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Skyriders scores full marks for NDT inspection at Eskom power stations

Rope-access specialist Skyriders has been honing its Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) expertise since 2002, having received the stamp-of-approval from Eskom to conduct this specialist service at its power-station fleet, including Kendal in Mpumalanga.

NDT forms part of a holistic Wear Failure System that Eskom has in place in terms of the maintenance and repair programme for its power-station fleet. This ranges from visual inspection through to ultrasonic wall-thickness measurement (UT) and dye-penetrant or magnetic particle testing, to name a few. “All of these inspection methods are aimed at determining the current condition and any defects with the various components,” Skyriders Marketing Manager Mike Zinn explains.

As the country’s only electricity utility, Eskom has rigorous processes and procedures with regard to repair and maintenance. While the bulk of its NDT services are provided by contractors using traditional scaffolding, Skyriders comes into its own as far as confined spaces and difficult-to-reach areas are concerned.

Due to the fact that the human eye cannot possibly detect all defects in a particular component, the bulk of Skyriders’ scope of work for Eskom is based on UT wall-thickness measurement and visual inspection, with dye penetrant and magnetic particle testing both a close second.

The importance of NDT for maintenance purposes is underlined by the fact that, if a power-station boiler experiences a tube rupture due to wear, it can cause extensive damage, which necessitate a shutdown for inspection and repair. This can translate into load losses for the national grid.

Skyriders offers a full suite of inspection services, from NDT to rope access. Its in-house expertise includes concrete repair, confined spaces, painting, bolting, rigging and welding,  general work-at-height and the use of collision tolerant drones. “Our technicians are not only qualified and highly skilled in rope access, but also have expertise in critical inspection methodologies such as NDT,” Zinn concludes.

About Skyriders
Skyriders (Pty) Ltd., established in 1998, is a leader in the South African rope access industry, providing cost- and time-saving solutions to clients in the power generation and petrochemical industries who require rope access aided inspection, NDT and maintenance work to be done in difficult to reach, high-up locations.

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