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Profile on Magnaflux & Comet

As a reseller of products and as a sales person, or business development person as they are called today, it is easy to sell products that you believe are as good as any out there. Or perhaps, if not as high quality are a good bang for your buck. However in the NDT industry quality is everything. Our business demands quality. When your job is to ensure quality you better exhibit it or sooner or later someone’s going to question your work.

I remember doing a penetrant inspection job one time and the boss, who was always trying to save a nickel, had stocked up on a new penetrant product. When I got to the job I couldn’t get the can of that product to dispense. It was brand new and out of the box and I looked like an idiot, shaking, hitting and bashing that aerosol can all over the inspection piece. I can’t remember the brand but I remember the mess I had once I got it to work. As I remember it was red and I know by the time I was done it looked more like I had butchered a cow and made an offering to the gods by bathing in its blood than performing a quality NDT inspection. I learned two things that day: try hard not to look like an idiot and use quality products.

When Rob and I first started IR we were the sales team.  While we were on the road we learned two more things: it takes five visits to convince a prospective client you’re not an idiot and you had better be confident about your products. I guess we may have just learned a third thing in hindsight.  That is Rob and I are not very good sales people, if we had to visit one customer five times to make a sale. We may not have been the best in sales but we always tried to be honest. I say tried because sometime we were the victims of dishonest sales tactics. If you want to sell products and you want to be honest too, you better have good quality products. Even a lost sale is palatable if you believe that your product is the right tool for the job.

This brings us to Magnaflux. Magnaflux is a brand that dates back almost 90 years and is still the market leader today. You don’t remain in business that long without doing something right. Here’s an excerpt from an article by Dr. Ing. Volker Deutsch that shows us just how pioneering they were.

“Magnetic particle crack detection was executed even earlier than x-ray testing. The Englishman S.M. Saxby already in 1868 and the American William Hoke in 1917 tried to find cracks in gun barrels by magnetic indications. Real industrial application was made by Victor de Forest and Foster Doane after 1929. They formed a company with the name Magnaflux in 1934…”

You don’t sell Magnaflux, it sells you. We have sold other penetrant products over the years in limited amounts but the one thing about Magnaflux is we never get a complaint about the quality. Test after test, Magnaflux always does the job and it is the standard by which all others must be judged. Sure some suppliers use bigger cans or you may find cheaper pricing, but day in and day out it is the most dependable product and still number one in the world. Used in industries from oilfield to aerospace and nuclear, Magnaflux will never make you look like an idiot.

Along with Magnaflux, IR has also aligned itself with Comet x-ray generators. Comet has been building tubes for 70 years. A Swiss-based company, Comet has a reputation that is hard to duplicate. Providing tubes from 75Kv to 600Kv Comet tubes have the toughness to meet our extreme environments in all seasons, and the finesse to perform in the most stringent of quality conditions.

Several years ago, unhappy with our then supplier, IR was looking at several tube manufacturers. We wanted a spot tube that we could add to our rental fleet and trust it to do the job.  We wanted it to perform in tough conditions with crews who may have limited experience. The EVO is almost automatic in its work flows. It is as easy to run as a toaster. It makes the rules for its warm-up cycle based on its memory of its previous use, which virtually eliminates any user error that may damage the tube. As they are CP tubes there is no concern about using them with DR systems.  In fact, DR is leading the charge and driving sales in this particular product at IR.

Every single IR vendor that I can think of is now using or will offer Comet tubes with their products. This confirms Comet’s place as a top manufacturer of x-ray generators and we handle them exclusively for both resale and as a rental option. You won’t find any other new x-ray tubes for resale in our facilities.  In keeping with our commitment to quality COMET simply has it all: dependability, ease of use, and quality image production in all modalities.  They are as tough as they come.

You may have noticed I said facilities with an “s”, earlier on and you would be accurate to assume that we will have more than one location. Burlington, Ontario will boast an IR store as well. This move will better serve our growing clientele, found across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax. The announcement of our official opening is coming soon.

Robbie VanHoek, our business development manager, has been promoted to national business development manager and has made the move to Ontario.  Pieter Medema will also be joining him. You may think that by sending two of our long-time people to Ontario we may weaken our presence in Western Canada.  But with the addition of Heather Addley and with Jason Hollett coming on board recently, we have strength across the nation. IR and its staff look forward to serving you from coast-to-coast.  We thank you for supporting us and making our company a truly national concern.

Cheers and remember…for the unknown there’s NDT, for NDT there’s IR.

Brian Sargent
IR Supplies and Services

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Brian’s Blog

The Most Secure Place in the World is in a Prison

I was recently lent a book by a friend of mine. He is a follower of my blogs and picked up on my leanings towards geography as the reason for most of the politics around the world. The book is called Prisoners of Geography written by Tim Marshall, a former foreign correspondent for British Sky News. It is an excellent book and an easy read and though I haven’t finished it yet, I would recommend it to anyone who wants to understand how geography and history shaped and continues to shape, what happens in our world today.

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Profile on Sonatest

In 2004 IR started out in the retail NDT business. Our main focus was Industrial Radiography Supplies and Services and so that was also chosen to be our name. We thought the name said everything and our business plan was to become the best at what we knew, we knew the most about. There was a lot going on in radiography back then: supply problems, new security initiatives, lab issues, and us, IR.

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China and the USA: Confrontation Long Overdue

The interesting thing about geopolitics is not so much how geography dictates the imperatives of the nation state but how those imperatives have led to the relationships with neighbours and even far away nations that may impact their interest in some way. I also find it interesting how the pursuit of the interests of a nation may look to their people to be shallow or callous, even when they are absolutely necessary.

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Partner Profiles

I love my job. People who know me well, know I love my job. I tell people that I’m in charge of special projects. As I’m almost 60, this gets a laugh or two but in a way it’s true. Special projects to me are all those things you wish you could do but can never find the time to do them. You know that your business could use them but they just never get out of the incubator or if they do, they fail because you don’t have the time to implement them properly and they never catch on. We don’t want that to happen at IR.

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E-Commerce & NDT

IR is always seeking out the best ways to do business with you, and our e-commerce website is one of those ways.  Because of that we are always on the lookout for businesses who have been successful in e-commerce, so that we can discover ways to enhance what we do.  I recently came across an article on an on-line company named Brandless that is growing at a phenomenal rate.

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Perception verses Reality in China

Several years ago I wrote an essay that was entitled Perception verses Reality. In that essay I discussed the CNSC’s problem of what was really true and what the world perceived as true. Governments and their respective agencies, or in this case our regulatory commission, tend to have to deal with their mandates in ways that not only satisfy  the truth of the problem but also the perception of the propaganda they have developed or has been developed by others.

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Press Release

Leader in Non-Destructive Testing Makes Significant Contribution to NAIT’s Program

IR Supplies and Services Teams Up With Educator to Further Skills of Developing Experts

Edmonton, Alberta—In conjunction with NAIT’s recent celebration on their record-breaking fundraising campaign and the upcoming opening of their Productivity and Innovation Centre, IR Supplies and Services is pleased to announce their contribution to furthering the studies of future professionals in the NDT (non-destructive testing) industry.

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