ndt inspection

5 NDT Services You Didn’t Know Buffalo Offered

NDT services are essential for ensuring the safety and efficiency of assets and materials. To assist organizations in maintaining equipment and components, Buffalo Inspection Services offers a range of NDT services across Western Canada. Our technicians use both traditional and advanced technology to provide the most reliable NDT services and inspections. As a leader in non-destructive testing, Buffalo is well-known for providing high-quality pipeline, oil and gas, and mining inspections. However, we also offer many other NDT services that you may not be aware of.

Here are five NDT services you didn’t know Buffalo offered.

Film Digitization
Lifting Equipment Inspection
Wire Rope Inspections
Ultrasonic and Advanced Surface Inspection
Real-Time Reporting Systems

NDT Services Offered by Buffalo

Film Digitization

Radiography film being evaluated by NDT services provider in Edmonton

Buffalo Inspection Services provides film digitization using advanced NDT technology and tools. Utilizing our large, purpose-built film-reading room and VIDAR’s NDT PRO Industrial Film Digitizer, Buffalo can digitize large quantities of radiography film. The result – cost-effective and high-quality digital images.

Digitized radiography film offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Portability – digitized NDT film can be easily moved and shared via email, file transfer and even the cloud. As a result, the film can be viewed from anywhere, any time. If you are unable to access, store or move files due to IT restrictions, Buffalo will soon offer a SharePoint system as well. This system will manage all of your data storage, portability and movement requirements.
  • Accessibility and advanced interpretation – since digitized film is so portable, it can be easily accessed and reviewed by auditors, Level 3 auditing inspectors and customers. As a result, the quality of interpretation is much greater with digitized film.
  • Organization and archival benefits – digitized film can also be easily organized. Images can be archived alongside related documents such as RT reports, costing reports, location information and more.
  • Preservation – unlike traditional film, digital film can be preserved indefinitely. While physical film deteriorates over time, digital film will experience no reduction in quality.
  • Enhanced imaging – in addition to digitized images, Buffalo provides imaging software. This software will allow you to view, manipulate, enhance and zoom in on particular aspects.

As you can see, film digitization provides numerous advantages and a positive return on investment. Therefore, this NDT service is beneficial for any inspection program.

Lifting Equipment Inspection

Man lift that requires a lifting equipment NDT inspection

Buffalo’s NDT services also include lifting equipment inspections. The highly trained and experienced NDT technicians at Buffalo are capable of performing inspections and testing on various types of lifting and hoisting equipment. This includes:

  • Forklifts
  • Mobile truck cranes
  • Overhead industrial cranes
  • Man lifts and baskets, etc.

Hoisting and lifting equipment is consistently exposed to stress and fatigue. Therefore, NDT inspection is essential for safe and uninterrupted operation. Buffalo uses both advanced and traditional NDT methods to ensure accurate inspections and reliable results for the safe and efficient use of lifting equipment.

Buffalo’s lifting equipment inspection techniques include:

  • Visual Inspection (VT)
  • Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI or MT)
  • Mobile Magnetic Particle Inspection
  • Liquid Penetration Testing (PT)

Need special service? Buffalo provides 24/7 lifting equipment inspections. For 24/7 dispatch, call 780.975.6475.

Wire Rope Inspections

Gondolas that require wire rope inspections

As a result of their limited service life, wire ropes require regular inspection. In many cases, this ensures the health and safety of both employees and the public. To help maintain the safety of wire ropes, Buffalo’s NDT services include wire rope inspections

To provide reliable testing, Buffalo’s NDT technicians use advanced Magnetic Flux Leakage Detection Technology. This technology not only allows for a reliable estimate of the condition of wire ropes but also an estimate of their remaining lifespan.

Buffalo technicians can provide inspections of wire ropes ranging in size from 10mm to 60mm in diameter.

