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NDT.net Issue - 2016-04 - NEWS
NDT.net Issue: 2016-04
Publication: e-Journal of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) ISSN 1435-4934 (NDT.net Journal)

WCNDT 2016 TUTORIAL: NDT Reliability for Practitioners

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfung (DGZfP)163, Berlin, Germany

What practitioners need to know about reliability?

This tutorial offers a wide range of reliability topics and is intended for colleagues, not yet familiar with the reliability topic, but also for regulators, service providers, end-users, and scientists, who encounter reliability-related problems in their daily practice and wish to obtain information that will serve as a starting point in overcoming those problems. Moreover, the purpose of this tutorial is that the scientists and practitioners open a dialogue about reliability.

In the following, the description of the tutorial will be given, followed by a planned schedule and short biographies of the lecturers.


The tutorial will start with an overall introduction to the reliability of NDT, highlighting factors relevant to the reliability, i.e. intrinsic capability, application factors, human factors and the organizational context.

The tutorial will then be divided into three parts:

  1. Human and organisational influences on NDT reliability
  2. Basic principles of the probability of detection (POD) and the problem of real defects
  3. Advanced principles of POD: Multi-parameter POD for industrial systems

Human and organizational factors have always puzzled the NDT community. If the technology hasn’t failed, then it must be the “human factor”. But what are human factors exactly? What do they entail? And how can we make sure that the “human factor” succeeds and the reliability is high? To be able to do this, a deeper understanding of human behavior in the context of NDT organizations is of essence. This will be in focus of the first part of the tutorial. It will start with the positioning of NDT reliability in the everyday NDT practice. To manage reliability, it is a basic need to know and understand the different influences. Therefore, the framework of main influences from society and organization will be sketched in an open exchange with the participants of the tutorial. Later on this framework will be analyzed systematically, which will lead to an approach of optimized organizational processes. In the remaining time we will focus on the inspectors and discuss the definition of human factors, sources of human error, different approaches for identifying risks involving human inspectors, and offer practical strategies for how human factors can be attended to in the practice, or further investigated. This part of the tutorial is expected to deepen the understanding of the human and organizational factors and their effects on the reliability of NDT in theory and practice. It is intended for all those involved in the design, management and control of inspection processes and procedures, but also for the inspectors themselves or scientists, wishing to obtain more knowledge on the complexities of human factors.

In the second part we will introduce the needs and the basic ideas of reliability of NDT methods. The main task is to provide with the fundamentals of statistics and its connection to the physical behavior of NDT systems. The keyword here is probability of detection – the POD. How a POD evaluation is made, in general and explicitly, for different NDT methods will be in the focus of the tutorial. It will provide the typical statistical formulas to be used and call attention to challenges and solutions of using the POD in the field. We offer a range of topics from the basic principles to the widespread use of the POD in different areas with different NDT methods. The tutorial will be useful to people new in the area of reliability to follow the advanced sessions during the conference, but also for people, which have already used POD, to get an overview of the different applications of POD in the field.

The growing recognition of the importance of NDT systems reliability analysis has contributed to its swift expansion into new fields of application in recent years. The limits of conventional models have been quickly reached and a need for development of new models has emerged. In the third part of the tutorial, the limits of the application of a conventional signal-response model are discussed. A new model that calculates the POD as a function of several influencing parameters is presented. This model relies on theoretical modeling of the inspection, as well as experimental measurements to express the POD as function of several influencing parameters. Furthermore, the volume POD, a method to calculate and display the POD over the geometry of the inspected part is presented. The method is particularly useful, when several inspections of the same part are performed and there is a need for a reliability data fusion. This part of the tutorial is intended for all those who would like to learn how to estimate the simultaneous influence of several factors on the POD in their inspections. Those interested in the new developments in the field of NDT reliability analysis in NDT and interested in the use of theoretical models and simulation to support the experimental measurements in an estimation of the POD will also find interest in presented topics.


