Welcome to Vinçotte
Vinçotte protects and consolidates the reputation of its customers around the world. This is also the case in Australia where an important LNG site is located. Nick Eleftheriou, Project Manager for Non-Destructive Testing/AUT at Vinçotte, works down under for three weeks every month. He tells us about a typical day on the job.
I get up early before dawn but I already know that the day ahead of me will be hot. At four o'clock in the morning, the thermometer already reads 23°C. After my breakfast in the cafeteria, I get the bus at five o'clock to take me to the site.
The ultimate test
Vinçotte is responsible for the mechanized ultrasonic testing (AUT) of two CDS tanks, each with a capacity of 120,000 m³, and two LNG tanks of 150,000 m³ each. We use Phased Array technologies. In such an array, the antenna beam is controlled electronically. A lot of our testing equipment has been developed by Vinçotte Belgium.
We test in different work zones simultaneously and each presents its own challenging aspects from an environmental point of view. The AUT scanning of the LNG reservoirs is performed in the reservoirs so the heat of the sun is shielded. However, there is a downside: high humidity levels and limited ventilation. The CDS reservoirs are scanned from the outside and in the sun. Daytime temperatures can be as high as 40°C and the sheets as well as the engineers are baking hot.
Rise and shine
Each day is prepared meticulously. Our supervisors and managers meet at 6 o'clock to discuss communications and the day's planning. A bit later, the testing department meets with the quality managers. The pre-start briefing can start when our entire crew is present. In the meantime, the crew is preparing the equipment and calibrating the test.
The teams need to communicate continuously to ensure the tests are performed correctly and safely. It's my job to make sure everything goes according to plan. This way, everyone can reach their objectives and the project can continue. I visit the sites every day and inform our teams and the client about our progress, repairs and other issues.
“Good morning, Belgium”
At 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the inspection team meets again to evaluate the day. The time difference between Belgium and Australia is seven hours. This means I can only contact our head office directly at the end of the day. When my work day ends, my colleagues in Belgium haven't even started.
I consider myself to be more of a 'communicator' than a project manager. It's essential that you can listen in my job. Communications and team work are the two main drivers that help us overcome our challenges, achieve our goals and be successful.