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TESTEX

TX-4200/4400

STANDARD EDDY CURRENT TESTER (ECT)


MANUAL

SOFTWARE INSTRUCTIONS
REV 0.93

9-11-2007
TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS .........................................................................….. i

INTRODUCTION .....................................................................................…... 1

THEORY OF OPERATION ............................................................................. 1

EQUIPMENT SETUP .......................................................................................... 1


Packing List Essentials ............................................................................. 1
Computer and Power Requirements ........................................................... 2
Software Description and Installation ........................................................ 2
Equipment Description and Setup .............................................................. 3
Equipment and Software Testing ............................................................... 4

USING THE SOFTWARE ........................................................................…........ 5


Data Collection Software ........................................................................... 6
Keyboard Controls .......................................................................... 7
File Storage Controls .............................................................. 7
Equipment Setup Controls .............................................................. 12
Pusher Puller Controls .............................................................. 15
Program View Controls .............................................................. 17
Calibrating the System - A Brief Overview ......................................... 24
Auto-Analysis Setup .......................................................................... 26
Data Analysis Software .....................................................................…..... 27
Display Window Keystrokes .................................................... 28
Flaw sizing keystrokes ............................................................... 30
Mixing Keystrokes .......................................................................... 32
Solution and Auto-Analysis Features ........................................................ 36
Flaw Logging Dialog ................................................................................ 41

@ Copyright 2007, TesTex Inc. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15239 USA


INTRODUCTION

The DSP based 4/8-channel TesTex regular eddy current examination systems (TX-4200 and TX-
4400 respectively) are used for detecting wall thickness changes in austenitic tubing. This inspection
method works by forming a high frequency (1-1200 KHz) magnetic field in the tube in order to measure
the change in the field as the coil moves past a flaw in the metal. By using 2 coils in the probe
(differential mode) it is possible to detect relatively small flaws in relation to the coil size.

An IBM-PC computer is also connected to the instrument through a USB cable. The computer is
used to control the instrument and for storing and analyzing the data using the TesTex supplied WinECT
software. The data is stored at 500-12000 samples/second/channel (on the TX-4200) with permitted pull
rates of up to 5.5 feet per second. Please note: the TX-4400 samples at 500-6000 samples/second/channel
but still permits pull rates of up to 5.5 feet per second.

THEORY OF OPERATION

Wall losses and pitting can be detected by injecting a high frequency magnetic field (1-1280KHz)
into a tube and measuring the distortions in the resulting magnetic field that occur in a flawed region.
This injection is done by using an internal circumferential coil. Flaws are detected by measuring the
magnetic field directly under the flaw area with the coil. A flaw or defect causes the magnetic flux lines
in that area to be distorted or different than expected. This distortion can be measured as a change in the
horizontal and vertical components of the signal. With suitable calibration tables, flaws can be analyzed
and a determination of the flaw depth can be made.

High frequencies (>1 KHz.) are used in non-magnetic metal tubes because the low magnetic
permeability of these materials presents little resistance to the penetration of the metal. By using high
frequencies, the magnetic field produced has a very good signal to noise ratio while still penetrating the
metal.

EQUIPMENT SETUP

The following sections describe the steps necessary to operate the TX-4200/4400 system.
Included are the Packing List, Computer Requirements, Equipment Connections and Software Installation
details. This section also describes how the equipment can be tested by the user to see if it is working
properly.

Packing List Essentials (See invoice for complete packing list )


TX-4200/4400 instrument (electronics)
Probe
USB cable
IBM-PC Computer
Software CD
Power cords
ECT Manual
Misc 1
Misc 2
Misc 3

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Computer and Power Requirements
IBM-PC compatible computer with clock speed at least 1 Gigahertz (2.5GHz+ Recommended).
USB capability (only needs USB 1.1 ).
10 megabytes or greater of free Hard Drive space (not including data storage).
CD-Rom/Dvd-Rom drive for software installation (CD-R/DVD-R recommended)
800x600 pixel 256 color or greater graphics capability.
512 MB RAM (1024 MB or more recommended)
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional or XP.

The voltage requirements of the TX-4200 system are: 85 to 265 VAC @ 50/60 hertz.
( Instrument power supplies adjust themselves automatically )

Software Description and Installation


The TX-4200 comes with a CD (Compact Disk). This disk contains the ECT collection/analysis
program.

To load the ECT program onto the IBM-PC computer:

(1) Insert the ECT program disk into your cd/dvd rom drive.
(2) run X:\SETUP (where X is the drive letter of the cd/dvd rom drive in use)
(3) The program will automatically be installed in the C:\PROGRAM FILES\TESTEX INC.\WINECT
R93 directory.
(4) two icons called EctAcq R93 and WINECTVIEW R93 will be added to the desktop and start
menu.
(5) Attach the TX-4200/4400 electronics to the USB port and turn on the electronics.
(6) The system will prompt you to ADD NEW HARDWARE. Select to install from a specific
location and specify the USB_DRIVER folder on the CD. When the system warns you that the
device is not signed use the CONTINUE ANYWAY button to finish installing the driver.
(7) USB ports do not share drivers. This results in the need to reload the driver from the CD if you
plug into a different USB port on the Computer. To avoid hassle when in the field, connect the
system to each port on your computer until the driver has been loaded successfully for all ports.

