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March 14, 2022 | Massachusetts Materials Technologies, LLC

The keys to MMT’s success in designing, prototyping, and producing a market-ready Hardness, Strength, and Ductility (HSD) tester rely on focusing on iterative prototyping, customer feedback, expert review, and using the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) principle. These guiding concepts were key to mastering production pivots and ultimately creating a customer-centric, user-friendly product.

Broadly, design follows a generally well-recognized process. After defining the need, creating the concept, and accepting the risk of product development, the next phase can make or break a product: testing and feedback.

Testing and Feedback (aka Surviving Trial and Error)

Within this phase, the product may dramatically evolve from a proof-of-concept prototype to a powerful unit with valuable applications. As MMT’s HSD test was entering this phase, the unit had survived prototyping and had received funding for additional R&D. MMT refocused its mindset to true design for real use. To achieve that goal, the testing and feedback process included using Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), iterative prototyping, and customer feedback and expert review.

Minimum Viable Product

An important concept in MMT’s testing and feedback period was the principle of a Minimum Viable Product.




Iterative Prototyping

MMT approached each version of the MVP with a specific perspective: fail fast, learn fast. This approach led to iterative prototyping that started with creating multiple working designs, developing and evaluating, iterating the design, then ultimately finalizing the design.
The short design cycles became an asset, as it maximized learning and growth.

Collecting Feedback

Customer feedback was the essential next step to evaluating the iterations of the prototype. This feedback drove the next iteration’s development objectives.
The main challenges were prioritizing the right feedback and forgoing the wrong feedback. “Don’t fix what isn’t broken” may be a cliche, but in product design, it’s an absolute.

Expert Review

Feedback from customers was not the only valuable metric by which to judge the progress of the prototypes. Review and consultations with experts became essential to setting the objectives of each of the design modifications.

When maximum learning and failing forward are not the focus of the design process, the product becomes less and less customer-centric. It relies on the wrong advice, and it loses the opportunity to make significant progress in perfecting value-adding features.

However, when the MVP is top of mind, and the right feedback is prioritized, the realities can exceed expectations, and a product can transform to a valuable asset for the end user. The market-ready HSD 8000—leagues ahead of its original prototype. Today, it is a portable technology that provides accurate in-situ material verification data, validated by PRCI and reviewed by PHMSA for mega rule compliance. Having a design process rooted in excellence and based on customer feedback guided MMT through product development and on to new heights in the industry.

Back to Announcements

From There to Here: How to Design for Market-Ready Innovation

“The version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about the customers with the least amount of effort.” -Eric Ries

MMT's updates to the HSD Training and Certification Program improves the reliability of data collection and reporting results for NDE service partners and their customers.

June 7, 2021 | Massachusetts Materials Technologies, LLC

Publications

ANNOUNCEMENTS

FAQs

EVENTS

MMT updated its Hardness, Strength and Ductility (HSD) Training and Certification Program as part of its multi-faceted approach to provide industry-leading support to NDE service partners.

The newly released HSD Training and Certification Program includes a rigorous curriculum of observable skill competencies for HSD 8000 in-situ procedures. The training program involves a combination of online and in-person training, with in-situ audits and skill-based tests.

MMT improvements to the training program aims to accomplish 4 key objectives:
● Reduce the amount of time required for third-party technicians to obtain HSD Level II Certification
● Verify HSD training knowledge and operational skills through direct field evaluations
● Formalize the field technicians training status, tracking and customer communication experience
● Clarify the minimum standard requirements for HSD Level I and Level II Certification to reduce the risk of downtime or potential safety issues on projects

Gene Hurley, Director of Technical Support at MMT, said, “Our goal is to transition HSD testing process knowledge and competencies to our field service partners. With these updates, our partners will have the equipment availability and requisite skills to perform tests in the ditch independently of MMT.”

MMT expects the enhancements to the Training and Certification Program to improve the reliability of data collection and reporting results for NDE service partners and their customers.

“We are delivering mission critical equipment to the field in a challenging environment, and we’re stepping up to the challenge. To do that, our organization is maturing, learning, listening carefully to our customers and our partners, and responding to those changes accordingly,” Mr. Hurley said.

