It can be a heavy burden to shoulder.
Deciding between two quality brands like GE and Olympus is no easy task. The enormity of this decision is even heightened when you realize both brands manufacture one of the best ultrasonic scanners in the non-destructive testing industry. However, each brand still has some unique features accounting for their differences in more ways than one. Yet, you’ll need a set of standard criteria to make the best choice of the two for your peculiar inspection needs.
What you’ll get from this post?
All the information you’ll need to make the best decision with these two brands considering their popular models, unique features, and advantages.
So, if you are ready, let’s dive in.
I. GE Ultrasonic Scanner
1. About GE
While they’ve become one of the most respected brands in the digital non-destructive testing (NDT) space, GE has had to evolve from a general inspection arm of the Baker Hughes company to a specialized NDT arm of the business. After several decades and multiple business acquisitions, its portfolio of services has grown to include some of the most popular products today. With over 120 years of combined corporate experience, GE finds applications in several industries, including aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, electronics, and additive industrial manufacturing. Still, they’ve successfully incorporated advanced digital solutions into their inspections and NDT systems. Though headquartered in the US, it has regional representation in Europe, South America, and Asia.
2. GE Popular Ultrasonic Scanner
PALM Flat Scanner
The PALM Flat scanner is a well-designed piece of equipment with a balanced ergonomic for easy handling and safety and features that enhance versatility and a wide range of applications. It is very suitable for circumferential and axial inspections and has magnetic wheels for easy access to both vertical and horizontal operations.
- Protection rating of IP67 with durable stainless material which makes it rigid and compact
- Clearances as low as 30 mm
- It has an integrated ruler to adjust probe positions easily
- Variable probes and wedges
- Operator-replaceable integrated encoder
- Its magnetic wheels ensure a firm grip during operations
- It also has a manual brake to lock on for hands-free mode
- Stressless switching between axial and circumferential operations
- Easy to assemble and operable usually by one person
- CE compliant
RotoArray Bond Scanner
This RotoArray Bond scanner is especially applicable in the automotive industry, where parts are bonded with adhesives and need an inspection to ascertain the integrity of the bond. It has reliable and repeatable testing abilities coupled with fast and easy testing.
- A spring-loaded encoder wheels
- A specialized protection foils
- PC monitors for an onscreen display of inspection parameters
- Live software to analyze the inspection data
- It is fast and easy to set up and operate
- It eliminates corrosion with a reliable and accurate phased technology
- It helps to reduce the weight of automotive parts
- Firm and stable grip with its wheels
This PALM Scanner is designed to inspect pipes ranging from 1.5 inches to 3.5 inches effectively. It has easily adaptable features, including various phased array probes and wedges, making it suitable for the inspection of various sizes of tubes and materials.
- Lightweight, compact, and rigid
- 30mm minimum clearance needed between gaps
- Open clamp system with optimum spring loading
- Firm grip for axial inspection
- Exceptional UT signal for accurate measurement
- Quick and easy transformations between axial and circumferential measurements
- Suitable for both magnetic and non-magnetic pipes
- It is easily adaptable to different wedges and probes
- Each measurement on the circumferential weld is optimum for every tube size
- Easy to set up and operate
- Mounting for inspection can be done from both sides
- High protection rating against rust and water ingress
This Bond scanner is specially tailored for industries like automotive manufacturing, where they use a lot of adhesives for bonding parts together. It proffers a solution for the inspector in ascertaining the bond seams’ integrity and identifying any misaligned bond lines and spots lacking adequate adhesives.
- A spring-loaded encoder wheels
- A specialized protection foils
- Screen monitors for real-time analysis
- Integrated proprietary software for accurate results
- It can be easily set up and operated
- It has high protection against corrosion
- It enhances weight reduction solutions for bonded parts
- Durable and sturdy with firm grips
II. Olympus Ultrasonic Scanner
1. About Olympus
For more than a century, Olympus has been known as a leading optical equipment and solution manufacturer. From their humble beginnings when they made their first microscope back in 1920, Olympus has grown in leaps and bounds, adding several advanced optical types of equipment to their portfolio of products. They are revered as a leading designer of several NDT products like the ultrasonic scanner, for which they have become a household name. Olympus is headquartered in Japan but has a global reach and representation in most continents. They also partner with various organizations and institutions for research and collaboration as they are heavily invested in research and development.
2. Olympus Popular Ultrasonic Scanner
The WeldROVER scanner improves data acquisition during the inspection using a combination of automation and an industrial-strength encoded scanner. It is fast and efficient with phased array probes designed explicitly for the assessments of ferromagnetic piping weld seams
- Support up to 6 probes for pulse-echo or phased array inspections
- Enhances smooth data acquisition with continuous scanning speed control
- Up to 10 different scanning speed
- Both forward and backward motion is possible with a two-button remote control
- Fast data acquisition with configuration in not more than 5 minutes
- High protection against corrosion and water ingress with IP65 protection rating
- Ferro-magnetic pipes and vessel girth welds
This scanner is specially designed for inspecting pipes where access is limited. Though it operates manually, it has all the necessary features for effective and accurate inspection of pipes around any adjacent obstructions like supports and other structures with as little as 12mm clearance. Its wheel also helps to make the assessment easy and fast.
