SMART Industry Groups

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SMART Industry Groups

WTIA hosts and administers the SMART (Save Money And Re-engineer with Technology) Industry Groups, providing a forum for technology transfer and R&D, linking members with industry and research organisations. The SMART groups:

  • Represent a source of vital technical welding information;
  • Optimise welding practices through standard development and tools; and
  • Assist members to prepare specifications.

WTIA is able to provide support and advice associated with defence projects and procurement, and works closely with industry to identify opportunities matching the capabilities of SMART Group members. The WTIA works with SMART Group members to ensure they remain diverse and resilient in ever-changing and increasingly challenging domestic and global markets.

We are committed to ensuring that Australian industry is internationally competitive across all sectors. We actively raise the industry’s profile, and advocate industry issues, by liaising with key decision makers and lobbying federal government departments. Our lobbying activity is committed to actively improving the competitiveness of Australian manufacturing. WTIA SMART membership is open to Asset Owners and Managers involved with welding or related activities, to create tailored Industry Groups that share resources for engineering innovative solutions to enhance safety, manage risk, reduce cost, and optimise operating efficiency, by:

  • Sharing the cost of implementing new technologies
  • Developing best practices and providing guidance on health and safety in welding and allied processes
  • Provide a forum to brainstorm common needs and effective solutions
  • Facilitate technology transfer via National and International seminars, colloquiums, workshop and conferences
  • Representation on Standards Committees for the development of Australian and International Standards

SMART Members receive:

  • Participation in tailored industry projects
  • Membership to the Technology Support Network, which offers services to asset managers and prime contractors
  • Regular industry updates and networking events
  • Opportunity to participate in industry research and development projects
  • Access to Industry Group technical and research material

 

WTIA SMART Industry Groups identify and meet the critical welding needs of Australian key markets:

Mining and Mineral processing in Australia is a primary industry and contributor to the Australian economy. With the National mining sector globally moving from the construction to the operation phase, WTIA is assisting the Industry focusing on:

• Technical assistance in unit revamps
• Tailored training needs
• Industry Technical Notes and Best Practice Guidelines
• QA/QC compliance
• Health and Safety guidance

With larger quotas of renewable energies available, an ageing pressure equipment scenario and an increasing share of imported material, WTIA is assisting Power Plants, Alumina Process and the Pressure Equipment industry focusing on:

• Implementation of a National Pressure Industry Plan
• Guidance on existing equipment life extension
• Innovative IT solutions to increase plant operation reliability
• QA/QC compliance
• Health and Safety guidance

In a very competitive International scenario, Contractors are sourcing larger quotas of sub-structures and steel from overseas, with varying results. WTIA is assisting the industry focusing on:

• Quality assurance, conformity & control of imported steel and structures
• Compliance with local Standards and Regulations
• Guidance on welding for reinforcement cages
• Health and Safety guidance

Procurement of key Military assets is under discussion and may be moved to overseas suppliers in the future, with the risk that Australia will lose the strategic capability to manufacture and repair them. WTIA is assisting the industry focusing on:

• Promoting the Technology Transfer to increase welding operations efficiency
• Liaising with Governmental institutions to support National manufacturing
• Providing guidance on Standards, repair techniques and compliance with Local regulations
• Health and Safety guidance

Following an unprecedented development in the Oil and Gas sector, some of the world largest natural gas plants are just under completion. Moving from the commissioning to the operation stage, WTIA is assisting the industry focusing on:

• Global industry recognition of Australian qualifications for welding personnel
• Assistance to the EPC contractors during commissioning phase
• QA/QC compliance
• Fit for service / Fit for purpose assessment
• Reverse Engineering

With the need of keeping safe and functional the existing Australian iconic assets and developing new infrastructures for the increasing mobility needs, WTIA is assisting the Industry focusing on:

• Implementation of a National Standard for Steel structures
• Quality of imported steel and structures
• QA/QC compliance
• Fit for service / Fit for purpose assessment
• Reverse Engineering

Grouping different companies of the same market niche, the SMART Industry Groups share resources for engineering innovative solutions and ideas in order to reduce cost, enhance safety and optimize operating efficiency.

New SMART Industry Groups in Development

In 2016, the WTIA has begun developing new SMART Industry Groups in the following key areas:

Additive manufacturing is creating objects from 3D model data by deposing sequential layers of material. WTIA is establishing the Additive Manufacturing SMART Industry Group, focusing on:

• advocate for Government and industry support
• facilitate the formation of consortia to commercially develop research
• advise on capital raising and access to equity
• provide the opportunity to promote technology to other industry groups and partner with them to identify applications
• act as a focal point for industry marketing and networking

WTIA has become increasingly aware of a significant number of problems involving the procurement of fabricated steel products overseas. A Procurement SMART Industry Group is in development, assisting the national industry by focusing on:

• Addressing the perception of the “initial apparent cost” (IAC) as key aspect in tender evaluation
• Creating a risk-matrix for tender assessment
• Assisting the industry in tightening project specification requirements
• Work with the industry to implement improved criteria for approved vendors selection

If you would like to find out more about these groups or how your company can take part, please email membership@wtia.com.au to register your interest.

The SMART Objectives

To provide significant benefits to Industry by adopting a collective and cooperative approach to the application of innovative welding technology. SMART Groups:

  • Provide a forum to brainstorm common needs and effective solutions
  • Facilitate technology transfer
  • Share the cost of assessing new technologies and applying them within their Industry
  • Promote best practice and provide guidance on health and safety in welding and allied processes
  • Represent Industry Sectors on Standards Committees for the development of Australian and International Standards related to welding
  • Facilitate technology transfer via National and International seminars, colloquiums, workshops and Conferences

Some SMART Ideas

Many items of a power station suffer from various types of degradation and refurbishment rather than replacement of critical components has long been acknowledged as an economically viable alternative.

