “and infrared technology applied in drone inspections can also effec- tively inspect areas at risk of cracks and leakage.” Importantly, he highlights that the data gathered in drone surveillance, for example, represents only 25% of the information. “Adding the necessary levels of value to that data is a key factor that enables us to provide clients with the information required to make critical operational and maintenance decisions.” he says. Dekra Industrial SA offers its synergistic range of ser- vices across South Africa and pan Africa. Drones can be used in non-destructive testing and inspection in the water sector.

For more information contact Dekra Industrial SA. Visit: www.dekrarsa.com

FEBRUARY 2022 Electricity + Control


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