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Natalie Logan
By
June 11, 2019

Digital Inspection Trends: How to Maintain Your Competitive Edge

How are you staying ahead of the curve with your inspection practice?

According to IDG's 2018 State of Digital Business Transformation white paper, over 44% of organizations have started implementing a "digital first" approach to business. 

Once the monetary hurdle is surpassed, going digital is a sustainable solution that many companies are adopting. Some common reasons for digital transformation include:

  • Investment in safe, and secure data solutions keep critical data from being compromised.
  • Companies can easily minimize errors with automated processes and digital storage.
  • Digital solutions increase flexibility and efficiency.

Listed here are several digital trends in inspection ranging from up-and-coming to well-established.

AppSheet_Inspection_Digital_Trends

 

Cloud-based storage & cybersecurity secure data

When used properly, cloud-based storage serves as a preventative tool against common failures such as data loss, data breaches, and inconsistency across storage spaces. Several niche tools exist for this, but most commonly general cloud solutions are the primary storage spaces for inspection data.

As security hacks continue to grow, so do the measures protecting this data. Here are several cybersecurity tools, ranging from expert-level to recommended everyday practices for employees, explained:

  • Risk analyses: Running a check on all potential breaches and updating software to prevent them.
  • Biometrics: Using fingerprints or facial recognition to unlock devices, minimizing hardware breaches.
  • 2-factor authentication: Using two different devices to unlock an application.

Here at AppSheet, data in your apps live in the cloud through countless integrations with well-established cybersecurity measures. Read more about how to digitize your data with AppSheet.

Smart sensors provide predictive insights 

Smart sensors are popping up all over, from monitoring the structural health of bridges to the safety and efficiency of assembly lines.

What are smart sensors? They are small pieces of technology placed on the inspection area that track product health metrics, changes that could compromise quality, and machine operation health. In the past, people had to manually check all of these points, which can be dangerous and very time-consuming.

Smart sensors help protect employee safety by predicting malfunctions in machinery, allowing employees to do so from other locations using remote monitoring. They also improve efficiency and help employees focus on improving manufacturing outcomes rather than diligently tracking for potential mistakes.

Read about 3-D sensors and how they improve assembly inspection processes.

Digital radiography is increasing portability, accessibility, and versatility

Radiography is the process of using X-Rays to examine the internal structures of a component. It’s most frequently used for inspecting machinery, and it’s efficient because it doesn’t require inspectors to take apart the machines to look inside.

Digital radiography is faster than traditional methods, which use film. The image quality is higher. It’s portable and doesn’t require physical storage space, and the process of capturing the image is much quicker.

There are four types of digital radiography:

  • Computed Radiography
  • Direct Radiography
  • Real-Time Radiography
  • Computed Tomography

They all capture inspection images, but the primary differences between them are contrast sensitivity, processing time, and the number of images captured. More information about each of these digital radiography types can be found here.

AR/VR reduces inspection time

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are being used across the board for inspections. According to this article by researchers at Hamburg University of Technology, AR and VR are being used by several industries, the most prominent being aircraft manufacturing.

The most promising use case is assisted inspection using smart glass. This startup developed smart glass for aircraft inspections, reducing inspection time from 2 hours to 20 minutes. It projects all the information about the materials, such as plate thickness, in 3D on the aircraft surface. This helps inspectors determine the exact size and scope of the problem, allowing fixes to get started right away.

Mobile apps customize digital transformation

With AppSheet’s mobile app builder, countless industries are able to utilize apps to move away from paper inspections and on to cloud-based, paperless solutions. Some key features for inspection with AppSheet’s mobile apps are:

  • Signature collection.
  • A map view to see all of your inspection locations.
  • Workflow emails which you can set to send out emails when inspections fail.
  • Easy data entry.
  • Image annotations to track key inspection points.
  • And More!

Check out AppSheets Inspection apps, or learn how to build yours today.


Read about how AppSheet’s customers have used AppSheet’s platform for inspection, and how you can too:

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