The scope of the project is to develop a centralised database (the National Piping Database or NPD) containing data on high energy piping collected from power stations, for the purposes of evaluating risk and correlating inspection results. The purpose of the database is to provide a critical view supported by the collected data regarding the expected residual life of the power piping installed in a power station.

Many items of a power station suffer from various types of degradation and refurbishment rather than replacement of critical components has long been acknowledged as an economically viable alternative.

Replicas are one of the most widely used, semi-destructive methods available to evaluate components ageing, by analysing their metallurgical microstructure modification. The scope of the project is to develop a scheme to certify Metallographic Replica Personnel and companies, while giving to the Members a thorough knowledge of the technology, including the understanding of the areas, parts and components mainly subject to ageing and creep phenomena.

Power Plants share similar technologies, equipment and materials. To perform a weld complying with the Standards, a qualified Welding Procedure Specification is requested and, when not already available, it has to be developed by the single User, with the related time and cost involved.

The scope of the project is to create a shared database of welding procedure qualification records (WPQR’s) to be used by the Project Members, so that a large pool of qualified welding procedure specifications (WPSs) is immediately available to the Members.

Power plants are subject to periodic and emergency shutdown. When this occurs, weld related activities are always to be carried out in a professional and timely manner, most of the time outsourcing the welding related activities.

The scope of the project is to create a National database of welders, keeping record of their qualifications, skills and expertise, with the aim of assisting the Power Plants in finding the correct pool of professionals during the maintenance activities.

The majority of power plant in Australia is getting older, but the need for safe and reliable equipment has not and will not change. Boilers, in a Power Plant, are one of the components largely stressed due to the harsh conditions to which they are exposed.

Purpose of the project is to provide a thorough guideline for Boiler failure mechanisms, inspection and maintenance methodology. The end result will enable industry to perform better inspection and improve availability, life and economy of operations.

The majority of power plants in Australia are getting older. Many power stations suffer from various types of degradation. Refurbishment rather than replacement of critical components has long been acknowledged as an economically viable alternative. Many of these components have also very long procurement time and are only available from overseas. Refurbishment often requires high integrity welding, and many components have been successfully welded already.

Part of the project is to compare the replacement with the refurbishment cost, considering also the loss of profit due to component unavailability, inspection and stocking costs etc. This project is a continuation of a very successful previous project that resulted in the in-situ laser cladding of LP turbine blades and it attempted to identify more components, thereby saving dismantling time and costs.

Modern Power, Energy and Process industries usually rely on achieving adequate efficiency and cost effectiveness by operating plant at high pressures, high speeds and high temperatures, accelerating components deterioration due to creep, fatigue, corrosion and erosion. Such deterioration is time-based and places limits on the safe operating life of plant.

There are many advantages in using risk-based inspection, and if risk is expressed in monetary terms it can be used as a very powerful decision making tool. This Technical Guidance Note is intended to supplement AS/NZS 3788 to provide additional guidance to users involved in the process of life assessment of plant and equipment subjected to high temperature and/or high stresses. It expands the subjects of creep and fatigue life calculations, non-destructive testing techniques, sampling techniques, accelerated creep life testing and interpretation of results. Guidance is given on both qualitative and quantitative risk assessment.

Purpose of the project is to provide definitive temper bead welding procedures for use by the Power Generation Industry in cases where extended outages are undesirable and the time saving possible by omitting lengthy post weld heat treatments is desirable. Currently individual power stations spend thousands of dollars qualifying their own temper bead procedures.

Use of the procedures developed should enable economic savings to be made through the implementation of proven temper bead welding procedures, validated through extensive testing, proving long term suitability and long service life applying the correct techniques.

The current power generation scenario is experiencing larger and larger quotas of energy supplied by renewable energies, that however do not act as a constant power source. Together with planned and emergency shutdowns, a modern power plant is often operating in cycling conditions. Start-ups, shut-downs and cycles of power generation equipment significantly degrade certain high temperature components. Software for estimating cost of start-ups and shut-downs due to damage mechanisms is thus a fundamental tool in the plant life and cost analysis.

Existing costing databases of boiler and power station components will be expanded to include development of a costing model for start-ups and shut-downs of CCGT and HRSG gas turbine plants. Expansion of the existing range of components to cover complex heaters, tees and other components will enable power stations to accurately assess the damage mechanisms and cost of start-ups and shut downs on these components.

This Guidance Note for Acoustic Emission (AE) monitoring of high temperature piping is being developed based on trials conducted at Loy Yang Power Station as part of a co-operative research project. Traditionally the inspection of high temperature piping involves the erection of scaffolding and the removal of the lagging/insulation on the piping, to allow access to the pipe surface for conventional testing, requiring an extensive outage period if the entire high temperature piping system is to be inspected.

With AE monitoring, the wave guides and sensors can be mounted during operation of the unit or during a short outage without the need for insulation removal. Instrumentation is connected and monitoring is performed during start-up or during load changes. Activity is recorded and analysed and locations where event signals resulting from crack propagation and creep are recorded. The AE monitoring can be done on a continuous or periodic basis and for all high energy piping, particularly longitudinally seam welded hot reheat piping with a higher risk of failure, AE has significant advantages over conventional inspection methods.

For further information on becoming a SMART group member please contact our office via email (membership@wtia.com.au) or phone 02 8748 0100