Major U.S. electric utility streamlines processes with portable OES

A major U.S. utility chose the PMI-MASTER Smart Optical Emissions Spectrometer (OES) for their weld tech support team to improve on processes for system repairs based on portability and accuracy.  OES is a longstanding, field-proven technology for accurate and repeatable measurement of light elements and it is an accepted method to ensure compliance with ASME Section IX B&PV code for failure analysis.


The utility’s goal is to provide safe, affordable energy.. This involves compliance with ASME Section IX standards for Boiler and Pressure Vessel (B&PV) code for pre- and post-heat treatment when making system repairs.

Failure analysis supporting power generation can occur in various metals found throughout a power plant. So, improving on speed and accuracy for metals analysis was identified as a key objective for the purchase of a new analyser.


To identify the best instrument to meet their needs they consulted with their in-house metallurgy group. After review of various types of portable alloy analysers on the market, a portable Optical Emissions Spectroscopy (OES) instrument was determined to be the best choice because of its ability to measure light elements, such as carbon referenced by the P-number for acceptable weldability within the ASME P&BV code.


The PMI-MASTER Smart was able to be configured by one of Hitachi’s technicians to automatically provide the P-number with the carbon equivalency for every measurement. It can also print reports to verify ASME compliance right from the instrument.

They also liked the extensive grade database that came with the PMI-MASTER Smart containing over 10,000 global alloys, which they commented would be useful for any metals laboratory.

Their principal engineer commented, “Taking the instrument into the plant will be easier now because OES does not generate x-rays. Sometimes large components come into the lab and having a portable instrument allows us to bring the analyser to the component. The PMI-MASTER Smart was much lighter in comparison to other portable OES analysers.”

Learn more about PMI-MASTER Smart

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Date: 27 September 2017

Author: Willy Sanders, Product Manager OES

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