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Equipment Description and Setup
The TX-4200/4400 system consists of the probe, TX-4200/4400 electronics box, USB cable, the
IBM-PC compatible computer, an ASME calibration standard, and a probe. An optional pusher puller
may also be added to the system. To setup the equipment follow the diagram in Figure 1. Please note:
Connections to the 4400 are identical to the 4200 connections shown below.

Figure 1- Equipment Connections

Figure 1a – Equipment Connections

Connections should be made in this order:

(A) Turn off the TX-4200 instrument box.


(B) Turn on the IBM-PC computer (to give it time to boot up).
(C) Connect USB cable between the TX-4200 box and the computer.
(D) Turn on the TX-4200 instrument box.
(E) Run ECT acquisition software by double-clicking the "EctAcq R93" icon.
(F) Attach probe

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Equipment and Software Testing
To determine if the equipment is correctly connected, insert the probe into the standard and do the
following:
(1) Set the GAIN to 127 using the ^G key.
(2) Set frequency (^F key) to the correct frequency for your standard.
(3) Sweep time (^T) to 20 seconds on left sweep.
(4) Observe the vertical bar on the left side of the screen. This bar represents the overload indicator
for all channels.
(5) Move the probe past the flaws in the tube but stop in an unflawed (full wall) region
(6) Balance the probe (CTRL-Z).
(7) Adjust the gain settings (^G key) and observe a flaw in the tube. If the flaw doesn't change size
with the gain change then the electronics is not accepting commands. Try restarting the
acquisition software. If this doesn't work, try powering down the electronics. If the system still
isn't changing then check your frequency and balance settings.

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USING THE SOFTWARE

To run the ECT software double-click EctAcq R93. This will place the user on the main
collection screen. This screen is shown below (Fig 2).

Figure 2- Default Collection Screen

Select the mode to use. The mode will either be 4200 or 4400 depending on the system attached.

Figure 3: - Mode Selection Option

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Data Collection Software

At this point, the settings used the last time the unit was in use will be restored. Most of the
settings are visible at the bottom of the screen. The settings include the current file name, frequencies
used, Driver Level, Gains, and rotations (See Fig 4).
This system uses a ± 5V Analog to Digital converter(A/D) and all readings are displayed in scaled
Voltages allowing a ± 20V range.
Above each of the plots the channel number and component to display (H for Horizontal, V for
Vertical) are listed.

Figure 4- Default Collection Screen When Program is Run

Figure 4B - 4400 Default Collection Screen

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Collection Program Keyboard Controls:

File Storage Controls:

“F2” or “Alt-F F” SELECT DRIVE\Folder Select the location where the data is to be stored.
Default is drive C, folder temp (C:\PLANT NAME\UNIT NAME\BOX ID\A\SECTION I).

Figure 5 - Select Drive/Folder Dialog Box

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“F3” or “Alt-F O” or “CTRL-O” SELECT FILE NAME Enter the name of the file that the
collected data will be stored in. This name is a series of numbers in ROW-COL-RUN format.
These numbers are used as part of the filename with the following maximum values 9999,999, and
999 respectively. When the enter key is pressed the program will start displaying the incoming data
(data collection screen). It is not recommended to store more than 100 file names in a single
directory as this may slow drive access and can make selecting a specific file difficult.

Figure 6- Enter File Name

“Alt-F T” STEPPER This control allows the user to select how the file name is stepped. Just enter
the number to step by into the appropriate field and the number will be incremented automatically
whenever the file is stored.

Figure 8 - File Stepper

Figure 7 – Select Stepper


“Alt-F E” ALTERNATE STEPPER This control allows the user to select how the file name is
stepped when the stepping keystroke (Alt-C) is pressed. If the assign value on check box is
checked, then when the step occurs that field is assigned the value. Otherwise, the field is stepped
by the value. So, suppose you are testing a unit and the first 2 tubes are a different material. So
when testing you want to start every row on tube 3.
The settings in the dialog box to the left will step the
row up by 1 every time and set the tube number to 3
and run number to 1. Please note: negative values
are permitted for step by but should not be entered
for assigning values.

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“Alt-F A” SAVE SETTINGS This option allows the user to store the current setup to a file for
later retrieval. For instance, the user can calibrate the system for a given tube, store the settings,
and then calibrate for the next kind of tube. When it comes time to test the units, the calibration
can be loaded and the system set up more quickly.

Figure 9 – Save Settings

“Alt-F L” LOAD SETTINGS This option allows the user to retrieve previously stored settings.
This is of particular use when setting up an inspection of various exchangers, etc. For instance, the
user can calibrate the system for a given tube, store the settings, and then 'calibrate' for the next
kind of tube. When it comes time to test the units, the calibration can be loaded and the system set
up more quickly

Figure 10 – Load Settings

“Alt-F S A” ASSISTED SINGLE FILE This mode allows the program to assist the user during data
acquisition. See “SPACE BAR” for more information.

