Digital Services

Digital and data-driven products and service in the context of NDE

Fraunhofer IZFP is your R&D partner for sensor and data systems for safety, sustainability and efficiency. This also includes our portfolio of digital and data-driven products and services.

We support you both in digitizing your application and inspection processes, but also in generating added value from your datasets. Our offer includes among others:

  • Concepts and technologies for the integration of your systems to IoT networks,
  • Optimization of your information management by structuring your data,
  • Support in the selection and implementation of suitable data management systems,
  • Optimization of your data analysis through customized AI-based algorithms,
  • Development of new added values through the establishment of data loops.

The networking and interoperability of information and data sets is an essential essence of current Industry 4.0 activities. This includes big data analysis, long-term statistics and machine learning. Important sources of information are sensor, measurement and inspection data, which are often not sufficiently structured or even incompletely recorded. The DICONDE (Digital Imaging and Communications for Nondestructive Evaluation) format is an open standard for measurement and inspection data that allows structured archiving, interoperability, and flexible adaptation. The technology is based on the medical standard DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) and, thanks to a sophisticated information model, captures not only the actual results but also essential meta information of the data generation and allocation. For classical inspection methods such as ultrasound testing, eddy current, computed tomography and many more, precise information models are available, which make the data comparable and retrievable. Using RESTfull interfaces, data records can also be securely encrypted and transferred to the data archive directly after generation.

In addition to archiving relevant data records, these can be used, for example, to analyze the quality characteristics of specific components or entire component classes and, thus, contribute to the optimization of existing products or process parameters. Likewise, the archive represents an important basis for training data for the development of AI models and can be used in the sense of a data cycle and reduce the use of synthetic data sets.

Fraunhofer IZFP is currently working as part of a working group of the German Society for Non-Destructive Testing (DGZfP) and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) to expand and develop new standards for NDE. This includes a draft for archiving A-scans for ultrasonic testing.

Benefit from our expertise:

  • Capture relevant information from production
  • Individual DICONDE-compliant adaptation of information models per use case
  • Support in the implementation of DICONDE on your systems
  • Customized software toolings fitting exactly your needs
  • Testing the connectivity of your products in our test labs
  • Integration of our measurement systems into existing DICONDE infrastructure
  • Conception and (developer) trainings around DICONDE
  • Your strong partner for establishing standardized, legally compliant data storage using DICONDE

Draft for archiving UT-A scans in DICONDE format

Core targets of Industry 4.0 are centered on networking and the exchange of relevant data between different subsystems at all levels of the communication pyramid. For the field of NDE, the research focus of the last decade has been primarily on the development of new methods and the unambiguous interpretation of data. Topics such as connectivity, user-friendliness and digitalization have been neglected. Connectivity in particular plays a crucial role, as it necessary for interaction with external systems and thus makes it possible to influence industrial processes in the first place. Furthermore, the requirements for data volume have increased significantly compared to the third industrial revolution. While the main requirement was still to transmit results and simple commands, the implementation of an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) requires a comprehensive description of all parameters, settings, functionalities, and other meta data. One potential technology that can meet these requirements is OPC UA (Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture).

As a platform-independent, service-oriented architecture for data exchange, OPC UA is characterized by the semantic description of the data. This means that the interpretation of the data in terms of its format and arrangement is not in the hands of the receiver, as is the case with the transmission of structureless packets. The system that manages the data thus specifies its structure. Through Companion Specifications (CS), such semantic descriptions are also used to map similar machines in the network in a quasi-standardized manner.

In this way, the complex information of an inspection procedure can be transmitted unambiguously, but also the complexity of an inspection job can be sent to a system. Defined in a CS, this semantic description could also be applied or at least adapted to different inspection procedures.

Fraunhofer IZFP is currently working on a CS for NDT as part of a working group of the German Society for Non-Destructive Testing (DGZfP). This Companion Specification is intended to be suitable for a wide range of test methods and address both classic manual testing and fully automated test stations.

Benefit from our expertise:

  • Integration of OPC UA into your products
  • Individual adaptation of information models per use case
  • Support in the implementation of your systems
  • Testing the connectivity of your products in our test labs