Get to know your Langley NDE Inspector, Chris Davies

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Chris Davies is one of our talented Inspection Technicians in Langley, British Colombia who conducts non-destructive examinations (NDE). He has a wide-array of industry experience in both aviation and the oil and gas industries. We sat down with Chris to discuss his career path to Inspector and the field of NDE.

NDE is also commonly known as NDT, which stands for non-destructive testing. This method is used to test for defects in materials without compromising their integrity. This means they can be used in the future, or repaired. This is an economical option and is often used in inspections, manufacturing and fabrication industries.

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I started in the Aviation field back in 1989 at the age of 19 as a surface processor for Okanagan Helicopters owned by Canadian Helicopters, working in the Engineering Support Division in (Richmond BC). From 1999 to 2001 I worked for Helipro Component Services here in Langley, BC as the NDE and Surface-Processing Supervisor.

Since then, I’ve worked with a few very large Aviation Companies until 2013. In early 2013 I started working for Acuren at the Kearl Lake Oil Sands Project in Northern Alberta for Exxon Mobile (Imperial Oil Canada).

This plant is next-generation style, and uses a Froth process to extract heavy crude from the sand. At their Main Plant, I was an Owner/Operator for Exxon Mobile—my main duties included monitoring steam lines, and I also conducted corrosion and wear surveys.

Along with all of that, I was also the sole inspector who was qualified and trained on lifting gear. Annually, I inspected all rigging on site. I left Kearl lake in early 2017, since being away from home over half the year took a bit of a toll on my personal life.

What made you decide to go into this industry?

I started a job search for something that wouldn’t take me far from home so often, and noticed a local company looking for Inspectors. Particularly, they were looking for technicians with visual and non-destructive examination and lifting equipment experience—it just seemed like a perfect fit for me.

Can you tell us about your work experience before joining Hercules SLR?

I worked mainly in the Aerospace and Oil and Gas Industry. In these industries I did Visual Examinations on Caterpillar D9’s , D10’s, 740 EJ’s, 797F, 797C and 700 Ton Heavy Mining Shovels (CAT 7495’s). These are both Diesel and Electric. And, as I mentioned earlier, I also inspected all the lifting gear at the Imperial Oil Kearl lake worksite.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

During an introduction interview with Deanna MacDonald, our branch manager here in Langley, BC we discussed the challenges she faced since taking over the facility. Deanna made a compelling case that hiring a few more employees with the right skills and training could make Hercules SLR a strong name in the Inspection Industry. This was exciting to me, and I wanted to become a key player in this goal.

Langley, BC NDE Inspector, Chris Davies with his wife

Where have you traveled during your time as an Inspector at Hercules SLR?

During my time as an Inspector at Hercules SLR, I have travelled to Brampton, Ontario for a rigging course. I’ve also travelled to various locations in Vancouver.

Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?

In the future at Hercules SLR I’d like to travel offshore, or possibly to remote locations to conduct examinations, or to get more training.

What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR?

I’m most proud to have set up the NDE Inspections department here in Langley. There’s a whole routine to inspections. We deal with the customer and explain the whole process, and we always meet (but usually exceed!) the timeline our client expects. We’re also able to offer a lower cost than our competitors typically—the NDE department is truly my baby, and I’m very proud of it and what we’ve been able to do so far.


Interested in reading more about non-destructive testing at Hercules SLR? Check out our blog on non-destructive testing at our facility in Langley, BC, or our blog on magnetic-particle testing done at the Hercules Training Academy in Dartmouth, NS.

Did you know? Our Langley service department also has two inside test beds for high-quality, fast turnaround for inspections and repairs. We also have an inspection management system, CertTracker® that lets you track your equipment and annual inspections, maintenance and certifications.


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

Discover Langley: advantages of non-destructive testing

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What is Non-destructive Testing?

Advantages of non-destructive testing are numerous.

Non-destructive testing (commonly known as NDT) uses different methods to test, inspect and evaluate defects in materials or mediums without compromising the integrity of the product. Internal and external damages can be found, and the product can then be repaired or used after testing—this makes NDT an excellent choice when multiple parts or materials need inspection.

For example, NDT can be used to find defects in metal used during the automotive fabrication process. Advantages of non-destructive testing include the sample size, time, and most essentially—the product is able to be used or repaired in the future.