This article appeared in News & Views: MMT's Q2 Newsletter. Subscribe today to receive these quarterly newsletters straight to your inbox. 

Back to Announcements

Competent Field Technicians a Major Priority at MMT

HSD 8000 & MMTConnect Moving Quickly to a "Turn-Key" Solution

June 7, 2021 | Massachusetts Materials Technologies, LLC

Publications

ANNOUNCEMENTS

FAQs

EVENTS

The latest updates to MMT’s Hardness, Strength, and Ductility (HSD) Tester—the HSD 8000—makes the tool easier to use and more robust to support third-party inspection providers in performing nondestructive examination (NDE) testing. The updates to the accompanying MMTConnect software also more easily guides technicians through the entire material verification process to ensure that correct procedures are implemented and a complete and accurate dataset is acquired. MMTConnect also uploads the data collected to MMT for review and reporting.

According to Brendon Willey, Vice President of Engineering at MMT, extensive use of the device in the field has already proven that the HSD Tester can produce accurate, reliable, and high-quality data. Now, MMT is focused on launching a commercialized version of the innovative technology with strong support systems in place, so other inspection providers can achieve the same results.

Dr. Steve Palkovic, Chief Technology Officer at MMT, explained how the supportive capabilities were integrated into the HSD Tester. He said, “The MMTConnect software allows MMT experts to provide technical support for people using our equipment in the field. So, if they have a question while they’re collecting data, we have the ability to see what they are collecting in real time with an internet connection. We can even proactively reach out and notify them of any potential issues. It’s part of our commitment to ensure anyone can get good quality, reliable results, no matter who is using the unit.”

The support systems integrated into the instrumentation include MMT’s HSD Training and Certification program, the ExpertConnect technical support center, and MMT’s reporting capabilities. By design, these systems ensure standardized results, regardless of the user.

To learn more about the innovative solutions offered by MMT, visit their website or set up a consultation with MMT representatives to learn more.

This article appeared in News & Views: MMT's Q2 Newsletter. Subscribe today to receive these quarterly newsletters straight to your inbox. 


Back to Announcements

MMT Developing Faster HSD Reporting Results

June 7, 2021 | Massachusetts Materials Technologies, LLC

Publications

ANNOUNCEMENTS

FAQs

EVENTS

The Reporting and Data Analytics group at MMT is currently developing two additional expedited material verification reporting options. Service providers will soon have the ability to access both instant and preliminary reports, to immediately identify outlier results or test data areas of concern. This has been a long-standing request from pipeline operators and NDE providers alike. 

Dr. Steve Palkovic, Chief Technology Officer at MMT, hopes the reporting enhancements will give MMT’s service partners more options for timely results as well as more confidence in the data being collected.

“Our instant material verification report will be built into our MMTConnect software, which has checks and intelligence integrated into it, so it can verify that the correct procedures have been followed, all the data has been collected, and that nobody leaves the job site without having all the data,” Dr. Palkovic said.

With the enhancements, partners will receive an instant report immediately, and a preliminary report within 48 hours of the data being collected. The preliminary report will be generated, reviewed, and approved by a team of MMT engineers following strict standards regarding data accuracy and reliability. This preliminary report includes estimates for almost all pipeline material characteristics included in the final report, including grade (yield and ultimate tensile strength), wall thickness, diameter, grain size and metallurgical review of the steel microstructure, and seam type determination. The third and final report will provide the complete material attributes including the conventional lab chemistry results, and a final grade determination using industry-leading strength prediction analytics with the lowest measurement uncertainty.

According to Dr. Palkovic, these differentiated reporting solutions integrate quality control, responsiveness, cost-savings, and efficiency for service providers.

“These updates in our reporting process will ensure that customers are receiving accurate and reliable information as soon as possible,” Dr. Palkovic said. “The preliminary material verification report allows our experts to review and report essential data early in the process to provide assurances to operators and service providers. This is in addition to the final material verification report that they receive with the standard quality that they rely on.”

This article appeared in News & Views: MMT's Q2 Newsletter. Subscribe today to receive these quarterly newsletters straight to your inbox. 