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“Alt-F P” PLANT INFO This control allows the user to set the basic information about the data being
acquired. Please note: this control is now used to set the folder for data storage (see F2) This
information is used by the auto-analysis module (see PUSHER PULLER AUTO-ANALYSIS
SETUP) in the display/analysis program. Please enter this information prior to starting data
acquisition.

Figure 11 - Plant Information Dialog Box

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“SPACE BAR” COLLECT DATA (Single File Mode) Pressing the space bar once will activate
the collection mode (see Fig. 12) and cause the incoming data to be stored in the computer. Pressing the
space bar again will stop the collection and the program will ask you if you want to save the data (see Fig.
13). Pressing Y will cause the data to be stored on the disk. Pressing N will cause the program to start
displaying the incoming data again without storing the data to disk. Pressing T will store the data and
switch to the display (like F10 was pressed).
(Assisted Single File Mode) Pressing the space bar once will tell the program to start storing data
as soon as the probe enters the tube. This is determined by a threshold value set on the F1 absolute signal.
This means that the F1 absolute must be set up (calibrated) prior to using this feature. Also, the program
will automatically stop collecting data and ask if you want to store data whenever the probe exits the tube.
(Continuous) Not intended for field use. This feature is used in the office for equipment checks.
It simply stores the data until the maximum file size is reached, automatically saves the data (without
asking the operator), steps to the next file name and starts storing data again. This starts and stops with
the pressing of the space bar.

Figure 12- Collecting Data Figure 13- Data Collected, option to store file

Whether or not data is stored, the file number will step at this point. Also, at this time the program will
re-transmit the settings to the electronics. This means that each time a file is stored the electronics is reset
to the current settings. This is to prevent data acquisition from occurring on the wrong settings.

What happens if the power fails momentarily?


Under this condition a notebook computer with a built in battery will still not loose power. The
PC will be running the acquisition software and will have all of the appropriate settings. However, the
electronics does not have a battery backup. This means that the electronics will loose power. When the
power comes back on the electronics will go to a default set of settings which will not be the settings on
the computer. The software will correct for this when the electronics comes back by re-sending settings.
This can take up to 10 seconds and the zero (Ctrl-Z) may need to be restored prior to continuing the
inspection.

“Alt-N” and “Alt-P” NEXT TUBE and REPULL TUBE These keystrokes cause the program to either
step to the next file name or step backwards to the previous file name respectively. On a repull, the
program will increment the run number by 10 until an unused file name is acquired.

“F10” SWITCH TO DISPLAY PROGRAM As stated, this keystroke switches to the display
program and causes the display program to load the last file stored by the acquisition.

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Equipment Setup Controls

“Ctrl-F” or “Alt-I F” FREQUENCY ADJUST Pressing CTRL-F activates the input box that is
used to adjust the testing frequencies (see Fig 14/B). Type in a frequency value in KHZ and press the
TAB key to go the next frequency. Type in frequency 2 and press ENTER when finished. The allowable
frequency range is from 1 KHz to 1.28 Mhz (Megahertz). Please Note: Even harmonics usually produce
the cleanest signals. It is therefore recommended that even harmonics be used whenever possible to test
the tubing. An example would be as follows:
Testing: 1” O.D. 0 065” wall Adm Brass
F90 = 9.5 Khz
2nd harmonic of F90 is 9.5*2 = 19.0Khz

Figure 14- Frequency Adjust Box

Figure 14B – 4400 Frequency Selection Box

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“Ctrl-G” or “Alt-I G” GAIN Pressing the Ctrl-G key activates the Gain input box (see Fig.
15). This box sets the gains of the amplifiers in the instrument in order to control the amplification
of the return signal from the probe. This option should not be confused with the Driver Level Gain
function which controls the gain on the output signal sent to the probe (see Ctrl-L).
Set this gain so that the amplitude of the signal on a flaw is acceptable. Warning: setting the
gain too large can cause the A/D converter to overload and the signal to be distorted. To reduce this
problem place the probe in a clean stretch of tube and use either the CTRL-Z or CTRL-X balancing
function.
To detect saturation, the left hand side of the screen has a saturation alarm indicator on it. If
the indicator changes color (any color but gray indicates a saturation condition) then the A/D
converter has overloaded. If this occurs in the standard then you should turn down the gain on the
appropriate channel until an acceptable level is reached. Please note: the differential signals will
overload when the probe passes into the gradual wall losses. If this occurs it is an acceptable
condition.

Figure 15 - Gain Control Box

Figure 15B – 4400 Gain Control Box

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“CTRL-L” or “Alt-I L” DRIVER LEVEL This dialog box allows the user to select the power
level to excite the probe at for each frequency. The value can be set anywhere from 1-600, however,
the system works best at 300-500 and values should be kept in this range whenever possible. (see
Fig 16).