- Practical for various pipe sizes ranging from 21 – 114mm
- Can inspect areas with as little as 12mm clearance
- Multiple phased array probe for total weld coverage
- It’s easy to install and maneuver, even with one side access for pipes
- Provision of adequate pressure around the pipe’s circumference during an inspection operation
- Waterproof and well-protected from rust
- Small-diameter pipes’ circumferential weld inspections
This Olympus’ ChainSCANNER is often effective for pipe weld inspection and corrosion mapping because it’s a hands-on scanner. Though it has manual operating features, its specified range of pipe diameters is wide (45 -965mm), and it’s able to position firmly with the help of its chain links which replaces the magnetic wheels on other models.
- It features an ergonomic design with handles for protecting the encoder connectors.
- Chain links for firm grips on pipes and urethane coating help with smooth navigation.
- Probe holders with spring loading to ensure full contact with the pipes
- Wide range of pipe diameters (45mm – 965mm)
- Double probe configuration
- Corrosion mapping and weld inspection for circumferential pipe
This scanner features a data acquisition system that easily replaces the 2D encoding system and immersion techniques yet is easy to apply. The RollerFORM functions well even in awkward scanning positions to give ultrasonic testing that depicts the immersion technique but with minimal use of couplant and pressure for an excellent signal.
- It comes with a beam width of two different sizes (51.2mm and 128mm)
- A small quantity of couplant needed to get exceptional coupling results
- Exceptional composite material inspection capability of up to 50mm thickness using 25mm water delay line
- It has a waterlike acoustic impedance
- Composites and various smooth-surfaced materials.
III. GE vs. Olympus: Which is the Best for you?
The most important set of criteria that ensures the most benefits is often used to ascertain the best of the two brands highlighted above. This set of criteria is given below.
- Application – The range of applications is often essential as it helps reduce the need for a specialized scanner every time there is an inspection of a different material. While GE scanners have a decent range of applications, Olympus scanners have more range of applications making them more versatile.
- Accuracy – This is another essential criterion to consider since a lacking scanner accuracy will defeat the purpose of the quality inspection. The accuracy of both brands is pretty high, and periodic calibration can ensure high precision inspection.
- Reliability – The ability to deliver the required inspection activities to specification shows the scanner’s reliability. Both brands have a high level of reliability, but Olympus, with its range of highly durable models, seems better.
- Cost – This criterion is often the most important for most individuals and companies. An uncompetitive price can discourage a customer from purchasing. Olympus prices seem to be more competitive for some models, especially those with manual operation. However, GE’s automated models also have more competitive prices than that Olympus’ models.
- Delivery Date – The turnaround time for delivery is critical as a delay in delivery can hinder the inspection objective of the customers. Olympus has a shorter delivery time than GE making them preferable in this category.
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IV. Comparison with Other Brands of Ultrasonic Scanners: GE vs. Olympus vs. NDT-KITS
While the GE and Olympus scanners seem to be in a league of their own, other outstanding brands equally have quality ultrasonic scanners. One such brand is NDT-KITS, which has over three decades in non-destructive testing equipment manufacture, giving them high credibility and reliability. They are also heavily invested in research and development, devoting over ten percent of their profit to R&D. This move has established them as a leading manufacturer of some of the most innovative and most accurate ultrasonic scanners you’ll see in the market today. Another thing their ultrasonic scanners are known for is the wide variety of applications both for different geometry and materials and for various industries. Their scanners are used in the automotive, marine, military, oil and gas, power generation, and aerospace industries, making them one of the most applied ultrasonic scanners. Their production is cost-effective, making their products’ prices one of the most competitive prices in the market today.
V. Your Budget Pick: NDT-KITS
If budget is giving you a headache, then NDT-KITS is your best bet as they offer the most affordable and competitive prices for ultrasonic scanners compared with other brands like GE and Olympus. Their competitive advantage stems from a thorough understanding of innovative manufacturing and location advantage. With a heavy investment in research and development, NDT-KITS can produce ultrasonic scanners that do not carry unnecessary functions and meet customers’ specifications. Also, their strategic location in China helps them employ some of the best minds in the industry. These professionals are abundant in the tech capital of China, where NDT-KITS is located. Combining these factors helps NDT-KITS push their production costs down, and they can give customers highly competitive prices for their products. Furthermore, their services are customer-centered, with a team of customer support available both day and night to answer customers’ inquiries without fail.
Choosing between two quality manufacturers of ultrasonic scanners like GE and Olympus can be an arduous task. However, setting the most important criteria for your decision is vital to choosing a suitable ultrasonic scanner. Such criteria often include accuracy, price, delivery time, application, and reliability. Nevertheless, it is advantageous to consider other equally quality brands like NDT-KITS. Especially when the budget is the most critical criterion, NDT-KITS is your go-to brand as they have the most competitive price of the three brands. But that’s not all. NDT-KITS also offers 24/7 customer support to answer your questions before, during, and after delivery of the ultrasonic scanner. So now that the ball is in your court, what is your next move?