At Buffalo, we inspect the following types of wire ropes:

  • Passenger ropeways (e.g. chairlifts, gondolas, etc.)
  • Elevator rope
  • Lifting device ropes
  • Bridge strand
  • Cable belt
  • Ziplines
  • Container crane ropes
  • Mine hoist ropes
  • Wire ropes for cable ferries

Ultrasonic and Advanced Surface Inspection

NDT services technician does ultrasonic testing on steel structure

Buffalo Inspection Services is dedicated to providing the most reliable and cost-effective NDT services. Therefore, we use the most advanced NDT technology and tools to help increase productivity and offer high-quality inspections.

Buffalo provides portable and complete ultrasonic and advanced surface inspections by employing state-of-the-art technologies (e.g. Total Focus Method) and cutting-edge tools (e.g. M2M GEKKO).

Buffalo’s ultrasonic and advanced surface inspection techniques and capabilities include:

  • Hardness Testing
  • Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT)
  • Time of Flight Diffraction (​​TOFD)
  • Laser Alloy Testing (LIBS)
  • Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI or MT)
  • Liquid Penetration Inspection (LPI)
  • Visual Inspection
  • Positive Material Identification (PMI), Spark Testing/CE
  • Ferrite Testing

Real-Time Reporting Systems for NDT Services

Buffalo Connect real-time reporting system for NDT services

In addition to the NDT services discussed above, Buffalo provides its partners with access to advanced real-time reporting systems.

To serve our clients better, Buffalo offers two custom NDT software programs – BUFFALO CONNECT and BUFFALO CONNEX. These reporting tools are unlike anything offered by other NDT companies in Western Canada. These systems offer numerous benefits and unmatched value and are, therefore, highly sought after.

Buffalo Connect

BUFFALO CONNECT is Buffalo’s client Extranet Portal. This portal allows our clients to:

  • Access work orders and reports in real-time, from anywhere, day or night
  • Easily and instantly share information and collaborate on projects
  • View and monitor project costs
  • Access asset records, such as tank and vessel reports
  • Access procedural manuals, as well as technician certifications and tickets
  • Search for reports that contain specific information (e.g. Report Number, Job Number, etc.)

Above all, BUFFALO CONNECT provides a level of transparency that is not commonly seen in the non-destructive testing industry. This transparency allows us to create open, honest and mutually-beneficial partnerships.

Check out a demo here – BUFFALO CONNECT Demo

Buffalo Connex

CONNEX is Buffalo’s proprietary work order management system. This real-time reporting system allows our experienced technicians to efficiently track and complete inspection reports. It also helps Buffalo comply with all contract requirements via real-time purchase order spend and invoice tracking.

Above all, CONNEX ensures real-time code compliance and provides technicians with the ability to integrate specific reporting requirements. As a result, Buffalo’s reporting meets the highest standards and is extremely consistent.

Learn more about CONNEX – BUFFALO CONNEX Demo

Become a Buffalo Partner and Benefit from Accurate and Reliable NDT Services

The NDT services above are just the tip of the iceberg – Buffalo offers an extensive range of NDT/NDE inspection services to ensure the safety, reliability and longevity of a wide range of materials and assets.

With more than 40 years of experience, 60 inspection crews and 28 locations throughout Western Canada (including satellite locations), Buffalo is able to provide fast, convenient and accurate inspections.

Above all, our expert NDT technicians foster a culture of safety, transparency and innovation. As a result, you will benefit from cost-effective, honest and high-quality service.

To learn more about Buffalo’s NDT services, or how to become a partner, contact us today at 1-780-486-7344.

Two men from Buffalo Inspections conducting welding inspections

Welding Inspections: Examining the Various Types of Welding Inspection

Welding inspections are extremely important for several reasons. Machinery, buildings, pipelines and other essential equipment and materials require welding that must be inspected to ensure safety and reliability.

Welding inspectors can employ various types of welding inspection. With the help of these welding inspection techniques, codes, and standards, welding inspectors can determine if a weld is suitable for its intended purpose.

But, what are these techniques and what types of welding inspection are the most common and reliable?

