Launching Remote Visual Inspection to the Next Level

A prominent aerospace corporation found themselves scratching their heads on an important quality assurance inspection.


What They Were Faced With:

They had been using 4 mm diameter flexible borescopes for remote visual inspection (RVI) on an engine component. The inspectors needed to enter through a small port with an immediate 90-degree bend, navigate through a curving passageway, and finally articulate 90 degrees through another opening into the area of interest. The problem was not with the quality of the image, but rather the significant costs incurred from repairing and replacing their damaged borescopes.

Due to these bends & obstacles of the engine’s internals combined with the borescopes’ repeated use & delicate diameter, the inspection tool was receiving more wear-and-tear than the inspectors would like. The 4 mm diameter flexible borescope provided the desired image, but was not robust enough for long-term and repeated use. The value of the inspection results was less than the value of the costs to replace and repair, so something needed to done.


The InterTest Basis For Innovation:

InterTest’s sales and engineering teams quickly identified a solution within the existing iGrab 12.7mm, 4-way Articulating Guide Tubes product line. Articulating guide tubes are designed with durable yet flexible stainless steel, urethane, and tungsten braiding, insertion shafts to fit smaller retrieval tools or scopes, and a turning mechanism to allow the tip of tube, as well as whatever is inside, to move 90 degrees in 4 different directions.

An articulating guide tube’s motion capability (2-way directional motion shown here, 4-way directional motion typical) with turning knobs and working insertion port


The InterTest Value-Added Solution:

To best meet the client's specific needs, further modifications were made to the articulating guide tube that added significant value to the customer’s borescope making it more durable and versatile. The guide tube is strong enough to endure long-term, repeated use, yet small enough to navigate the application’s tight bends. The result (pictured below) met and exceeded the customer’s expectations by saving them time, money, and adding great value to their current inspection needs.


Beyond a set of standard products, InterTest is able and willing to make modifications to most articulating guide tube designs to fit almost any application or industry. These modified designs are usually turned around quickly and produce a result that meets or exceeds a customer’s expectations.

Another successful articulating guide tube modification was a longer 20-foot tool to fit a larger diameter 8.3 mm video probe. This was modified in a stainless-steel sheathing to inspect the secondary side of an annulus in a radioactive nuclear reactor. The robust design and material allowed the customer to use their video probe in this harsh environment again adding significant value to their inspection.

InterTest, Inc. was founded 40 years ago on the principles of providing high-quality, value-added, visual solutions through partnering with customers to address their needs. Over the years, articulating guide tubes have been modified to fit a variety of inspection applications in the aerospace, nuclear and fossil power generation, and general manufacturing industries.


Articulating guide tube lengths, diameters, materials, and other variables can be modified to get the job done. Contact us today about your inspection application and current remote visual inspection equipment. InterTest, Inc. offers free 1-on-1 consultation on all inspection needs. Let us add more value to your quality assurance operations!