Figure 16- Driver Level Figure 16B - 4400 Driver Level

“Alt-I S” SAMPLE RATE This control is used to adjust the sample rate of the system. The
sample rate should not exceed ½ of the lowest test frequency. So if a low frequency material such
as copper is being tested at 3 Khz, keep the sample rate at 1500 or less. Also, there can be
problems with sample rate frequencies interfering with test frequencies. If a given frequency
seems very noisy, try adjusting the sample rate up or down by 500 samples per second and see if
the problem decreases. Please note: when using a 4400 it is not recommended to use 6000
samples/second with an air assist or pusher puller unit as the electronics may not be able to keep
up with the pusher puller operations. When using a 4400 with air assist or pusher puller system
please keep the sample rate between 1500 and 5500 for best performance.

Figure 18 - Set Sample Rate


Figure 17 - Select Set Sample Rate

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“Alt-I P” PUSHER PULLER CONTROL This control is used to adjust the parameters for the
TesTex pusher puller. See Pusher Puller/Assist Setup instructions for more details.

Figure 19 - Pusher Puller Control

Figure 20 - Pusher Puller Controls

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“Ctrl-Z” BALANCE This keystroke activates the absolute balancing function. This function
adjusts the rotation and power level of the reference signal that is subtracted from the probe signal
to produce the absolute signal. When running, the LED's on the front of the box will turn off as a
given reference signal is being generated. Please note: before pressing the balance key (Ctrl-Z)
place the probe into a baseline region of the tube (no flaws present). Once the electronics has
determined a balance the signal will start back up on the screen.

“Ctrl-X” CENTER This keystroke is used to adjust the hardware zero function. The purpose
behind a hardware zero is to gain A/D resolution. For example, suppose a differential signal in the
baseline of the tube is at 2.5Volts horizontal and 3.5 Volts vertical. If the flaw causes the signal to
change by 3.0V horizontal and 3.0V vertical then the resulting voltages would be 2.5+3.0 = 5.5V
horizontal and 3.5+3.0=6.5V vertical. The problem is that the A/D converter has a fixed range of
±5V. This means that as the signal passes 5V on the horizontal or vertical, all responses are
clipped to the 5V response. To prevent this, the CENTER function will cause the hardware to read
the 2.5 volt signal and it will set the hardware to add -2.5V to the horizontal and -3.5V to the
vertical signal. This will result in the hardware signal being 0V on both the horizontal and vertical
at the baseline material in the tube. This translates to being able to use a stronger signal without
saturation as the 3.0V horizontal and vertical signals will come out as 3.0 and 3.0 and nothing will
be clipped.

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Program View Controls:

“Alt-P P” or “F4” PLOT SELECT The plot select dialog box (see Fig. 22) is used to control the
following:
1. How many plots will be displayed on the screen
2. What type of plotting will be done for each plot (Impedance plane or Strip Chart)
3. Which channel of data will be plotted in the plot.
4. What voltage span will be used.

Figure 22 - Plot Select

Please note: The default button will set all differential and mix channels to 1.0V and all absolute
channels to 10.0V.

“C” CLEAR SCREEN Pressing C will cause the program to clear all of the plots and restart the strip
charts at the top of the screen.

“X” UNZERO Pressing X will cause the digital offsets to go to zero. This means that no digital
signal subtraction is occurring. It effectively undoes the ZERO operation (see “Z” ZERO below).

“Z” ZERO Pressing Z will cause all of the waveforms to be offset to zero. This function only
performs a digital offset inside the PC and should not be confused with the Ctrl-X function which
causes the hardware to set up an analog signal offset. The analog offset will allow better dynamic
range off of the A/D converter but doesn't necessarily achieve a signal as close to zero as the
operator desires. Therefore, the additional capability of the Z function is available.

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“Ctrl-T” or “Alt-P T” SWEEP TIME Use up/down arrows to select sweep time in 1 second
increments up to the maximum permitted number of seconds. This is the time it takes for one
complete sweep on the selected plot type. (Note: The tab key is used to select plot type to adjust.)
At the end of this time the plot will clear and the sweep will start over.

Figure 23- Sweep Time Control Panel

Plot Setup -> Plot Scrolling PLOT SCROLLING This menu option allows the user to toggle the
display between a sweeptime which clears the screen and starts over at the specified time (non-plot
scrolling) or keeps the data on the screen for the specified time (plot scrolling).

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“Ctrl-V” or “Alt-P V” VOLTAGE SPAN This control is used to adjust scaling of the signal on
the screen. Normally, the system will be calibrated using a 1V span for the differential signals.
This control does not adjust the gain or driver level on the system, it simply allows the user
to adjust the scale of the plots. For instance, if you set the span of the Lissajous to 1 volt and the
signal is 0.5 volt peak to peak, the signal will cover half of the plot. Use the tab key to select the
plot to adjust and either type in a voltage span or use the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW keys to
modify the existing voltage span.

Figure 24- Plot Span Control Panel

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“Ctrl-R” or “Alt-P R” ROTATION CONTROL This control allows the user to select a phase
angle in degrees to rotate the incoming signal by. The value can be selected from a range of 0 to
359 degrees. The live plots in the figure show the channel 1 and the selected channel. Additional
controls are available to adjust the voltage span, zero the waveforms, etc.

