Over the last 10 to 15 years, NDT methods have grown smarter and smarter. New methods have been developed and old methods have been improved. Some of today’s NDT is leaps and bounds ahead of where it used to be. These advancements have helped tremendously in manufacturing, repair, and maintenance and the data these tests produce are more visual and easily interpretable. I don’t think anyone can argue that NDT is evolving and that this evolution is still ongoing. The other side of this evolution is increased data creation. Inspections are providing large amounts of data and this in combination with the increasing ease and capacity of digital storage is bringing on a new age of using and linking NDT results from testing and monitoring into a new form of process control.
Process control is defined as “activities involved in ensuring a process is predictable, stable, and consistently operating at the target level of performance with only normal variation.”1