Back to Announcements

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March 14, 2022 | Massachusetts Materials Technologies, LLC

Back to Announcements

Experienced Technology Team Steps into Steve Palkovic’s Role as MMT’s HSD Technology Enters Market

The keys to MMT’s success in designing, prototyping, and producing a market-ready Hardness, Strength, and Ductility (HSD) tester rely on focusing on iterative prototyping, customer feedback, expert review, and using the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) principle. These guiding concepts were key to mastering production pivots and ultimately creating a customer-centric, user-friendly product.

Broadly, design follows a generally well-recognized process. After defining the need, creating the concept, and accepting the risk of product development, the next phase can make or break a product: testing and feedback.

Testing and Feedback (aka Surviving Trial and Error)

Within this phase, the product may dramatically evolve from a proof-of-concept prototype to a powerful unit with valuable applications. As MMT’s HSD test was entering this phase, the unit had survived prototyping and had received funding for additional R&D. MMT refocused its mindset to true design for real use. To achieve that goal, the testing and feedback process included using Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), iterative prototyping, and customer feedback and expert review.

Minimum Viable Product

An important concept in MMT’s testing and feedback period was the principle of a Minimum Viable Product.









Iterative Prototyping

MMT approached each version of the MVP with a specific perspective: fail fast, learn fast. This approach led to iterative prototyping that started with creating multiple working designs, developing and evaluating, iterating the design, then ultimately finalizing the design.
The short design cycles became an asset, as it maximized learning and growth.

Collecting Feedback

Customer feedback was the essential next step to evaluating the iterations of the prototype. This feedback drove the next iteration’s development objectives.
The main challenges were prioritizing the right feedback and forgoing the wrong feedback. “Don’t fix what isn’t broken” may be a cliche, but in product design, it’s an absolute.

Expert Review

Feedback from customers was not the only valuable metric by which to judge the progress of the prototypes. Review and consultations with experts became essential to setting the objectives of each of the design modifications.

When maximum learning and failing forward are not the focus of the design process, the product becomes less and less customer-centric. It relies on the wrong advice, and it loses the opportunity to make significant progress in perfecting value-adding features.

However, when the MVP is top of mind, and the right feedback is prioritized, the realities can exceed expectations, and a product can transform to a valuable asset for the end user. The market-ready HSD 8000—leagues ahead of its original prototype. Today, it is a portable technology that provides accurate in-situ material verification data, validated by PRCI and reviewed by PHMSA for mega rule compliance. Having a design process rooted in excellence and based on customer feedback guided MMT through product development and on to new heights in the industry.

“The version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about the customers with the least amount of effort.” -Eric Ries

June 7, 2021 | Massachusetts Materials Technologies, LLC

MMT updated its Hardness, Strength and Ductility (HSD) Training and Certification Program as part of its multi-faceted approach to provide industry-leading support to NDE service partners.

The newly released HSD Training and Certification Program includes a rigorous curriculum of observable skill competencies for HSD 8000 in-situ procedures. The training program involves a combination of online and in-person training, with in-situ audits and skill-based tests.

MMT improvements to the training program aims to accomplish 4 key objectives:
● Reduce the amount of time required for third-party technicians to obtain HSD Level II Certification
● Verify HSD training knowledge and operational skills through direct field evaluations
● Formalize the field technicians training status, tracking and customer communication experience
● Clarify the minimum standard requirements for HSD Level I and Level II Certification to reduce the risk of downtime or potential safety issues on projects

Gene Hurley, Director of Technical Support at MMT, said, “Our goal is to transition HSD testing process knowledge and competencies to our field service partners. With these updates, our partners will have the equipment availability and requisite skills to perform tests in the ditch independently of MMT.”

MMT expects the enhancements to the Training and Certification Program to improve the reliability of data collection and reporting results for NDE service partners and their customers.

“We are delivering mission critical equipment to the field in a challenging environment, and we’re stepping up to the challenge. To do that, our organization is maturing, learning, listening carefully to our customers and our partners, and responding to those changes accordingly,” Mr. Hurley said.

