The 3 Challenges of NDT & NDE 4.0

While the technology industry is transitioning to the fourth revolution, which is driven by digital advancement and interconnections, NDE (Non-destructive evaluation) is evolving as well. The fourth-revolution of NDE – NDE 4.0 – is characterized by enhanced information transparency, decentralized decisions, technical help, and autonomy. As a result, a swifter, more cost-efficient, safe and more reliable inspection system comes into play.


However, with all the good things that NDE 4.0 and NDT 4.0 comes with, it has its fair share of challenges. These challenges concern:

  • Relevance Of Learned Skills
  • Leadership Hesitation
  • Insufficient Awareness

This article is part of a summary series of Dr. Johannes Vrana‘s & Ripi Singh‘s publication “The NDE 4.0: Key Challenges, Use Cases, and Adaption”Their research deals with the latest methods of NDT. Their consulting company is a competent partner for research & development in the field of NDT.

Here are the other parts of our series about NDE 4.0:

Part 1 – Definition: What are NDT 4.0 & NDE 4.0?

Part 3 – How does Industry benefit from NDE 4.0?

Table of Contents

Relevance Of Learned Skills

The NDE 4.0 activities and technologies are different from traditional NDE functions and systems. As such, organizations that intend to use these new technologies have to develop a new skill set. They have to acquire information and communication technologies (ICT) skills and able to work together with intelligent systems such as industrial collaborative robots and desktops. 

Additionally, people who will be interacting with these new advanced systems of the fourth revolution should have a flexible mindset. They ought to be willing to accept that the information they possess today might be outdated before they become established experts.

NDT 4.0 requires employers and employees to learn more and faster as compared to the previous revolutions. Employers and their workers have to perceive learning and development as a mutual and interminable investment. 

As operators get technology training, the managers should control the processes properly while the leadership keep themselves abreast with new business models. It will be crucial for all of them to have the ability to learn and develop new skills more rapidly as compared to how they were used to in the previous innovations. 

Leadership Hesitation

Business executives often find themselves reluctant to take initiatives to develop innovation-driven differentiation due to different reasons. One of these reasons is the budgeting and incentive for annual investments . These often focus on data-driven approaches and methodologies like Six Sigma and lean for productivity and quality improvement.

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The company pursues short-term marginal visible gains at the expense of larger and long-term intangible benefits. So, considering that NDE 4.0 is a long-term game that requires remarkably higher technological investment and skill development, it may not be attractive to companies which are used to focusing on short-term gains.  


Secondly, in most cases, some people are extremely risk-averse. They tend to focus on “what”, “how” and “why”, with the three representing metrics, processes and purposes, respectively. On the other hand, innovators start an initiative by trying to find out an answer to “Why not?”, then “How about?” and finally, “What if?”.


Therefore, NDE 4.0 requires a new leadership style, Leadership 4.0. flexible and digitally competent leaders who must mirror Industry 4.0 and IoT (Internet of Things) in the technologies-machines-people interactions come in handy in the fourth industrial revolution. 

Insufficient Awareness

Industry 4.0 and NDE 4.0 provide a great business opportunity for many developers that are not  familiar with the NDE and NDT methodology, complexities and purpose. Unfortunately, NDE 4.0 awareness is pretty limited in the society. That’s why some people might be heard saying that they don’t need it or claiming that it isn’t a skilled trade. With this limited awareness, people might find it quite difficult to decide whether to invest in the technology or not.

How can I use NDT 4.0 today?

We are helping companies, organizations and individual inspectors carry out nondestructive tests on their machine parts, pipelines, power plants and airplanes, among other crucial mechanical systems, units and parts accurately. The sentin EXPLORER simplifies the evaluation of images by automatically analyzing and marking imperfections and improving the image quality.



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