The Challenges of NDT Training in a Rapidly Evolving Technological Environment

Instruments used for nondestructive testing have evolved rapidly over the past few decades. The implementation of microprocessors, menus and memory has contributed to the development of devices that are smaller, lighter, more reliable and often replete with a plethora of enticing, if not useful, features. The goal of the trainer is to stay one step ahead of this turbulent technological trend and provide some essential services. These would include translation and interpretation of documents, specifi cations, and menus; prioritization of instrument features and functions; and, evaluation and discrimination between the “need to have” and “nice to have” options and accessories available. Tools used for training have also changed considerably over time. Chalkboards, fl ipcharts and overhead projectors have been replaced by video screens, PowerPoints and DLPs. Trainers must keep up with the advancement of training instruments as well as NDT instruments. If used properly, the latest technology can often enhance training and provide a genuine valuable service. A video or animation of an NDT inspection would be a good example. If misused, technological training tools can produce disastrous results, which are often diffi cult to rectify within a reasonable timeframe. A broken computer is certainly not equivalent to a broken piece of chalk. This paper explores the dilemmas and delights of dealing with NDT training in our accelerating hi-tech world.

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