The IIoT is driving more predictive inspection models in non-destructive testing

17 December 2018

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Rebounding from a two-year slump, the non-destructive test inspection services market is now growing: the convergence of IIoT technology, such as big data and cloud computing, is facilitating many new business models and opportunities.

As such, vendors are making concerted efforts to convert big data to smart data and shift the market from the traditional time-people business model to more proactive performance-based business models. As Prem Shanmugam, senior consultant for Measurement & Instrumentation at Frost & Sullivan, explains:

"Industrial internet of things (IIoT) and AI-based, non-destructive test [NDT] capabilities are altering market structures and driving the transformation of traditional business models.

"Automation companies are increasingly re-positioning themselves as service providers, while sensorisation and predictive analytics have enabled vendors to develop innovative business models."

Frost & Sullivan’s recent document, ‘Global Non-destructive Testing Inspection Services Market, Forecast to 2022’, identifies key growth opportunities while detailing the challenges and threats. The forecast period is from 2018 to 2022, with 2017 being the base year. It covers the technology segments of ultrasonic, radiography, electromagnetic, visual inspection, and penetrant test.

Shanmugam further adds: "This evolving market ecosystem will encourage numerous mergers and acquisitions as NDT inspection service companies look to broaden their capabilities in areas such as online monitoring, robotics, and predictive analytics.

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"The convergence of dimensional metrology with NDT applications will help create a competitive advantage for NDT vendors, by allowing them to expand beyond their core capabilities. For instance, technology synergies will enable vendors to use 3D portable laser scanners to scan pipeline corrosion."

Another significant benefit of applying technologies such as connectivity, cloud, and advanced analytics is that it mitigates the challenge of a shrinking pool of experienced and qualified NDT technicians. There are additional revenue opportunities to be gained by leveraging cutting-edge technologies, such as the following:

- AI-powered industrial robots in inspection and material handling;

- intelligent algorithms for processing huge amounts of data in real time;

- drones to inspect components and repair damaged components in the wind energy sector (the results will be automatically analyzed using fuzzy logic and neural networks); and

- the combined synergies of NDT inspection services with online monitoring solutions. These are similar to condition monitoring and other ICT and advanced analytics.

The said report, ‘Global Non-destructive Testing Inspection Services Market, Forecast to 2022’ is part of Frost & Sullivan’s global Test & Measurement Growth Partnership Service program. For more information, visit

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