Figure 25- Rotation Control Panel

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“Ctrl-K” SCREEN CONTROL The screen control function is used to modify the color palette
of the screen. This alternate palette is useful for running the acquisition in bright environments such
as direct sunlight.

Figure 26 - Normal Screen View

Figure 27- Alternate Color View

“CTRL-P” POPUP MENU The popup menu just allows you to access the menu without going to
the top of the screen. All functions are accessible thru the menu bar at the top of the screen. This is
simply a conveyance.

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“Alt-F4” EXIT PROGRAM This key exits the program. Settings are stored when the program
exits.

“Alt-H A” ABOUT This key brings up the dialog box that tells the user what version of the
software and firmware are currently running. Please note: there must be a USB data signal or the
software has no means to get the firmware and fpga revision numbers.

Figure 28 – HELP ABOUT BOX

Figure 28b – 4400 HELP ABOUT BOX

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“Alt-X Enter” MIX CANCELLATION This control allows the user to cancel out a given signal.
First, select mix cancellation from the menu. Next, using the space bar to start and stop acquiring data,
acquire data on just the signal that you want to capture. When the space bar is pressed the second time,
the program will open the cancellation panel instead of asking if you want to store the data. From the
panel, select the Auto-Balance button in order to cancel out the signal.

Figure 29- Mix Cancellation Figure 30 - After auto cancellation


Please note: The MIX CANCELLATION mode cannot be mixed with either the PP mode or the assisted
single file mode. These modes must be off during mix cancellation mode.

“Alt-X G” MIX GAIN This control allows the user to select the multiplier in order to adjust the
mix signal strength. The mix will usually run at 50% to 75% so the value will be 0.5 to 0.75 in
most cases. This value does not take affect until the OK button is pressed so don't adjust the value
and look at the screen plot behind the panel as it will not be changed. Instead, change the value,
push ok and look at the results.

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CALIBRATING THE SYSTEM - A BRIEF OVERVIEW:

First, start the collection program and select the frequency that you want to use for a given tube.
Usually a frequency of about (X*100)/T2 is used to ensure a good penetration of the magnetic field
through the tube wall. X is the resistance of the tube material and T is the wall thickness of the tube. So
for Stainless 316 with a resistance X of 7.496 ohm-m and a wall thickness T of 0.083” the frequency F
is:
F = (X*100)/T2
F = (7.496*100)/0.0832
F = (749.6)/0.006889
F = 108811.1482 = 108.8 KHz

This frequency is the F180 frequency (the frequency at which a 10% OD and a 10% ID groove
will produce signals which are approximately 180 degrees apart from each other on the differential
signals). Typically we use an F90 which has 90 degrees of separation between the 10% grooves. To get
the F90, divide the F180 by 2 (or multiply by 50 instead of 100 when calculating). This gives the F90 .
F/2 = 108.8 KHz/2 = 54.4 KHz.

Once the F90 has been approximated, the actual F90 frequency is determined using the calibration
standard. First, the approximate F90 frequency is entered (CTRL-F ). Next, the F2 thru F4 frequencies
are set to driver level 0 (CTRL-L).
A starting driver power level and input gain are selected for the F90. (F90 Driver Level at 325
CTRL-L, and all gains to 90 CTRL-G ).
Next the probe is pulled through the 10%OD and ID rings. The frequency is then adjusted until a
90º separation is achieved between the OD and ID flaw responses on F11. Now that the F90 frequency
has been selected, make certain that the remaining frequencies are set to even multiples of F1 and each
other. For example: F2 is set to F1*2, F3 = F1*4, F4 = F1/2.
Having selected the frequencies, it is now time to select the driver level (Ctrl-L). This is the power
level at which the coils are excited in order to create the magnetic field. The F90,F180 will usually be run
at 300-400 and the F1*4 at 400-500. The F1/2 at 250 to 3502. These values are guidelines only. If
necessary, it is possible to push the levels higher or lower, but the recommended starting settings are F90
325, F180 375, F90/2 300, F90*4 450. The requirement is that the signal to noise ratio is sufficient to
detect the flaws at a level of at least 3:1 as a bare minimum. If, after running the rest of the calibration, it
appears that the Signal to Noise ratio is inadequate, then adjust the power levels and repeat the following
steps at the new power level1.
Please note: if the signals are not close to zero after a balancing operation (Ctrl-Z, then it is
possible to get signal distortion on the system. Turn down the driver levels until all of the frequencies
center on balance. It is possible that lowering the driver level on an adjacent frequency might help. So if
the F90*4 is distorted when the signal to noise ratio is poor, try lowering the driver level on the F90/2
frequency (assuming a good signal level is present).
Please remember that this is a simultaneous injection system and frequencies can interact with
each other if the electronics become overloaded. To prevent this, keep the driver levels such that the
system can go to zero during a balance operation and the signals won't interfere with each other.

1 Whenever the frequency or driver level is changed it is necessary to 'balance' the absolute signals in order to prevent them
from interfering with the differential signals. To accomplish this use the CTRL-Z function. If the signal still won't
approximate zero, decrease the power level CTRL-L.
2 The sum of all of the driver levels should be kept at an approximate value of 1000-1600. This will help to prevent signal
distortion between the frequencies.

