Would You Do This to Your Smartphone?


By Josh Scott, GE Portables Engineering Manager

One of the best things about being an engineer is the chance to solve challenging problems with my team every day. At GE, we design and build digital inspection instruments that help industrial companies keep their operations running smoothly.

These precision instruments use ultrasound, electromagnetic current or advanced 3D visual measurement to find the tiniest cracks, pits, dents and flaws that could cause a tank or pipeline to fail or a turbine to go offline. Tolerances are measured in thousands of an inch. At the same time, these precision instruments need to be designed to stand up to harsh industrial environments, day in and day out, for years.

As technology has improved our products have become more sophisticated, with touch-screen interfaces and digital apps, much like a smartphone. They are built with onboard wireless connectivity and interchangeable probes and batteries. Imagine taking your smartphone into a desert oil field where it has to withstand sand, dust, extreme temperatures, impacts and scratches. Or imagine taking it to an Alaskan oil pipeline where it has to operate well below freezing and stand up to repeated drops into wet snow and mud.

These are the problems my team solves every day, which is why we enjoy our work so much. We shot this video in our test lab that shows the tough environmental tests our instruments go through before they leave the factory. Check it out:

The instrument that’s taking that terrible beating in the video is Mentor UT, our newest and most advanced ultrasonic array flaw detector. Mentor UT is optimized for corrosion mapping inspection in the Oil & Gas and Power Generation industries. To meet the demands of these heavy industrial applications, Mentor UT is tested to IP65 and MIL-STD-810G specifications for water resistance, dust resistance, extreme heat and humidity, cold, vibration, shock and drops.

We know our customers count on GE Inspection instruments to provide accurate readings and to work every time. That’s why we’re tough on our products before they leave the factory, and that’s why we work so hard to design quality into every unit.


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