Workshop calls for more productive NDT integrated into global manufacturing processes

The June 12, 2014 workshop, featuring a Plenary Forum led by Airbus and Boeing, discussed the key challenge of adapting NDT to the demands of current production levels.

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The 3rd Workshop on NDT Applied to Aerospace, organized by Tecnatom at its Madrid, Spain headquarters, was held June 12, 2014. Over 60 professionals from 30 companies and eight  countries attended, including Airbus, Boeing, Alenia, Konsberg, Sukhoi, Aernnova, Alestic, Softiec and many others.

Attendees visited technical demonstration stations in the morning and participated in a Plenary Forum in the afternoon led by William Motzer, associate technical fellow NDE for Boeing; Pedro Arroyo, head of quality for materials, process and metrology for Airbus Defense and Space; and Vicente Cortés, CEO of Ensia, the Spanish subsidiary of TESTIA, an Airbus Group company dedicated to NDT.

Participants discussed the necessity of adapting to today’s demanding production levels and the challenges of forecast continued increases in sales and production. One issue is the ongoing change toward a collaborative design and production engineering model. This is demanding that inspection methods be considered from early in design, requiring NDT businesses to respond with a combination of  techniques to execute inspection integrally.

Vicente Cortés explored how the aerospace industry is continuously progressing with new technologies and new materials, and emphasized that the current challenge in NDT is to improve productivity and simplicity. Excessively complicated systems with very advanced technologies can complicate operations and are simply not efficient to put into production.

William Motzer from Boeing commented that he was impressed with the workshop, learning new concepts and gaining much more detail about others. “I’m impressed because Tecnatom is working on system organization rather than just making an individual scanner or a piece of electronics that works for the scanner, organizing all these things into a comprehensive system”, he added.

Pedro Arroyo, from Airbus Defense and Space, referred to the concepts of qualification and certification of NDT personnel and the process of harmonization between European and American standards. He described how organizations from both sides are currently working to implement a “technically equivalent” standard, especially important in this global industry which has suppliers from all over the world.

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