This article is intended to outline the purpose of NDE 4.0 (the why?) and bring awareness to the newly developed ISO standard on innovation management as a possible tool set to successfully pursue NDE 4.0 (the how?). Over the last couple of years, the nondestructive evaluation (NDE) community has come to appreciate the fourth industrial revolution, which was defined by the Germans as “Plattform Industrie 4.0” (Industry 4.0), and its implication to the inspection world in terms of NDE, which we refer to as “NDE 4.0” (BMWi 2020; Meyendorf et al. 2017; Vaidya et al. 2018; Singh 2018, 2019). NDE 4.0 is the digitalization of NDE systems resulting from the confluence of current NDE systems with Industry 4.0 technologies. Subsequent to the definition of Industry 4.0, the Science and Technology Basic Plan (Government of Japan 2015) defined the term “Society 5.0,” which in some sense defines the purpose of Industry 4.0. It calls for the application of technology in a manner that concurrently brings both economic development and solutions to social problems. It ensues technology for the sake of society and not just for business reasons. Along very similar lines, the purpose of NDE 4.0 can be defined as “Safety 5.0: to concurrently enhance safety and bring economic value to stakeholders.”
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