The Core of the Fourth Revolutions: Industrial Internet of Things, Digital Twin, and Cyber-Physical Loops

Johannes Vrana: Like with the previous revolutions the goal of the fourth revolution is to make manufacturing, design, logistics, maintenance, and other related fields faster, more efficient, and more customer centric. This holds for classical industries, for civil engineering, and for NDE and goes along with new business opportunities and models. Core components to enable those fourth revolutions are semantic interoperability, converting data into information, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) offering the possibility for every device, asset, or thing to communicate with each other using standard open interfaces, and the digital twin converting all the available information into knowledge and closing the cyber-physical loop. For NDE this concept can be used #1 to design, improve, and tailor the inspection system hard- and software and #2 to choose and adapt to best inspection solution for the customer or to enhance the inspection performance. Enabling better quality, speed, and cost at the same time. On a broader view, the integration of NDE into IIoT and Digital Twin is the chance for the NDE industry for the overdue change from a cost center to a value center. In most cases, data gathered by NDE is used for a quality assurance assessment resulting in a binary decision. But the information content of NDE goes way deeper and is of major interest for additional groups: engineering and management. Some of those groups might currently not be aware of the benefits of NDE data and the NDE industry makes the access unnecessarily difficult by proprietary interfaces and data formats. Both those challenges need to be taken on now by the NDE industry. The big IT players are not waiting and, if not available on the market, they will develop and offer additional data sources including ultrasonics, X-ray or eddy current. Source