Inspection in the Smartphone Era

With the introduction of advanced technologies, inspection and engineering fields have an opportunity to revolutionize how they train and bring on-board new inspectors. Major inspection users are identifying new solutions to lessen the impact of an aging workforce and growing skills gap. Whether it is by establishing new training programs, such as the Alabama Industrial Development Training program led by Airbus, or adopting advanced visual inspection tools, asset owners are embracing technology to improve productivity and reduce the shortage of qualified inspectors.

Inspectors entering the field today, raised with smartphones and handheld computers, expect their workplace tools to be equally intuitive and easy to operate. New visual inspection technology, such as Mentor Visual iQ from GE, will replace older borescopes with more sophisticated devices. Industrial organizations are selecting borescopes with built-in technology to help operators make smarter decisions faster. These advancements, including connectivity and intuitive touchscreen user-interfaces, improve probability of detection and extend uptime.

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The latest generation of visual inspection technologies provides some of the same benefits that smartphones have provided consumers: improved productivity, ease of use and instant connectivity.

  • Improved image quality and probability of detection: Advancements in visual inspection technology and image resolution speed up the inspection process and improve the probability of detection. These factors influence inspectors’ confidence in their categorization of the defect. Just as the camera on today’s smartphones has improved image resolution to the level of replacing digital cameras, visual borescope technology has evolved to provide high-quality images that easily distinguish a crack from a grease mark in tough inspection environments.
  • Remote collaboration capabilities: New inspection devices with remote collaboration capabilities connect field technicians with senior-level experts across the world allowing for real-time feedback and support. Senior inspectors can provide direction and feedback from their own desks, reducing travel time, costs and downtime.
  • Increased productivity and uptime: Advanced visual inspection technologies allow technicians to more quickly and accurately identify issues or rule out problems reducing costly downtime.

To learn more about these benefits, read the full article in Quality Manufacturing Today here: http://www.qmtmag.com/display_eds.cfm?edno=8004979.

By Tom Ward, RVI Senior Product Manager, GE Measurement & Control

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