This article appeared in News & Views: MMT's Q2 Newsletter. Subscribe today to receive these quarterly newsletters straight to your inbox. 

Back to Announcements

Competent Field Technicians a Major Priority at MMT

MMT's updates to the HSD Training and Certification Program improves the reliability of data collection and reporting results for NDE service partners and their customers.

June 7, 2021 | Massachusetts Materials Technologies, LLC

Back to Announcements

HSD 8000 & MMTConnect Moving Quickly to a "Turn-Key" Solution

The latest updates to MMT’s Hardness, Strength, and Ductility (HSD) Tester—the HSD 8000—makes the tool easier to use and more robust to support third-party inspection providers in performing nondestructive examination (NDE) testing. The updates to the accompanying MMTConnect software also more easily guides technicians through the entire material verification process to ensure that correct procedures are implemented and a complete and accurate dataset is acquired. MMTConnect also uploads the data collected to MMT for review and reporting.

According to Brendon Willey, Vice President of Engineering at MMT, extensive use of the device in the field has already proven that the HSD Tester can produce accurate, reliable, and high-quality data. Now, MMT is focused on launching a commercialized version of the innovative technology with strong support systems in place, so other inspection providers can achieve the same results.

Dr. Steve Palkovic, Chief Technology Officer at MMT, explained how the supportive capabilities were integrated into the HSD Tester. He said, “The MMTConnect software allows MMT experts to provide technical support for people using our equipment in the field. So, if they have a question while they’re collecting data, we have the ability to see what they are collecting in real time with an internet connection. We can even proactively reach out and notify them of any potential issues. It’s part of our commitment to ensure anyone can get good quality, reliable results, no matter who is using the unit.”

The support systems integrated into the instrumentation include MMT’s HSD Training and Certification program, the ExpertConnect technical support center, and MMT’s reporting capabilities. By design, these systems ensure standardized results, regardless of the user.

To learn more about the innovative solutions offered by MMT, visit their website or set up a consultation with MMT representatives to learn more.

This article appeared in News & Views: MMT's Q2 Newsletter. Subscribe today to receive these quarterly newsletters straight to your inbox. 


June 7, 2021 | Massachusetts Materials Technologies, LLC

Back to Announcements

MMT Developing Faster HSD Reporting Results

The Reporting and Data Analytics group at MMT is currently developing two additional expedited material verification reporting options. Service providers will soon have the ability to access both instant and preliminary reports, to immediately identify outlier results or test data areas of concern. This has been a long-standing request from pipeline operators and NDE providers alike. 

Dr. Steve Palkovic, Chief Technology Officer at MMT, hopes the reporting enhancements will give MMT’s service partners more options for timely results as well as more confidence in the data being collected.

“Our instant material verification report will be built into our MMTConnect software, which has checks and intelligence integrated into it, so it can verify that the correct procedures have been followed, all the data has been collected, and that nobody leaves the job site without having all the data,” Dr. Palkovic said.

With the enhancements, partners will receive an instant report immediately, and a preliminary report within 48 hours of the data being collected. The preliminary report will be generated, reviewed, and approved by a team of MMT engineers following strict standards regarding data accuracy and reliability. This preliminary report includes estimates for almost all pipeline material characteristics included in the final report, including grade (yield and ultimate tensile strength), wall thickness, diameter, grain size and metallurgical review of the steel microstructure, and seam type determination. The third and final report will provide the complete material attributes including the conventional lab chemistry results, and a final grade determination using industry-leading strength prediction analytics with the lowest measurement uncertainty.

According to Dr. Palkovic, these differentiated reporting solutions integrate quality control, responsiveness, cost-savings, and efficiency for service providers.

“These updates in our reporting process will ensure that customers are receiving accurate and reliable information as soon as possible,” Dr. Palkovic said. “The preliminary material verification report allows our experts to review and report essential data early in the process to provide assurances to operators and service providers. This is in addition to the final material verification report that they receive with the standard quality that they rely on.”

This article appeared in News & Views: MMT's Q2 Newsletter. Subscribe today to receive these quarterly newsletters straight to your inbox.