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Bridging the Digital Gap: Connecting IDMS and NDT Devices for Seamless Inspection Workflow

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In today’s world, having different systems and devices can be both tricky and beneficial for industries. One significant challenge is bridging the digital gap between Inspection Data Management System (IDMS) and Nondestructive Testing (NDT) devices. Since inspections use lots of data, it’s important to exchange it automatically and thus digitally. This article explores the digitalization of inspection processes, its main challenges and how to bridge the gap effectively.

The Digital Transformation of Inspection

In recent years, inspection processes have become more digital. Now, details of inspection and NDT device images are often in digital formats, which makes things more accurate and easier to access. This move from paper to digital systems boosts efficiency.

However, even with these improvements, inspections still involve manual work and manual data transfer. People are still making Excel lists, printing them out, and passing them around by hand, which leads to mistakes and slow things down. Also, inspection images and reports on USB sticks or sent through email introduce security risks and make sharing information harder.

The Persistence of Manual Processes

The use of manual processes in the inspection workflow causes various issues, from data security concerns to delays in the inspection schedule. Research has shown the downsides of both manual data entry and the gaps digital between inspection tools. About 10% of reports contain mistakes, such as wrong measurements or misassigned inspection points. These errors make it hard to trust inspection data, which is crucial for assessing equipment or parts accurately.

In today’s world, having quick access to correct info is vital. Relying on old-fashioned methods slows things down and can make it difficult for companies to stay competitive and compliant with industry standards.

The Vision of a Completely Digital Inspection Process

To fully embrace digitalization in inspections, it’s essential to shift from partly digital to completely digital processes – automating everything from creating inspection orders to sharing results. This thorough digitalization aims to cut down on manual work, lower the risk of losing data, and make sure inspection data is reliable.

Automating inspection processes and bridging the digital gap have many advantages that boost how efficiently organizations run. One of the benefits is real-time data syncing, which makes sure inspection data is transferred smoothly. This not only enhances data security but also improves collaboration among the inspection team.

Automating tasks, such as entering and transferring data, can save organizations a lot of time, for example, free up inspectors to focus more on actual inspections, which makes the whole process more productive. Moreover, the seamless exchange of inspection data speeds up the entire inspection process, which leads to a shortened turnaround time.

Improving data quality is another significant benefit. By getting rid of manual data transfer, the probability of mistakes goes way down. That means organizations can trust their data more, which leads to better decisions.

Bridging the Gap with Advanced Software Solutions

Fortunately, organizations don’t have to figure out automation on their own. The key to bridging the digital gap is using advanced software solutions that link IDMS and NDT devices seamlessly. These solutions serve as a bridge, facilitating the automated exchange of data. With automation, organizations can stop relying on manual work. Instead, inspection orders, images, and results can be transferred between systems effortlessly.

For instance, BP used the PACS software solution to bridge the digital gap in their inspections. The journey began with a proof of concept at the refinery in Rotterdam, Netherlands. It proved to be extremely successful due to its powerful impact on NDT and asset integrity. Encouraged by the positive results, the operator decided to roll out PACS to its other refining sites worldwide. This initiative fits into the company’s broader strategic digitization project in which PACS plays a central role.


The digital gap between IDMS and NDT devices is a significant challenge for inspection processes. Even though the industry is moving towards digitalization, manual work is still holding things back. Using advanced software is a smart way to solve this problem. As industries continue to evolve in the digital age, connecting IDMS and NDT devices will be key for inspection processes to become efficient and resilient to the demands of a rapidly changing world.

If you would like to learn more about DIMATE PACS and the digitalization of your inspection processes, please contact us at [email protected].

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