GE’s CT Line Enhances Capabilities with Hexagon Agreement WUNSTORF, GERMANY—The phoenix computed tomography (CT) line of GE Measurement & Control Solutions has significantly enhanced its marketing capabilities by entering into a commercial cooperation with Hexagon Metrology (Surrey, UK), one of the world’s largest metrology groups. This collaboration will see the first computed tomography system introduced into Hexagon Metrology’s key industry segments within the next few months. Hexagon Metrology is part of the Hexagon AB Group and includes leading metrology brands such as Brown & Sharpe, Leica Geosystems and Leitz. It has a global installed base of coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), portable measuring systems and handheld instruments, as well as tens of thousands of metrology software licenses. GE sees the collaboration as an ideal match, marrying its expertise as a technology leader in industrial and healthcare computed tomography with Hexagon Metrology’s strong presence in a wide range of industrial sectors, its metrology knowhow and its market-leading software. “With its global sales network and its metrology application expertise, we believe that Hexagon Metrology will greatly help to boost the use of computed tomography in industrial metrology,” states Juan Mario Gomez, general manager of radiography, GE’s Measurement & Control Solutions business. Mecnov NDT Systems Acquires Contour Dynamics LEVIS, CANADA—Mecnov, a provider of industrial-strength automated nondestructive testing (NDT) solutions, announced it has acquired all the assets of Contour Dynamics Inc. (Wichita, KS). The transaction confirmed that Mecnov will receive all intellectual properties of Contour Dynamics, including motion control software, trademarks and technological know-how, as well as works-inprogress and accounts receivable from active contracts. Contour Dynamics is a privately-held company established in 2001. The company has been recognized for its expertise in multiaxis, automated, ultrasound inspection scanners for mission critical structures and parts of advanced composite materials used in aerospace applications. Kennedy Gagnon, president of Mecnov, hailed the acquisition as an opportunity to allow the company to accelerate its expansion and market diversification. “Over the years, Contour Dynamics has delivered reliable automated NDT systems to numerous customers,” Gagnon says. “It has a complementary product portfolio and is greatly respected within the industry. The high level of customer satisfaction enjoyed by their clients, which reflects a similar scale by which Mecnov judges its success, made this transaction an ideal fit for both companies. Our immediate objective is to commit the necessary resources to further grow the business.” Mecnov will operate its new, fullyowned subsidiary under the name of Contour Dynamics Inc. and plans to transfer operations from the current location to a new facility, to be located in Wichita. Kevin Simkins, former president of Contour Dynamics, will remain in charge of the operations. Spitzer Completes Acquisition of AIT HOUSTON—Spitzer Industries Inc. announced the completion of its acquisition of Advanced Inspection Technologies (AIT, Houston). AIT specializes in performing advanced nondestructive testing (NDT) of welds and base materials, using phased array ultrasonic testing and computed radiography. The acquisition also furthers Spitzer’s fabrication capabilities with deeper welding engineering and technology capabilities. AIT was founded in March of 2003 by Michael Beard and Jim Halley with the primary focus of developing automated ultrasonic testing equipment and procedures necessary to compete for contracts within the nuclear, power and energy sectors. AIT serves a broad customer base within these sectors as well as the petrochemical, refining, aerospace, and offshore oil and gas industries. AIT performs inspections using automated, semiautomated and manual systems and techniques using phased array ultrasonic testing of welds, vessels and forgings. AIT also performs conventional forms of NDT, which include film radiography, positive material identification, remote visual inspection, magnetic particle testing, penetrant testing and hardness testing. AIT also provides welding engineering services, such as welding program development, weld procedure development and qualification and project management. “We at Spitzer are excited to have AIT as part of our team and look forward to taking our combined talents to current and potential customers,” says Cullen Spitzer, chief executive officer of Spitzer. “We have been working diligently over the past months trying to strengthen our capabilities with respect to welding technology and welding engineering. With the acquisition of AIT, we now have a more complete portfolio of services to offer our customers and look forward to providing expanded product lines, state of the art technology, engineering and NDE services to our clients.” “From AIT’s perspective, we are pleased to expand the advanced NDT services that we provide into Spitzer’s fabrication facilities,” says Jim Halley, co-founder of AIT. “It’s a perfect fit—world-class fabrication and advanced NDT. Incorporating advanced NDT into fabrication as a means of process control helps to ensure that the specialized equipment manufactured by Spitzer will perform as expected in some of the most challenging environments in the world. We are excited to be part of the Spitzer team and look forward to helping Spitzer to continue setting themselves apart from their competitors.” Michael Beard, co-founder of AIT, says he is excited about returning to fabrication and working with Cullen and the team at Spitzer. “Integrating the services AIT has been known for into Spitzer’s manufacturing facilities will give us a competitive advantage by offering state of the art services that no other fabricator in the industry can offer,” he says. “With my experience and background in welding engineering and welding technology, I will be working with the Spitzer team to expand our services in NDE and fabrication in support of critical fabrications for offshore oil and gas and the nuclear industry.” PAG Adds NDT Certification and Capabilities ATLANTA—Precision Aviation Group (PAG), exclusive provider of inventory supported maintenance repair and overhaul (ISMRO), announces that its subsidiary, Precision Accessories and Instruments (PAI) has been awarded nondestructive testing (NDT) certification by the FAA. PAG has MRO shops for accessories, avionics, hydraulics, instruments, NDT, starter/generators and wheels/brakes. With 90,000 square feet of facilities in Atlanta, and Vancouver, BC, unlimited FAA ratings for accessories, avionics and instruments, PAG provides tier-one MRO and supply chain services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. NIST Expert Software Lowers the Stress on Materials Problems GAITHERSBURG, MD—Computer scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have improved software that can take much of the guesswork out of tough materials problems. The software package, object-oriented finite (OOF) element analysis, is a specialized tool to help materials designers understand how stress and other factors act on a material with a complex internal structure, as is the case with many alloys and ceramics. As its starting point, OOF uses micrographs—images of a material taken by a microscope. OOF has been available in previous versions since 1998, but the new version (2.1) that the NIST team released in February, adds a number of improvements. According to team member Stephen Langer, version 2. 1 is the first dramatic extension of the original capabilities of the software. Jet turbine blades, for example, can spin more efficiently with a layer of ceramic material sprayed onto their surfaces, but the ceramic layers are brittle. Knowing how these ceramic layers will respond as the metal blades heat up and expand over time is one of the many problems OOF 2.1 is designed to help solve. Later this year, the team expects to enable users to analyze three-dimensional (3-D) micrographs of a material, rather than the two-dimensional (2-D) “slices” that can be analyzed at this point.
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