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The TestPEP consortium is made up of 15 organisations from seven European countries.

There are five SME-AGs in the consortium: EWF (based in Portugal), AEND (Spain), SMART Group (UK), AIPnD (Italy) and PIG (UK). One of their main roles will be to disseminate information from the project to industry throughout Europe. EWF, as a network of national welding associations, has access to a large number of non-participating SMEs that are active in the plastic pipe industry sector throughout Europe. AEND and AIPnD have direct access to SMEs active in the NDT field in their respective countries. SMART Group has access to a large number of SME electronics manufacturers in the UK and PIG has access to a large number of UK SME plastic pipeline installers.

There are two SMEs in the consortium with varying types of technical activity covering ultrasonic phased array transducers (Vermon, France), and scanners and service inspection (Isotest, Italy). These two companies, together with M2M (France), which has expertise in ultrasonic instrumentation and software, will be responsible for developing the inspection system.

The consortium includes four large organisations. In addition to M2M, Plasflow (UK) has expertise in plastic pipe fabrication and welding, and will be responsible for manufacturing the pipe welds containing deliberate flaws. The other two large organisations represent end users of plastics pipes: E.ON (Germany) is one of the largest gas suppliers in Europe and British Energy, which is part of EDF Energy, is one of the largest energy companies in the UK.

There are four research providers in the consortium. TWI (UK) has one of the world's largest research groups dedicated to welding/joining and NDE technology and will also provide the project management. The Ultrasonic Institute at KTU (Lithuania) specialises in the development of advanced ultrasonic measurement techniques and signal processing, and will develop the automatic defect sentencing software. Hessel (Germany) is the foremost test laboratory in Europe for long-term testing of plastics pipes and fittings, and will determine the flaw acceptance criteria. Superlab at CCR (Italy) specialises in the analysis of non-metallic surfaces, and will quantify the contamination levels in the welded joints.

In addition to the project partners, the advisory regulatory body, HSE (UK) has agreed to provide input on national and European plastic pipe inspection legislative requirements.

Asociación espaňola de ensayos no destructivos (AEND), Spain

AENDAEND is the institution that coordinates NDE activities in Spain. It is a technological society with more than 1000 corporative and individual members which is well recognised throughout Spain and abroad. AEND is a member of the European Federation of NDT. The main objectives of the society are supporting R&D and training activities in NDE and applications. AEND are also involved in organising conferences in Spain and other European Societies in the area of training, R&D and consultancy. AEND is a long-established and extremely active SME-AG for NDE and associated activities.

British Energy, UK

British EnergyBritish Energy, which is part of EDF Energy, owns and operates eight nuclear power stations, with a combined capacity of almost 9000 megawatts, whilst their coal-fired plant adds a further 1960 megawatts of output making British Energy one of the largest electricity generators in the UK. British Energy operate two types of nuclear reactor: the advanced gas-cooled reactor of which they have seven; and a pressurised water reactor (PWR) at Sizewell B, which is the only PWR nuclear power station in the UK.

Consorzio Catania Ricerche (CCR), Italy

Consorzio Catania Ricerche Consorzio Catania Ricerche is a consortium between Catania University and local industrial companies. It will be represented in the project by Laboratorio Superfici ed Interfasi (Superlab), which is a partnership between Catania University and SGS Thompson and is located within the SGS Thompson site in Catania. The laboratory, which was set up 15 years ago, is dedicated to the analysis of the surface of materials and undertakes a significant amount of its work for the microelectronics industry and was chosen for the project because of its sophisticated surface analysis equipment and expertise in the analysis of non-metallic surfaces.

The project work will be directed by Prof. Orazio Puglisi, who is General Director of Consorzio Catania Ricerche, and a leading academic in the field of surface analysis. He will be supported in the work by Dr Antonino Scandurra of Superlab.

E.ON - Ruhrgas AG, Germany

E.ON-RuhrgasIn it's over 80-year history, E.ON-Ruhrgas has developed from a regional distributor to an international gas company, with almost 3,000 employees. Its customers are regional and local distribution companies, industry and power stations. Their supply system consists of more than 11,000 km of pipeline, 11 underground storage facilities and 28 compressor stations.

European Federation for Welding, Joining and Cutting (EWF), Portugal

EWFFormed in 1991, EWF's origins go back to 1974 when it was first instigated through the main EC members at that time. As an EC Federation, it now represents the main welding AGs throughout the EC with 26 main members and a number of EC and non-EC affiliates. Its main objectives are to promote the interests of the international welding industry through its members worldwide and to facilitate harmonised education, training and qualification systems to provide the welding industry with qualified and skilled personnel at all levels.

