Production downtime can occur for various reasons, including manual labour,  human error, material shortages, environmental factors, etc. But none of these reasons require as much downtime as equipment maintenance. Crack testing and equipment maintenance is an essential part of every manufacturing and processing industry. 

Defects such as cracks, cavities, and dents raise safety concerns and integrity issues. Comprehensive testing is necessary to understand the root cause of the cracks and fix the issue. However, non-destructive crack testing requires production downtime. By improving the crack testing techniques, manufacturers can reduce the production downtime. In this blog, we will go over different crack-testing methods and explain how you can reduce downtime.

A] Common Causes Of Downtime In Manufacturing For Crack Testing

1. Use Of Scaffolding For Access For Inspection And Repairs

Before technicians begin the inspection and repair process they need a safe method for entering and accessing the silos or tanks. Scaffoldings are usually used to allow access to the equipment. 

Erection of scaffolding and dismantling it can take significant time and effort. Erecting and dismantling the scaffolding can also damage the equipment. Hence, necessary safety measures are crucial to avoid damage to the spray dryers. This can also extend the downtime and losses associated with it.

2. Requirements Of Dye Penetration Test

Dye penetrant testing requires a longer inspection time as the dye needs to be applied thoroughly before testing. The dye should also be effectively cleaned later, before resuming the industry process to prevent contamination. 

The entire surface of the asset must also be cleaned and sanitised prior to dye application to get accurate results. If any part of the surface is not cleaned or the dye is not applied properly, the entire process might have to be redone to ensure safety. The size and surface of the equipment also affect the preparation and cleaning time, so large-scale industries might need longer downtime.

3. Inspection And Repairs Performed In Different Shutdown Periods

Carrying out inspection and repair separately can cause unnecessary delays and shutdowns. Many organisations carry out inspections on a scheduled date and repairs on a later date. This requires two separate prolonged downtimes, which is not efficient.

If significant defects are detected, the equipment will be out of service till the next repair shutdown. Another reason why this method is inefficient is mismanagement. Due to the difference in time, the inspection team and the repair team might not be able to communicate effectively, causing delays.

B] How Bioscan Help You To Reduce The Production Downtime

Every organisation can benefit from a safe, efficient, hygienic, and cost-effective crack-testing solution. Bioscan offers these qualities through our cutting-edge electronic testing technology. Electronic testing technology uses NDT equipment for efficient and environmentally friendly periodic testing without using any dyes or chemicals. 

Other crack testing methods can take more than a week to complete the process and still may not provide accurate results. On the other hand, Bioscan’s spray dryer crack testing and inspection can reduce the complete inspection time to 12 to 24 hours, while providing accurate results. The inspection staff at Bioscan are professionally trained and experienced, which reduces errors.

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C] Improving Productivity With Bioscan: Case Studies

Case Study 1:

In a display of its capabilities, Bioscan completed the inspection and repair of two of the largest infant formula spray dryers in Southeast Asia in less than half the time required previously. With the help of three of our expert technicians and rope access, we completed a comprehensive inspection of both spray dryers.

First, we set up the rope system as there was no gantry platform access. Our electronic inspection technology helped us find ten visible and non-visible defects in the dryer’s structure. These defects were effectively repaired and polished by our trained technicians within a few days.

Bioscan was able to reduce the downtime from 14 days to 5 days. This helped our client to substantially save their cost while increasing productivity. Using rope access instead of scaffoldings reduces the risk of scaffolding installation damaging the dryer.

Read More: Inspection & Repair of Infant Formula Spray Dryers: Vietnam Case Study

Case Study 2:

In 2021, while we conducted a repeat inspection of a spray dryer for our client, we found that the upper chamber was facing severe stress corrosion cracking. The client has only prepared for 5 days of downtime but the repair required an even longer shutdown. The parent metal sheet was required to be cut and replaced by new sheets. In addition to the extended downtime, the client was also facing higher costs for repair.

In the 2021 inspection, we discovered more than 50 cracks, while the previous inspection conducted in 2016 only found 15 defects. During our inspection, we found that if our client had conducted inspection annually, instead of five years, these issues could have been addressed more effectively and at a lower cost. We informed our client to increase the frequency of crack testing to prevent such issues in the future.

Read More: Determining the Frequency of Preventative Maintenance Inspections

Case Study 3:

In October 2020, one of our clients contacted us about a possible cross-contamination issue arising from their spray dryer. The client was sure that there were defects in the spray dryer structure. However, even after several internal visual and dye penetrant inspections, they were unsuccessful in locating the crack. 

After several unsuccessful inspections, they finally contacted Bioscan. Our experts quickly figured out that the lower cone of the spray dryer had many defects, caused by corrosion. These defects were microscopic and could only be detected using our electronic inspection device. While the damage caused to the parent material was unrepairable, the client now knew the reason behind cross-contamination and could take corrective action.

Read More: Detecting Hidden and Non-Visual Defects


Spray dryer crack testing is one of the most crucial aspects of any manufacturing industry for ensuring equipment integrity and safety. The inspection process can be very time-consuming, which is not desired by any organisation due to the productivity and financial loss associated with it. Choosing an effective inspection method, provided by trained professionals can help you reduce your downtime and get accurate inspection results.

If you have decided to conduct crack testing for your spray dryers, contact us today to get the most accurate inspection results with reduced downtime. You can also email us

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