New business engagement for NDT


The 2014 report ‘A landscape for the future of NDT in the UK economy’ identifies the fundamental opportunities and challenges for the NDT community in the UK and recommends key enabling actions in order to support economic growth and increase the public’s awareness of and safety through NDT. These actions are listed in four primary sectors and cover: new business engagement, people, technology and R&D.

‘New business engagement’ is summarised in the report as the need to “demonstrate the value of NDT through the life of a facility or structure. Engage insurance companies and regulators to maximise the benefits of NDT”.

Engaging with insurance and regulatory sectors will help to encourage better use of NDT. This is closely connected to the need to build closer links with the structural integrity community through networks, businesses and professional bodies. Tony Dunhill, current President of the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT) and chair of the NDT working group, says: “Ideally, I would like us all to end up in a safer place; that is the be all and end all. I would like the breadth of the influence of the NDT industry to be appreciated, and I want people and companies to consider that whenever they are looking at the development of a new material or manufacturing process, they ought to be thinking ‘Has this process generated any defects?’.”

The links with the structural integrity community are not only required for the improvement of structural integrity management solutions but to also prevent acute failures – ensuring public safety – and to secure on-going cost-effective operation in the future. In order to achieve this, the preparation of a series of case studies and demonstrator schemes covering technical feasibility are advised to help demonstrate how NDT can be used to increase safety. These case studies will also play a major role in endorsing NDT and showing how it can be used to secure business, as well as encouraging an increased take-up of new NDT technology and the use of existing technology in new applications.

By implementing a solid PR programme, these case studies can be used as promotional tools to target businesses that are not currently engaged in NDT through seminars, business publications and other media channels. These actions all require stable funding methods. Keith Newton, Director of RCNDE and co-editor of the Landscape report, says: “This report provides the foundation for developing opportunities within NDT, for which we now need to try and secure funding. There are many more people who could do with smart NDT. Having the report helps to set the scene for potential investors, and the fact it has been written by a cross-sector group should also give it validity.” There could even be scope for a Structural Integrity Catapult Centre, acting as an international facility to develop the knowledge base for understanding duty cycles, material properties, inspection capabilities and acceptable risk.

The NDT industry needs to be reinforced with solid methods of funding in order to carry out the key enabling actions detailed in the report, to continue to contribute towards the growth of the UK economy and to impact on the UK government’s plans for future development in priority technology areas. By securing such funding, the NDT industry will be free to demonstrate its true value within the UK economy, which will inevitably lead to new business opportunities for companies throughout the UK and beyond.

For more information and to view the full report, visit