Let’s take a look.


What is the purpose of welding inspections?
What kind of inspections can be done on a weld?
How many types of welding inspections are there?
What is the most commonly used method of weld inspection?

What is the purpose of inspection in welding?

Welding inspections are important to determine if a weld meets certain codes and standards. In Canada, weld characteristics must meet the standards set out by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). These regulations help inspectors ensure that machinery and materials can safely and effectively be used.

Certified welding inspectors conduct examinations using a number of tools and techniques. These inspections reveal data related to the size and quality of the weld. Most importantly, they identify any flaws or defects.

Flaws and defects can result in poor performance and safety issues. Therefore, welding inspections also help companies save money by detecting possible failures before they occur. This helps to reduce costs related to incidents, and asset loss, as well as protects employees, the public, and the environment.


Welding inspection being conducted by certified welding inspector

What kind of inspections can be done on a weld?

A weld can be inspected using both destructive and non-destructive techniques.

Destructive techniques physically destroy the weld to determine its viability. Commonly, when an inspector is conducting a destructive weld test, they will break a sample of the weld off to evaluate its strength and other characteristics.

On the other hand, non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques allow a welding inspector to examine the weld and its characteristics without causing harm. These techniques are commonly used by welding inspection companies in Canada.

Buffalo Inspections, for example, is a non-destructive testing company that employs NDT methods when evaluating welds.

How many types of welding inspections are there?

There are five common NDT welding inspection methods used in Canada. These include:

  1. Visual
  2. Radiographic (or X-ray)
  3. Ultrasonic
  4. Magnetic Particle
  5. Liquid Penetrant

Each type of welding inspection offers different advantages and disadvantages. The type of inspection that should be used depends on the asset, as well as the tools and technicians available.

Visual Inspection

Visual inspection, or VT, is the simplest form of NDT welding inspection. In this case, the welding inspector examines the weld visually to determine if any surface flaws are present. Weld size can also be examined to determine any possible issues.

This type of inspection is cost-effective and can be employed while work continues on a structure or material. However, visual welding inspections are limited, as only surface defects can be recognized. As well, in many cases, VT must be conducted throughout a project, especially if more than one layer of material is being deposited.

Often welding inspection companies will begin with a visual inspection to ensure there are no obvious defects.

Radiographic Testing

Radiographic inspection (RT), or X-ray, is a non-destructive testing method that is versatile and commonly used in Canada. This NDT method is employed to evaluate the internal quality of a weld. It can be used to identify internal flaws such as cracks, non-metallic inclusions, burn-through and more.

This inspection method is beneficial because the inspection is recorded on film. This film can then be used for subsequent examination, if necessary. However, several limitations also exist. First and foremost, the quality of the inspection relies on the skills and ability of the inspector and the equipment being used. As well, not all welds are suitable for this type of inspection.

Magnetic Particle Inspection

Magnetic Particle Testing, or MT, detects surface and near-surface flaws.

This NDT method will identify welding defects immediately. As well, sensitivity can be adjusted. This allows for various levels of flaw detection. As a result, welding inspections using MT can identify minor imperfections, including tight cracks and discontinuities.

Unfortunately, Magnetic Particle Testing can only be used on ferromagnetic materials, such as iron and steel. As well, some surfaces, such as those with a thick coat of paint, will not allow for this method of inspection. In addition, like other NDT techniques, a skilled inspector is needed to effectively conduct the inspection and identify any discontinuities.

Liquid Penetrant Testing

Liquid Penetrant Inspection, or PT, is used to identify surface cracks that cannot be detected by the naked eye. This method is common for detecting leaks due to welding flaws.

Unlike Magnetic Particle Inspection, PT can be used to evaluate magnetic and nonmagnetic materials. This method of inspection can help to detect very slight flaws. PT can also detect defects in materials with complex shapes.

However, Liquid Penetrant Inspection is limiting. This is because only surface flaws can be detected. Proper pre and post-inspection cleaning is also required.