At Hercules SLR, we conduct two types of NDT—Magnetic Particle (MP) and Liquid Penetrant (LT) testing.

Advantages of Non-Destructive Testing in Langley, ON: what do we do?

Here in Langley, BC we use three main techniques when we conduct Magnetic Particle testing. These are Dry Powder, Black & White and Fluorescent Particle testing methods. Each has a specific application and sensitivity.

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An example of a pin tested at the Langley, BC facility.

The most common items we get in Langley for testing would be Port Container Pins. We receive 50-100 per month. After that, our most tested item are tow sockets. We also do annual Lifting Gear Inspections. The Ports are a key to our future expansion here in Langley.

Dealing with the materials that we do, responsible disposable is more important now than ever. At the NDT department in Langley, we properly dispose aerosol cans and waste in designated waste containers that conform and comply with all environmental laws and standards.

Hercules SLR Inspectors: varied skill set

The CGSB (Canadian General Standards Board) is one of the biggest standard’s development and conformity assessment organizations in Canada, a part of the Government of Canada, Department of Public Works and Government services. They support the economic, regulatory, procurement, health, safety and environmental interests of stakeholders including government, industry and consumers. They’re also a charter participant of the National Standards System (NSS).

Essentially, having CGSB certification means you’re held to a very high standard and have the training to ensure you’re giving the highest quality service you can.

Chris Davies, our Langley Inspector has CGSB certifications in Magnetic Particle Inspection Level 2 and CGSB Liquid Penetrant Inspection Level 2; he’s also written his CGSB Ultrasonic Testing (UT) Level 1 exam.

Additional courses and certification that Hercules SLR technicians have include:

  • LEEA Rigging & Hoist Course
  • Crosby Clamp Inspectors Course
  • Kito Academy
  • Continental Rigging & Hoisting Certification
  • Confined Space Entry and Monitor
  • Fall Protection
  • Fire Extinguisher Training Certification
  • H2S Alive Certification
  • Management & Employee Relations Course
  • Dealing with Difficult Employees Course
  • WHMIS training
  • Lean Manufacturing/Production
  • 5S Production Methods
  • Dangerous goods training
  • Wildlife Awareness Certification

Advantages of Non-destructive Testing: technology keeps up

Connective communication technology plays a large role in NDT,  and the industry has embraced changes in technology and sharing knowledge.  We use the internet to source NDT-related blogs, sample defect photos and research on changing topics within industry. In the past, we only had very expensive books, manuals or had to make time-consuming phone calls to other colleagues in the industry.

Advanced technology has allowed us to move things a bit more quickly!

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Non-destructive testing in the aviation industry.

Non-destructive Testing: industry experience varies

We’re proud of the wide range of industry experience found at the Langley, Hercules SLR branch.

Chris Davies, a Langley Inspector who’s worked in aviation and oil and gas explains some advantages of non-destructive testing in different industries and the variety of experience they provide. “Aviation and Nuclear Industries are an entirely different world from the majority of typical day-to-day NDE Inspections. I only experienced this late in my career while working for the Oil and Gas Industry. The level of skill and experience varies due to types of inspections done, amount of exposure to actual defects and hands-on inspection, versus how long an individual has been licenced.”

He gives this example:

If Jane Doe works in the Aerospace Sector for 2 years, but works 7.5 hours a day on a wet bench (MPI) or dip tanks (LPI), she averages about 260 work days or 1900-2000 hours of experience per year and exposure to dozens of defects per day.

If John Doe works in the Oil/Gas Industry for 15 years, but works an average of 1-2 hours of actual hands-on and uses a Yoke and inspects on Closure, Socket or Stitch Welds. Let’s say he works a 10-on-10 off schedule. He works 183 days, or has 300-370 hours of experience per year and finds few defects per month.

The difference in hands-on experience is significant:

  • Jane, after 2 years, has almost the same hands-on experience as Joe has after 15 years.
  • Jane has over 10 times the exposure to find discontinuities (defects), versus Joe with 15 years of industry experience.

Advantages of Non-destructive Testing: found everywhere

Today, non-destructive tests are used in industries like Aviation, Space, Ships, Bridges, Refineries Mining, Nuclear, Manufacturing, Fabrication and in-service inspections.

Ever drive a car? Chances are, you use something in your daily life that’s been NDT inspected  at some point in time.

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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.