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May 28, 2008
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Summer travel season is approaching-for better or worse-and I have several e-tickets sitting in my inbox again. Like many post-Memorial Day travelers, I will be going to Florida. However, unlike most of them, my destination is a manufacturing facility of Lockheed Martin, ranked on the Fortune 500 list of largest industrial corporations.

While not a typical Florida trip, I am looking forward to it. The visit should be a good opportunity for both parties-I get a behind-the-scenes look at the company and their methods, including automated X-ray inspection and XRF, and the company gets a chance to show off what they do.

If this sounds like something your company would be interested in doing, please let me know. Someone from the NDT staff would love to visit.

This summer also brings some exciting events in China. The Olympics, of course, will be held in Beijing August 8 to 24. But after that, the 17th World Conference on NDT will be held August 27 to 31 in Shanghai.

Although the flights obviously would be longer and more expensive, it promises to be an exciting place to learn more about NDT, and China itself. Since the country has been in the news lately, it would definitely be interesting to see it in person. Visit http://en.17wcndt.com for more information.

Back in the United States, it is another IMTS year. The enormous manufacturing show returns to Chicago’s McCormick Place September 8 to 13. Be sure to visit the Quality Pavilion, located in the east building, hall D, and to attend Quality Day, September 9, where you will have a chance meet the people behind Quality Magazine’s 2008 Quality Plant of the Year. Alexandria Maciag, plant manager of Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission Plant, Sterling Heights, MI, will present the team’s story. More details are available at www.imts.com.

The NDT calendar has a few other noteworthy events in the fall, including the Materials Science & Test (MS&T) in Pittsburgh in October, and the ASNT Fall Conference in Charleston in November. Visit www.matscitech.org and www.asnt.org to learn more. And right now, this month’s NDT edition brings a cross section of NDT topics, including NDT trends, tensile testing, eddy current and digital radiography.

ASNT’s Betsy Blazar offers insights on today’s NDT industry, David Mercer of Mecmesin explains the basics of tensile testing and John Hansen of GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies discusses the changing image of eddy current. Meanwhile, Gene P. Weckler, Thorsten Achterkirchen and Michael Farrier of Rad-icon Imaging reveal advances in digital radiography.

Radiography also is the subject of this month’s tech showcase, which highlights the many choices available in radiographic inspection. Gradient Lens provides an application article on borescopic inspection, and the issue concludes with NDT products. Along with news, products and an application article, August will feature phased array, X-ray and NDT training. E-mail bangertm@bnpmedia.com for questions or comments about the magazine.

Otherwise, see you in Chicago.

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Charles J. Hellier has been active in the technology of nondestructive testing and related quality and inspection fields since 1957. Here he talks with Quality's managing editor, Michelle Bangert, about the importance of training.
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