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Check the driver levels by plotting the ABS signals (F4) and running the probe thru the wall loss
region of the calibration tube. The 60% deep flaw should produce a signal that reaches the bottom right
corner of the plot when using a 10V scale (F4). Adjust rotation (CTRL-R) and gains (CTRL-G) to achieve
this. In the event that the gain is at maximum and the signal still won't reach the corner of the plot,
increase the driver level. This is most likely to happen at the highest test frequency.
When raising the driver level be sure to balance the signal in a baseline region of the tube (Ctrl-Z).
If the signal will not return to zero (even if the overload color bar does not change color for an A/D
overload) then it is possible to get signal bleed between the channels. To prevent this, lower the overall
driver level. This can be done by lowering the driver level on other frequencies if they are using a low
enough gain level to allow the signal to achieve the 10V plot.
Repeat this process across all of the absolute plots until either the 10V level has been achieved or
it is determined that the 10V level cannot be achieved for a given frequency. If the 10V level cannot be
achieved for a given frequency then set a 5V level for that frequency. And repeat the process to determine
if the 5V signal can be achieved on just that frequency. If not, pick the levels that make the other
frequencies look the cleanest and gives the highest response on the problem channel.
Now that the Frequency and driver level have been established, it is necessary to set the gain (Ctrl-
G) for the F90. The differential should be rotated (Ctrl-R) so that the 10% ID ring is on the horizontal
axis (0º ). Prior to attempting to set the gain it is necessary to set the voltage span to 1 V (Ctrl-V). The
acquisition will be done on a 1 V span for differential signals. To adjust the gain, run the probe past the
thru hole flaw in the standard. The hole should be facing up and the signal on the screen should cover ½
to ¾ of the impedance plane. If you can not see the correct channel, use the plot select option (F4) in
order to select the channel the F90 is on.
For the remaining frequencies, adjust the rotation (Ctrl-R) and gain (Ctrl-G) until the thru hole
signal matches the F90 thru hole response.

Figure 30- Calibration Pull, absolute flaws not in calibration.

Once the system is set up and calibrated, it is time to configure a mix.

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For example: to mix out a support plate signal.
First, start with an otherwise calibrated system. From the mix option on the menu,
select mix cancellation (Alt-X Enter). Find a support plate in the unit and use the
SPACEBAR to acquire data on just that plate. When the space bar is pushed the second
time, instead of being asked to save the file, the mix cancellation dialog box will
automatically appear. Select the higher frequency channel as the first of 2 channels and the
lower frequency channel as the second (going from top to bottom in the panel). Use the
AUTO BALANCE button to have the system determine the balance settings for the mix.
Once the cancellation settings have been determined, push the ok button to exit the
panel. This will cause the system to begin calculating a signal that cancels out the support
plate signal, however, it is still necessary to adjust the signal in order to be able to analyze
it properly.
Now that the mix cancellation has been created, adjust the gain using the mix gain
control (Alt-X G) and the rotation using Ctrl-R to make the hole signal match the F90 hole
signal.
Finally, store a pull of the calibration tube with the mix added and you are ready to
begin testing tubes.

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PUSHER PULLER AUTO-ANALYSIS – ACQUISITION MUSTS:
The pusher puller can be used in conjunction with the auto-analysis functionality found in the
analysis software. However, the auto-analysis software has requirements over and above an ordinary eddy
current inspection. To this end, the following steps must be observed in the acquisition program to use
the auto analysis functions.

Step 1: The first file stored in each folder must be a calibration pull2.
Step 2: All calibration pulls must be numbered 9999-xxx-yyy
Step 3: If possible, mixing the support plates should occur in the acquisition.
Step 4: Create Calibration curves and name the files to match the pulls. (9999-xxx-yyy)3
Step 5: See the auto-analysis set up procedure

3 Each group must have a calibration as the first file. This is because analysis can optionally be run on only 1 group at a time
so each group must start with a calibration pull. This does not mean that a pull must be done for each group, however, a
copy of the calibration in effect at the start of testing the group must be copied into the group folder prior to starting the
analysis. Don't forget to also copy the corresponding calibration curve file. The calibration curve files should be located in
the same folder as the calibration pulls with corresponding names so the analysis software can locate them.

For example: Calibration pull 9999-121-333 will have a calibration curve file of 9999-121-333. In windows
explorer the files will be named as follows:
4200 4400 curve file
9999-121-333.tx2 9999-121-333.tx4 9999-121-333.ecl

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Data Analysis Software
To run the ECT software double-click ECTView r93. This will place the user on the main
collection screen. This screen is shown below (Fig D.1).

File Selection Keystrokes:

"Alt-F O" or “Ctrl-O” SELECT FILE A list of the files stored in the currently selected folder will be
displayed. From here it is possible to select the drive, folder and filename to be loaded.

Figure D.1- File Selection Screen

“ALT-N” NEXT TUBE This function causes the program to load the next tube and display it on the
screen.