Hessel Ingenieurtechnik GmbH, Germany

Hessel IngenieurtechnikHessel Ingenieurtechnik is the foremost test laboratory in Europe for the long-term testing of thermoplastics pipes and fittings, lining membranes and other plastics building products. Clients include raw material suppliers, processors and end users. Services include failure studies, service life determination, tank and systems design and calculation, and officially approved inspection and certification of plastics products.

The project work will be directed by Dr-Ing Joachim Hessel, who is the owner and Managing Director of the company and is a world-renowned expert on the long-term testing of welds in plastics pipes.

I.SO.TEST Engineering srl, Italy

IsotestIsotest was founded in 1981. Its main activity is related to NDE and quality control. Isotest manufactures ultrasound and X-ray NDE equipment to individual customers' needs. It provides engineering, design, software development and assembly of automation systems; and a complete service, from the understanding of the origin of the defects to the selection of the most suitable NDE system. Isotest's market for NDE and quality control is essentially within Italy, whereas the supply of equipment covers the international market.

Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Lithuania

KTUKTU is the largest technical university in the Baltic States, and is the second largest institution of higher education in Lithuania, with 13 faculties, more than 17000 undergraduates and 450 graduates. The main principle is the humanisation of technology, the application of all technical systems to social requirements. It will be represented in the project by the Department of Electronics Ultrasound Institute, which has experience in various applications of ultrasonic techniques for many different industries. Its research activities include NDE, ultrasonic industrial measurements, simulation and signal processing in ultrasonic measurements, and investigation of material properties by ultrasonic techniques.

M2M, France

M2MM2M develops, produces and sells new ultrasonic NDE systems using the latest advances in phased array technology. M2M's staff have technical skills in electronics, software engineering, physics and material science.

Plasflow Ltd, UK

PlasflowPlasflow manufactures high quality standard and bespoke plastic fabrications. Its fully equipped fabrication workshop is among the most comprehensive in the UK, with CNC-controlled pipe butt fusion machines and cutting facilities ranging from 90mm to 1200mm outside diameter. The company serves a variety of industries including: chemical, civil, environmental, landfill, nuclear, pharmaceutical, processing, and gas and water utilities.


SMARTSMART stands for Surface Mount and Related Technologies. The group is an industrial body comprising specialists from the whole range of electronics, and other, manufacturing activities and also academics and research groups. Its aim is to promote the advancement of the electronics manufacturing industry through education, training and notification of its members, and by the promotion of a community of electronics manufacturing professionals.


TWIWith 550 skilled staff and a turnover of €57M, TWI is one of the largest independent research RTOs in Europe. It is a membership-based organisation, with 3,500 Industrial Member companies world-wide. Among these, are over 200 companies associated with the oil & gas, petrochemical and power generation industries world-wide most of whom have a strategic and operational interest in the use of distribution pipelines in their supply chain. TWI has become a world leader for NDE development and condition monitoring using a range of techniques including phased array ultrasonics and TOFD. Some 65 engineers and technicians work in the NDE Technology Development Group, 22 of them on ultrasonic phased array and long range ultrasonic technology.

Vermon, France

VermonVermon was established in 1984 with the objective of advancing the state-of-the-art in ultrasonic phased array transducer design, and has become a world leader in 1-3 piezoelectric composite technology. The company supplies OEM manufacturers worldwide with high quality, high performance transducers and probes for a variety of diagnostic imaging applications. Vermon's manufacturing facilities include a 10000 sq. ft environmentally-controlled production area, in-house tooling design and fabrication, computer controlled dicing saws for composite and array fabrication, electroplating facilities, vacuum encapsulation equipment, moulding equipment, environmental chambers for temperature, humidity and special chemical compatibility tests, sophisticated transducer modelling software, CAD tools for mechanical and electrical design, computer based automated acoustic testing systems and a Steris One R system for testing probe materials for Steris compatibility.

Associazione Italiana Prove Non Distruttive (AIPnD), Italy

Associazione Italiana Prove Non Distruttive (AIPnD), ItalyAIPnD was founded in 1979. Its membership includes companies, institutes, research centres, schools, universities, and the manufacturers and suppliers of NDT and SHM equipment. Eighty percent of its corporate members are SMEs. Its aims are: to promote scientific and technical awareness of developments in NDT and SHM through information and education; to improve the professionalism of those operating in the sector; and to promote the life and culture of the association by encouraging the exchange of ideas, experience and knowledge among its members.

Pipeline Industries Guild (PIG), UK

Pipeline Industries Guild (PIG), UKPIG was formed in 1957 and has evolved to be the only association world-wide to cater directly for the needs of the pipeline industry. The Guild’s membership comprises organisations with interests in pipelines transporting hydrocarbon products, chemicals, water and wastewater, both on and offshore.

PIG will be supported by two 3rd Party members: Radius Systems and Daniel Contractors.