DNV GL Sets Up Houston Facility for Failure Investigations

David Norfleet, Head of Section, Incident Investigation, DNV GL

DNV GL has opened a failure analysis facility in Houston, Texas which should provide failure analyses that support the industry in conducting effective and efficient root cause analyses.

The aim is to prevent and learn from failures and continue to improve safety, reliability and up-time.

The facility will carry out the crucial initial steps of a failure investigation, which could include visual inspection, non-destructive testing [NDT], disassembly, cutting of components, etc.

The facility will interact seamlessly with DNV GL’s large and very experienced team of experts in Columbus, OH who are able to carry out further analyses, which may include metallography, fractography (scanning electron microscopy), mechanical testing, chemical analysis, etc. as well as draw on experience from several 1,000 failure analyses carried out in DNV GL’s network of failure labs in the US, Norway, Singapore, The Netherlands and the UK.

DNV GL has experience with examining failures of a wide range of components from offshore/onshore pipelines, offshore structure and subsea equipment, machinery, compressors, wind turbines etc.

The facility consists of a warehouse to support receiving, inspecting, and storing large pipe sections and other failed components, as well as office space and other facilities.

David Norfleet, Head of Section, Incident Investigation, DNV GL – Oil & Gas explains: “Each year the Incident Investigation Section in DNV GL’s Columbus laboratory performs approximately 150 failure investigations for various industries, with the bulk coming from onshore pipeline infrastructure. The results of the investigations provide key insights for the proactive management of pipeline integrity so that similar incidents do not occur. Our new facility will enhance this and provides further facilities for our customers and extends DNV GL’s global laboratory network.”

Frank Ketelaars, regional manager, Americas, DNV GL – Oil & Gas stated: “There is much to be gained from operators performing failure investigations and root cause analyses; It will provide better insights on why equipment has failed and how failures can be prevented in the future, enhancing safety, reliability and saving costs. Opening the new facility in the Houston area will allow us to provide improved local customer access, so they can be more closely involved in the whole investigation process.”

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