“ALT-P” This function causes the program to load the previous tube

“F10” SWITCH TO ACQUISITON This keystroke cause the acquisition program to be


restored as the active application.

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Display Window Keystrokes:

“Ctrl-A” AUTOSCALE This keystroke cause the Lissajous plots to be scaled to match the
data to be displayed in the plot. The strip charts below the Lissajous in 1 channel mode will also rescale
to match the data.

“Ctrl-V” SET FIXED SCALE This keystroke allows the plots to be set to a specific scale.
That, in turn, permits the operator the capacity to judge the relative signal strengths of the flaw
responses.

Figure D.2 - Set fixed Scale

“F4” or “Alt-L S” SELECT PLOT TO VIEW This feature is designed to allow the user to select
what will appear on the screen. The options include how many channels to display, what data channels
will be displayed, what type of display will be used to plot the data channels and what voltage span to use.

Figure D.3- Select data to plot options

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“Ctrl-T” or “Alt-L C” CURSOR SIZE This option allows the user to control how large an
area will be zoomed up in the Lissajous window. This can also be accomplished by using the 3rd
mouse button and dragging the area larger or smaller.

Figure D.4 - Adjust cursor size

“Alt-L L” AUTO-SCROLL RATE This option allows the user to adjust the speed at which the
data window will scroll down the screen. As the zoom area will shift to whatever position the
mouse is clicked on and can be dragged, this function is less important than it used to be. Still, the
signal will auto-scroll whenever the space bar is pushed and until the space bar is pushed again.
This control is currently counter-intuitive. It actually adjusts the amount of delay added to the
scroll, so lower numbers sweep faster and higher numbers sweep slower.

Figure D.5 - Adjust Scroll Rate

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Flaw Sizing Keystrokes

“Alt-C E” CALIBRATION PANEL This panel allows the user to Load, Input, Save, and View
calibration data for the probe. To input a new curve the user would simply use the TAB key to
highlight the 'tabs' and select the tab for the channel to be entered. Next, use the arrow keys to
select the field to change. Then press the space bar and input the percent loss and the corresponding
phase angles. Once entered the curve can be seen by selecting generate button.

Figure D.6- Enter Calibration Data Figure D.7- Enter Calibration Loss Data

Figure D.8 - Generate Calibration Curve

Figure D.9 - Store Calibration Curve

Figure D.10 - Load Calibration

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MIXING KEYSTROKES

“CTRL-M” or “Alt-X M A ENTER" MIXING PANEL This panel allows the user to adjust the
data from system (see Figs. D.12 & D.13) in order to subtract out the undesirable signal and
determine if a flaw is in that location. This is accomplished by using the mouse to select the signal
to mix out. Next, select Mixing, Mix Cancellation, Analysis. The panel visible in Figure D.12
should now be on screen. Click the Auto-Balance to have the computer attempt to generate the
cancellation settings for you. It is possible to adjust the multiplier and scale values manually if it
appears that the auto-cancellation did not produce the desired results. Please note: only the second
channel is adjusted by these controls. The object is to make channel 2 match channel 1 in order to
cancel out the undesirable signal. (Note: The data that appears in the mixing panel comes from the
highlighted area, therefore, select the area you wish to mix before opening the panel using Alt-X,
Mix Cancellation, Analysis.)

Figure D.12- Mixing data before mix Figure D.13- Mixing data after mix

Please note: After mixing the signal using the features above, it is still necessary to perform the
final gain and rotation adjustments in acquisition in order finish the mix.

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“Alt-X R” MIX ROTATION To perform the final rotation and scaling functions select “Alt-X R”
and use the rotation and scale controls to match the waveforms.

Figure D.14 - Rotation Control Figure D.15 - Scaled Data

Figure D.16 - Rotate to Value Figure D.17 - Rotated and Scaled Value

Figure D.18 - Mix Result

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“CTRL-K” or “Alt-O B” BACKGROUND COLOR This option is used to change the color on the
screen. This is useful for either making printouts or analyzing in a bright light situation (such as in
direct sunlight).

Figure D.19 - BACKGROUND COLOR Figure D.20 - BACKGROUND COLOR

“Alt-O S” SAVE This option allows the user to save the screen setup so that it will become the
default the next time the program is loaded. The settings stored include:
Current Folder to retrieve data from
Background Color settings
How many channels to display
What channel (F1 Diff, F1 Abs, F2 Diff, etc.) is displayed in a given plot
What voltage span is used in each plot

“CTRL-C” SCREEN CAPTURE This keystroke will capture the screen to a file. The file
names are as follows: Folder : c:\screencapture
File: screencapxxxx.bmp
Where XXXX is the number of the screen capture in the folder.

“CTRL-P” POPUP MENU The popup menu just allows you to access the menu without going
to the top of the screen. All functions are accessible thru the menu bar at the top of the screen.
This is simply a conveyance.

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“Alt-O F” FILTER This option turns on a high pass filter on the differential signals. This type
of filter is good for removing signal drift due to volumetric flaws which are measured on the the
absolute. It will also compensate for a bend or bowed tube. It should be noted that this feature
works best when the pull rate is maintained at at least 2-3 feet per second.