Ultrasonic Inspection

Ultrasonic Testing, or UT weld inspection, can identify both internal and surface flaws. As well, UT can identify the location and measurement of a discontinuity.

This method is extremely sensitive, allowing inspectors to detect minor imperfections that other NDT methods will not recognize.

Using phased array technology allows for even more complex and accurate inspections. Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) allows welding inspectors to evaluate a component from multiple angles. This means components with complex geometry can be quickly and accurately inspected. However, this method requires the most skill and experience to properly interpret the results.

What is the most common weld test?

The two most common types of weld tests include Radiographic and Ultrasonic testing. These NDT methods are commonly used because they can detect internal flaws and irregularities. In addition, they can do so without destroying or affecting the integrity of the weld.


Two men from Buffalo Inspections conducting welding inspections

Do you require accurate welding inspections?

Buffalo Inspection Services offers NDT inspection services for CSA Standard W178.1. Our certified technicians inspect buildings, industrial structures, machinery, pipelines, piping, and more using the most advanced and up-to-date technology.

Our CWB certified inspection personnel and CWB level 3 Welding Inspector offer in-depth knowledge and valuable experience. As a result, we provide the most accurate and efficient welding inspections.

Contact Buffalo today to request a quote or schedule an inspection.

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What is the Importance of Non-Destructive Testing and Inspection Services in Edmonton?

Visual Inspection and Liquid Penetrant Testing
Non Destructive testing (NDT) and inspection services are important if you don’t want the usefulness of your equipment, materials, or components changed or destroyed in any way. NDT is a comprehensive way to find, size, and locate surface and subsurface flaws and defects that could have an adverse impact on safety, reliability, and the environment.
NDT plays a crucial role in everyday life for companies using pipelines, bridges, refineries, oil platforms, power stations, and more. It’s a quality assurance management tool to help companies make sure they’re following standards and regulations and safeguarding assets and personnel.

Benefits of NDT

Without NDT, you couldn’t be sure your materials, products, and equipment will achieve their design requirements or their expected life. Undetected defects and flaws usually result in expensive repairs or replacements and can place your company’s employees in unsafe conditions. Consider the loss of revenue due to an unplanned plant shutdown when equipment fails. Even more important, a catastrophic failure can have a devastating impact from which some companies never recover.
NDT primarily covers the following:

  • Prevent accidents and reduce costs
  • Improve product reliability
  • Meet regulations and requirements
  • Manage assets and resources

Because NDT doesn’t permanently change or destroy the article being inspected, it can save you both money and time in product evaluation, troubleshooting, and research. Because of the nature of NDT and its portability, you don’t need a product opened or taken out of service. And you can test items before they are finally shaped and ready for service. This gives you an inexpensive and immediate way to locate and assess surface and subsurface defects and flaws. It also gives you the peace of mind knowing your equipment is functioning the way it’s supposed to and that you can prevent future accidents that could be catastrophic.

When to use NDT

When you’re constructing a facility, piping, equipment, or other such item, use NDT at each stage of construction. Have your materials and welds examined and inspected using NDT and then use it to monitor the integrity of the item or structure throughout its life.
To get the information and data you need to make sound business decisions, you need an NDT inspection service provider who does:

  • Visual inspections
  • Liquid penetrating inspection
  • Acoustic emission
  • Magnetic particle inspection
  • Eddy current inspection
  • Ultrasonic inspection
  • Radiographic inspection

A certified and trained NDT expert understands the various methods available to perform your NDT, what their capabilities and limitations are, and the relevant standards and specifications for each test.


The advantages of NDT can be enormous. Advanced NDT methods can give you more accurate and reliable inspection data and offer a better probability of detection for flaws and defects. And a good NDT methodology is recordable and repeatable, offering inspection reports that provide high value to companies. Find a non-destructive testing and inspection service with advanced instruments and technology to partner with and save money and resources while safeguarding your assets over the long haul.

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