“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.”– Elizabeth Lawrence

Fall is my time of year. Living in here in Chicago, what’s not to like about it? Construction comes to an end and so does the 90-degree weather. Right now it’s October and football is dominating the scene. Not to mention hockey and the World Series. Also, I can’t help but anticipate the first frost-shocking, coming from a Chicagoan-and look forward to the leaves turning a brilliant spectrum of shades as they prepare to fall (which I’m so lucky as not to have to rake).

While I get excited about autumn, I still can’t help but shake the feeling that this season has snuck up on us far too quickly … but I’m not surprised. After all, this time of year is a busy time for the NDT industry with several conferences and shows coming up this month and next.

Back in September, I attended the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) on my home turf at the McCormick Place in Chicago where I was able to view the latest nondestructive testing solutions. The aisles were packed and the booths were full each day, much to the delight of the exhibitors. After speaking with several companies about the show’s turnout, the consensus was that this was the best show for them in years-and for some, a decade. The mood was upbeat and the energy was pulsating as a plethora of new products ranging from X-ray, computed tomography, resonant inspection and many more, were on display each day.

One demonstration that I had the chance to see in action was an innovative Nondestructive Testing Drop Test Fixture (NDT-DTF) that demonstrated resonant inspection quality testing on thousands of tiny compressed gas cartridges. Visitors to the exhibit saw the NDT-DTF and bowl feeder automate the testing process from start to finish, making 100% quality inspection fast, simple and reliable.

Another product demo that stood out was of a single lens handheld digital microscope camera for diverse applications such as quality control, inspections, repair and assembly. The scope has variable polarization, is fully calibratable and has true optical zoom. The microscope uses a 1.3 megapixel sensor which lets operators examine objects with the greatest of details. Also there's a trigger that has a touch-sensitive sensor which gives the operator the option to take an image right from the scope itself. This is extremely convenient for when you need to take a picture but don't have access to your computer right then and there.

Coming up in Houston next month is the ASNT Fall Conference and Quality Testing Show, where you'll find me on Nov. 15 to 19. This show will be a great opportunity for NDT researchers, technicians and students to come together and experience new products and technologies. There are more than 110 exhibitors and more than 100 topics that will be addressed in the presentations. Stop by the Quality booth to introduce yourselves. For more information, visit www.asnt.org.

In this edition of NDT, you’ll find the latest in technologies, products and industry news, along with topics ranging from remote visual inspection, thermography and phased array.

So even though this is a busy time of year for the NDT industry, don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the season.