Magnetic inductive testing: safely uphill in Norwegian ski resorts
When winter is on its way, it starts to itch for a lot of ski enthusiasts, and they then tend to flock to ski resorts. There, elevators and cable cars are important parts of the logistics. These facilities must, of course, be safe. Strict requirements are set for the construction and operation of ski resorts. An inspection, carried out by an accredited body, includes full control of the entire facility to create a safe environment, prevent downtime and accidents.
According to the Norwegian Railway Inspectorate (SJT), the associated supervisory authority in Norway, ski lifts and cable cars must be inspected regularly. The provider of these lifts and cable cars is responsible for ensuring that inspection takes place. Recently, Kiwa inspected the ski lifts at Vrådal Panorama Ski Center, located in Kviteseid municipality in Telemark, Norway. The ski center has 18 slopes for a total of 15 km and eight lifts, including the world's first 8-seater chairlift that opened in 1998. This statutory inspection is part of the security plan that the ski center applies to ensure safety for guests.
High accuracy with magnetic inductive testing (MIP)
One of the requirements of the inspection is that steel wires must be checked using magnetic inductive testing (MIP), a non-destructive testing (NDT) method. These tests should be conducted with an interval of three years. The inspection at Vrådal Panorama Ski Center was carried out using MIP.
Bjørnar Meland, Director of Inspection at Kiwa Norway, explains that MIP is a very reliable method: “The MIP inspection consists of attaching a clamp to the wire and letting the wire run one round to test for damage or breakage. A magnetic field is created as the wire is run through the clamp, and any damage or wear will be clearly visible on the monitor and via the data collected. This way, we are able to localize possible damage very precisely. After the inspection, we deliver documentation with analyses.“
Meland continues: “In addition to ski lifts and cable cars, MIP can be used for, among other things, zip-liners, utility cables and crane equipment. Kiwa has MIP equipment for control of carrying ropes and tow ropes from 10 to 65 millimeters.”
Kiwa inspectors carry out ski elevator inspection at Vrådal Panorama Ski Center.
Safety first priority
Dick de Ruiter, operations manager at Vrådal Panorama Ski Center, tells about the center’s extensive safety plan: “The steel wire inspections in the ski lifts Kiwa has performed for us are important investigations. If there would be serious damage to the wire, or if it could even break, it must be replaced immediately. In addition to the wires themselves, shafts and rocker bolts on the batteries over which the wire runs must be inspected every five years. Likewise, the shafts on the seat clamps must be inspected and replaced when needed. We are obliged to comply with requirements that SJT has set for operation and maintenance of the facility. It is a fairly comprehensive set of rules, but when it comes to safety, we must take every precaution we possibly can.”
De Ruiter is very pleased with the positive result that came out of the inspection and he’s very satisfied about Kiwa: “The collaboration worked well and the assignment was carried out quickly and efficiently. The documentation we received after the inspection was detailed and complete. We will definitely ask Kiwa again for future inspections.”