Nondestructive Evaluation in the Construction Industry


McGonnagle, Warren J.   (1987, ASQC)   Elmhurst, IL

41st Annual Quality Congress, May 1987, Minneapolis, MN    Vol. 41    No. 0
QICID: 3351    May 1987    pp. 574-579
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Article Abstract

A primary objective of the construction industry must be to continually improve quality, reliability and safety. This presents challenges to management, technology and personnel. An area of measurement science and engineering which can help to achieve these broad objectives is nondestructive evaluation (NDE).The consuming public wants products that are reliable, in which they have confidence, which are safe and in their judgement are cost effective (i.e. get their money's worth). The emphasis must be on value - high reliability at low cost.By product reliability this author means: the ability of a product (the term product as used here includes materials, components and systems) to perform a specific or defined function, under prescribed operational and enviornmental considerations for a prescribed period of time. In the latter two requirements there may be some variations which influence cost effectiveness, by adjusting certain parameters for the useful lifetime of the product -- the warrantee. The warrantee is a measure of the producers confidence in and reliability of the product. Also the consequences of failure to life and property influence the cost and cost effectiveness of the product.The most important key to help assure reliability is people - all levels of management, technical specialists and craftsman. In short the team. Furthermore, for optimum achievement by the team, each individual must have the opportunity to strive for excellence. As the late Admiral H.G. Richover said, "Another important principle of existence which gives purpose and meaning to life is excellence. Because the conviction to strive for excellence is an intensely personal one, the attainment of excellence is personally satisfying. Happiness comes from the full use of one's power to achieve excellence.Life is potentially an empty hole, and there are few more satisfying ways of filling it than by achieving and exercising excellence." The reliability of the final product depends on the entire team and adequate communication wtihin the team.The second key to help assure product reliability is the design. The design specialist must completely understand and comprehend the who, why, what, how, and where of the final product. Someone - the purchaser, user, or their agent - must spell out in detail all pertinent facts concerning the product and its operation and potential use. The design specialist and the purchaser must be in complete agreement before a meaningful design can be achieved. The designer must also keep in mind how the product can be effectively inspected - at low cost, quickly, and meaningfully.The third key to help assure the ultimate or optimum in reliability is inspection. The product must be monitored, evaluated and/or measured continually - inspection. Adequate, meaningful, realistic and necessary quantative inspections must be made with a minimum of effort of time and cost but with optimum realistic and meaningful results.


Construction industry

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