About Us

Who we are

We are the longest established manufacturer of flawed specimens in the Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and Evaluation (NDE) industry, being internationally accepted as the standard for NDT training and qualification.

Founded in 1980 and acquired by the Institution on Mechanical Engineers in 2013, we have manufactured thousands of flawed specimens for many of the major performance demonstration, training and qualification centres around the world.

With offices in Lancaster, UK and Charlotte, USA, we pride ourselves in pioneering many ‘industry standard’ flaw manufacture and implanting techniques.

High quality flaws are achieved by a combination of our first-class workmanship, a unique blend of specialised welding and NDT skills, plus a full understanding of the product.

What you can expect

We pride ourselves on providing the most accurate flawed specimens on the market. Whatever the challenge, our team will work with you to find a solution to meet your project requirements. When using our services, you can expect:

  • The most accurate flawed specimens on the market
  • Unique specimens containing purposely induced flaws that are accurately sized and located
  • All specimens go through a full range of quality control processes to ensure our flaw are of the highest quality
  • Documentation detailing flaw types, sizes and location supplied with each specimen.
  • Excellent customer service from initial contact

Our global presence

We work with multinational organisations worldwide and work closely with a network of global distributors.

Our journey so far


How it started

Welder training center in Lancaster, UK, is established alongside Sonaspection, an NDE Inspection service provider (originally named Bowland Scott) to the local power station and beyond. After experiencing a severe gap in the market when performing NDE training at a local college, we undertook several years of research and development to manufacture flawed specimens.

Going limited

Sonaspection International Ltd is formed by owner Phillip Bisgrove after successfully manufacturing flawed specimens for NDE training for multiple clients and realizing there is a scope for expansion.

USA expansion

Manufacturing facility established in Georgia, USA, following increased demand in the US and surrounding markets.

Move to Charlotte

USA manufacturing facility relocates from Georgia to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Leadership transition

Management buyout by Martin Peacock, Steve Berriman and Neil Kelly.

Growth through acquisition

Sonaspection International Ltd is acquired by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the head office relocates to a new facility on White Lund Industrial Estate, Lancaster.

UK expansion

Expansion of UK manufacturing facility in Lancaster, enabling investment in new machinery and significantly increasing capacity to accommodate global demand whilst maintaining a safe working environment for staff.