Article Article
NDT 4.0: Opportunity or Threat?

There is no doubt that the world currently is in the midst of a technology-driven transformation that is evidenced in our everyday lives via technical advances like self-driving cars and artificial intelligence. The world around us is changing at a rapid pace, and this also affects the way we produce nearly everything. Entire industries are transformed, resulting in major implications for professionals in many fields. This transition is so compelling that it has been named “Industry 4.0,” the fourth industrial revolution. A variety of disruptive factors are compounding one another and have a massive impact on the status quo. These include robotics, big data, additive manufacturing, integrated systems, augmented reality, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and much more. The NDT industry cannot escape these fundamental changes. Nearly all methods are impacted—some more, others less. Therefore, the question arises: Is this an opportunity or a threat? This paper will explore these fundamental shifts using some specific examples from the field of radiography, as this is the field of expertise of the author. Also, the radiographic testing method is among those that will see the biggest changes caused by the new technology, as we have already seen in the medical realm.



ASTM, 2018, ASTM E2737 – Standard Practice for Digital Detector Array Performance Evaluation and Long-Term Stability, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA.

BDI, 2015, “The Digital Transformation of Industry, a Report for the Federation of German Industries (BDI) produced by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants,” available at

Beaumont, P.W.R., C. Soutis, and A. Hodzic (eds.), 2015, “Radiographic Testing,” Structural Integrity and Durability of Advanced Composites, Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, UK.

du Plessis, A., I. Yadroitsava, and I. Yadroitsev, 2020, “Effects of Defects on Mechanical Properties in Metal Additive Manufacturing: A Review Focusing on X-ray Tomography Insights,” Materials & Design, Vol. 187, doi: 10.1016/j.matdes.2019.108385.

Epicor, 2020, “What is Industry 4.0—the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)?” available at

IFR, 2018, “Positioning Paper: Robots and the Workplace of the Future,” International Federation of Robotics, Frankfurt, Germany.

Küpper, Daniel, 2020, “Embracing Industry 4.0 and Rediscovering Growth,” available at

Kurz, J.H., A. Jüngert, S. Dugan, G. Dobmann, and C. Boller, 2013, “Reliability Considerations of NDT by Probability of Detection (POD) Determination Using Ultrasound Phased Array,” Engineering Failure Analysis, Vol. 35, pp. 609–617.

Madni, A.M., C.C. Madni, and S.D. Lucero, 2019, “Leveraging Digital Twin Technology in Model-Based Systems Engineering,” Systems, Vol. 71, No. 1, doi:10.3390/systems7010007.

Meyendorf, N.G., L.J. Bond, J. Curtis-Beard, S. Heilmann, S. Pal, R. Schallert, H. Scholz, and C. Wunderlich, 2017, “NDE 4.0—NDE for the 21st Century— The Internet of Things and Cyber-Physical Systems Will Revolutionize NDE,” 15th Asia Pacific Conference for Non-Destructive Testing (APCNDT2017), 13–17 November, Singapore, Singapore.

OPC, 2020, “Welcome to the World of OPC,” OPC Foundation, available at

Perner, P., U. Zscherpel, and C. Jacobsen, 2001, “A Comparison between Neural Networks and Decision Trees based on Data from Industrial Radiographic Testing,” Pattern Recognition Letters, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 47–54.

Singh, R., 2019, “NDE 4.0: The Next Revolution in Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation: What and How?” Materials Evaluation, Vol. 77, No. 1, pp. 45–50.

Vaidya, S., P. Ambad, and S. Bhosle, 2018, “Industry 4.0 – A Glimpse,” Procedia Manufacturing, Vol. 20, pp. 233–238.

VisiConsult, 2019, “VisiConsult Supports Automotive Sector with 100% Inspection by Real Inline CT Solution,” 19 December 2019, available at

VisiConsult, 2020a, “Computed Tomography,” available at

VisiConsult, 2020b, “Automated Inspection,” available at

Voelker, C., 2003, “If a Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words, then Pervasive, Ubiquitous Imaging Is Priceless: DICONDE, the Universally Compatible Nondestructive Evaluation Image File Format,” ASTM Standardization News, Vol. 31, No. 10, pp. 32–33.

Vrana, J., 2019, “NDE 4.0 and Its Use for Predictive Maintenance,” ASNT Annual Conference, 18–21 November, Las Vegas, NV.

Usage Shares
Total Views
71 Page Views
Total Shares
0 Tweets
0 PDF Downloads
0 Facebook Shares
Total Usage