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Sustained Capability for Ultrasonic Inspection of Steam Generator Tubing
Tiny Rotating Ultrasonic Tube Inspection Equipment (TRUSTIE™) is a high resolution ultrasonic
imaging system specialized for small diameter tubing inspection.  It was originally developed by Kinectrics (previously Ontario Hydro Technologies) in the 1990s. Since its invention, TRUSTIE™ has been successfully deployed in many CANDU reactor inspection programs. Its unique capability in flaw detection, sizing and characterization has played an important role in the life cycle management of steam generators. However, some of the components used by the legacy TRUSTIE™ system became obsolete and for continued service, a system upgrade was required.
As the OEM manufacturer of TRUSTIE™ systems, Kinectrics promptly responded to customers’ requests and successfully upgraded the system with new compact design features, including modern Ethernet connectivity for remote operation, advanced electronic instrumentation, mechanical units, computer hardware, and software.
The objective of the TRUSTIE™ upgrade project was to produce a new generation system to replace the legacy system.
Scope of Work
The project scope was divided into two large areas for the hardware, and the software upgrades.
The scope of work for the hardware upgrade involved several major tasks including development of detailed product specifications, conceptual design evaluation, product design, procurement and manufacturing of system components, system integration and testing, and documentation.
The scope of work for the software upgrade included analysis of user requirements, development of design requirement specifications, design description, coding, debugging, testing and documentation.
Work Performed
The hardware upgrade work was performed cost-effectively by modifying the existing system with upgraded components. A new RB Control box was developed with Ethernet enabled devices such as an ultrasonic pulsar / receiver / digitizer unit, motor controller, and I/O control modules, etc. The existing linear and rotary drive units were modified to accommodate the new ultrasonic instrument with new wiring configurations. The system was integrated with upgraded components and tested by technical specialists experienced with TRUSTIE™ operation.
Computer software was developed to support the upgraded TRUSTIE™ system for inspection data acquisition and analysis. The software was designed with simplicity of code and interface in mind and development was focused on core functions required by the user. The software went through Kinectrics ISO 90003 software development process and complied with requirements of CSA N286.7.1-09. A software package was successfully developed and passed the acceptance test.
Client Benefits
As the OEM manufacturer of the TRUSTIE™ system, Kinectrics has in-depth knowledge of the technology and its applications. Kinectrics can promptly adapt to specific individual requirements and help customers achieve their objectives in a cost-effective way.
TRUSTIE™ provides a unique quality system for steam generator tube inspection as required by CSA N285.4-05. Its superior flaw detection capability and accurate flaw characterization and sizing are valuable to Fitness for Service Assessment and Life Cycle Management programs.
As an alternative inspection method, TRUSTIE™ can be used in the field to assist ET for flaw characterization and sizing. Its field application often results in reduced tube plugging.