“Alt-O A” AUTO ZERO This option tells the software to attempt to automatically determine the
baseline (full wall) position of the data and shift that position to zero. This is accomplished by
determining where the signal resides the majority of the time. This feature can therefore make a
wrong determination if, for instance, the operator does not stop recording data after the probe
leaves the tube. If the 'open air' signal is longer than the in tube signal, the AUTO ZERO will
think that the 'open air' reading is the in tube baseline read and center the open air signal. To
prevent this, the ASSISTED SINGLE FILE option was added to the acquisition program. It would
be advisable to use this feature. This is particularly important when using the solution/auto-
analysis features.

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SOLUTION AND AUTO-ANALYSIS FEATURES:

As the solution is used by the auto-analysis functions, it is necessary to obtain a solution prior to
starting the auto-analysis.

In order for the Auto-Analysis to work properly it is necessary to have stored the data in the
correct format (please see PUSHER PULLER AUTO-ANALYSIS SETUP). As specified, the calibration
files must all be numbered 9999-xxx-yyy and have corresponding calibration curve files.
This being said, the first step is to load each of the calibration tube pulls and create a
corresponding calibration file containing the calibration information for any channel to be used in the
solution calculation. This calibration file must then be saved in the same folder as the calibration pull and
with the same name. (Pull Name 9999-xxx-yyy.tx2, calibration file 9999-xxx-yyy.ecl). This will allow
the auto-analysis routine to identify changes in probe, etc. and compensate by loading the new calibration
curve prior to attempting a wall loss calculation for the given tube.

Once all of the calibration files have been created, load the first calibration file and corresponding
calibration tube. Now you can create a solution plot using the Threshold Settings option under the
Solution menu (Alt-S T).

Figure D.21 - Solution Settings

Start by selecting the check box to turn on the solution.

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Figure D.22 – Solution setup
Next, enter the threshold values. These values tell the solution when a value indicates a potential
flaw in the tube. Along with the threshold is the maximum number of samples that a flaw can be.
This is to prevent the solution calculation getting stuck because the signal reaches the threshold
but never returns below that threshold. Also, it is possible to select whether the triggering channel
is using the V, H or both components with the threshold to locate the flaws in the tube. The final
option at the bottom of the screen allows the selection of what channel to base the solution on.
This will preferably be a mix channel as that will allow the solution to indicate flaws under a
support plate.

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Once all of this has been accomplished, a solution plot will become available. This solution can
be selected using the F4 keystroke. Use a scale of 2V as this allows the plot to go from -100% to
100%. Negative values represent OD flaws and positive values represent ID flaws. See the
calibration pull below.

Figure D.23 - Solution plot on calibration tube

The solution will always trail the flaw because the processing must pass the flaw prior to having
the data for sizing.

As you can also see, the mix calculation in this particular test is eliminating OD flaws in the 0-
40% range. This means that the solution calculation based on this mix cannot detect this type of
flaw. To avoid this type of problem, please verify that your mix is the best possible response you
can get for a given tube.

To obtain better mixes it may be necessary to spend more time in the office or on site in order to
determine acceptable test setups prior to starting the inspection. After the fact there is little to
nothing that can be done to correct this problem so please check you mix out prior to inspecting
the unit.

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Also, please note that there is a threshold setting at the bottom of the solution panel. This setting
is used by the solution calculation to determine when the probe is in an absolute flaw. Absolute
flaws cause large differential signals that do not necessarily represent flaws within the unit. To
this end, when the threshold is passed the solution will not read to prevent false positives. This
means that end of tube signals should be reduced or eliminated and that the gradual wall loss flaws
in the standard do not produce a false positive.
Now that the solution has been set up it is possible to use the auto-analysis features to generate a
reduced tube list for examination by the operator.

To run the auto-analysis module:

1) check the Enable Auto Analysis.


2) Select the top folder containing the data for the unit.
3) Set the threshold at which data is to be flagged for analysis.

Figure D24 - Auto-Analysis setup

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The processing will now start to run on the data.

Figure D25 - Auto-Analysis running thru data.

When finished, any file that exceeds 15 percent wall thinning will be placed in a folder named for
the wall loss range it falls into. Analyze the folders in order to locate flaws above a given size.

For a more detailed discussion of the auto-analysis features, see the Auto-Analysis setup
instructions.

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LOGGING DIALOG CONTROLS

The logging dialog controls are used to create a spreadsheet file with results from an inspection.
Simply go to Options – DataBase – Logging Dialog on the main menu and the logging dialog box will
open.

Simply select the flaw depth and location and click the Next button to add an entry to the file. The
file created will be located in the 'Box' folder and will be named groupid.csv. So in the case of the tube
above the file will be located in the C:\PLANT\HEAT EXCHANGER\03162006\BOX1 folder. The file
will be called A.CSV.
So the file containing the logged data is:
C:\PLANT\HEAT EXCHANGER\03162006\BOX1\A.CSV

The CSV file is a comma delimited file that will import into any commonly available spreadsheet.

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