The Future of Digital Rope Testing - Absolute Safety through MRT


The MRT (Magnetic Rope Testing) method is a non-destructive, magnetic and non-contact process that can detect wire breaks, deformations and corrosion on steel wire ropes. With MRT, your steel wire ropes can now be inspected safely and with the highest accuracy on a digital level.

Let our experts advise you about magnetic rope testing or make an appointment.

The Process of Magnetic Rope Testing

MRT was once introduced in the ropeway industry to identify external as well as internal defects and provide maximum protection to passengers. The technique later caught on in the offshore heavy lift market due to increasing demands in terms of efficiency and safety. In the meantime, magentic rope testing has become exceedingly well established, so that the latest version of ISO4309 already includes magentic rope testing as a common assessment method for the inspection of general steel wire ropes.

The innovative magentic rope testing concept is continuously evolving: the magnetic induction method as well as the user interface are steadily improving, so that a complete steel wire rope inspection can now be performed completely automatically.

MRT devices are equipped with two different signals (on two separate circuits) that indicate external and internal damage of the steel wire rope to the operator. Thus, wire breaks, corrosion or deterioration can be immediately detected and evaluated.

CERTEX not only has the equipment to apply magnetic rope testing. In fact, our technical experts are deeply trained in the procedure and can draw the right conclusions in any given use case. There are two MRT procedures available for CERTEX customers to choose from: Mobile & Automatic!

Automated testing with "Rope Watcher"

The automated testing procedure is used primarily for extremely important and mission-critical lifting equipment. Companies often trust CERTEX with this procedure when the safety of human life or continuous production must be guaranteed. For example, the heavy elevator industry, cable cars or elevator companies use steel wire ropes in different ways - yet the basic aspects of safety and business continuity remain the same.

In the automated MRT method, the trained CERTEX service technician will permanently install the "Rope Watcher" on the wire rope as it passes through, so that the device continuously records data on the steel wire rope in real time. Via a user interface linked to the software, the user can observe changes in the steel wire rope at any time or be notified when changes occur. With the "Rope Watcher" you are always on the safe side!

The mobile manual test procedure

The mobile test procedure enables tests to be carried out flexibly and individually. In this process, a trained CERTEX service technician can locally test different wire ropes within one test order. Equipped with a mobile testing device, the condition of the rope in question can be checked in a shorter time.

The diagnostic software identifies possible damage along the entire rope and records all data in accordance with the international standard ISO 4309. After the inspection, the test report is released to the CERTEX customer as valid legal protection.

Magnetic Rope Testing & Heavy Lifting

Magnetic rope testing first came into use in this sector in the 1980s, especially for special use cases. Although heavy duty ropes do not lift people but loads, safety is extremely important as failure can even cause disaster (imagine a steel mill or a mine).

A strong advance in technology led to the availability of heavy-duty lifting equipment that complies with cableway standards in the early 2000s. In the latest version of ISO4309 (2017), magentic rope testing is mentioned as the state-of-the-art method for internal damage. 

Low-rotation steel wire ropes are actually used in many applications. Low-twist steel wire ropes behave differently depending on the rope layer. Often, degradation begins inside the rope, and standard visual inspection is not sufficient to ensure proper evaluation. In these cases, an magentic rope testing is strongly recommended to avoid failures and damage.

Use of MRT for Ropeways

In the ropeway sector, the use of magnetic rope testing is usually required and even mandatory in some countries. Safety is paramount and monitoring the current condition of the wire ropes is extremely important.

The MRT application is not limited to internal damage, but also for external wires. Furthermore, the ropeway sector is the first industry where specific standards for MRT inspection have been developed. These standards, such as EN12927, now apply to various sectors.

Rope inspection via magnetic rope testing also provides significant time savings. For example, steel wire ropes can be inspected in less than 2 minutes (including inspection adjustment), increasing the accuracy of a visual inspection performed in a dark and confined environment by a factor of ten.

Magnetic Rope Testing in Elevators

In this industry, safety is of major importance, since an elevator machine transports people from one floor to another and millions of elevator trips are made every day. A fault in one or more ropes can lead to injury as well as other problems (equipment stoppage, damage, etc.). Visual inspection is extremely difficult due to the confined space and time involved. The maintenance process can benefit massively from magnetic rope testing in terms of time savings.

The elevator market is characterized by different types of suspension elements, such as steel wire ropes, coated ropes and belts. An elevator installation is not always the most suitable place to perform a visual inspection, as it is usually too dark and too crowded.

AMC Instruments, together with Mennens Netherlands, has developed special tools to perform an accurate magnetic induction inspection on all mentioned suspension elements, including belts and coated ropes where visual inspection is practically impossible.