Welcome and introduction (C. MUELLER)

09:00 – 09:10
09:10 – 09:20
Introduction to NDT reliability

PART 1: Human and organisational influences on NDT reliability (R. HOLSTEIN, M. BERTOVIC)

09:20 – 10:00
NDT reliability in the daily practice (influence of management and society)
10:00 – 10:15
Coffee break
10:15 – 12:00
Introduction to human factors (definition, human error)
Methods for assessment of human factors (e.g. risk assessment methods)
Human factors in theory and practice (examples from studies and practice)
Implications for the NDT practice (optimisation strategies, procedure writing guidelines, etc.)
12:00 – 13:00

PART 2: Basic principles of the probability of detection (POD) and the problem of real defects (D. KANZLER)

13:00 – 14:30
Introduction to the reliability and its need
Statistical basics for the evaluation of POD and alternatives
14:30 – 14:45
Coffee break
14:45 – 16:00
Approaches in the field to evaluate real defect data

PART 3: Advanced principles of POD: Multi-parameter POD for industrial systems (M. PAVLOVIC)

16:30 – 18:00
Limitations of the conventional signal-response model
Multi-parameter POD
Volume POD

Who are we?

Dr. Christina Mueller, born 1953, studied physics at the Technical University in Dresden, Germany and finished her PhD in the field of theoretical solid state physics in 1982. After a phase of teaching and research at the university she worked in the practical development of material testing procedures in the electronic industry and in the development of ultrasonic probes for nuclear power plants in the former GDR. In 1988 she started to work at BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing in the division for NDT in the field of signal processing, modelling, and 3D data reconstruction. In international co-operation she developed basic principles for reliability assessment of NDT and is since 1992 head of a research group “Reliability of NDT”.

Dr. Ralf Holstein, born 1961, received his degree (Dipl.-Ing.) in communication engineering from the Technical University of Dresden, Germany in 1993. In the same year he started working for the German Society for Non-Destructive Testing (DGZfP) in Berlin, Germany, first as head of the personnel certification body, and then as head of the training department. Since February 2003 he is managing director of the DGZfP Education and Training Ltd. In 2014 he earned his PhD at the VŠB – Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Republic, in the field of management of industrial systems by analysing organizational influences on NDT reliability. He is also elected chairmen of the DIN standardization committee “Qualification and Certification of Non-Destructive Testing Personnel”.

Dr. Marija Bertovic, born 1981, obtained her diploma degree in psychology (Dipl. Psych) at the University of Rijeka, Croatia, and her doctoral degree (Dr. phil) at the Technical University in Berlin, Germany. Since 2006 she has been working on topics related to human factors in non-destructive testing at the BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing and at the German Society for Non-Destructive Testing (DGZfP) - Education and Training Ltd. The focus of her research has been on identifying and studying risks involving human inspectors during NDT inspections (manual and mechanised) and suggesting ways of optimizing the inspections and inspection procedures. She is currently a research staff member in the reliability group at BAM.

Daniel Kanzler, born 1983, obtained his diploma and master degree in Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Aschaffenburg in 2008. The topics of both theses were about the reliability of ultrasonic testing methods in cooperation with GE Sensing and Inspection Technologies in Alzenau. In the period 2009-2015 he was working at the BAM Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing in the division of radiological methods in the NDT reliability research team. His area of expertise was the evaluation of non destructive testing methods especially for insufficient data resources. At the moment he is an independent consultant in the area of reliability evaluation of NDT systems. In 2012 he obtained the NDT Master degree of the DGZfP and was qualified in ultrasonic, radiographic and eddy current testing with level 3 according to ISO 9712. D. Kanzler has guided several courses on reliability of NDT systems at the DGZfP since 2012 and the POD tutorial in 2015 at the 6th European American Workshop of Reliability in Minneapolis.

Dr. Mato Pavlovic, born 1971, is a researcher with over 10 years of experience in the field of non-destructive testing, especially ultrasonic testing (UT), working at the BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, in Berlin, Germany. His current research interests include the theoretical modelling and simulation of the UT and a reliability analysis of UT systems. His work is concentrated on the investigation of UT systems for the automated inspection of high-speed train axles and on the investigation of the advanced phased-array UT system used for the inspection of canisters for the permanent storage of spent nuclear fuel. He also worked for German Society for Non-destructive Testing (DGZfP) as an NDT reliability advisor, developing guidelines for the reliability evaluation of NDT systems. Prior to joining BAM, he worked as a research and development engineer at Soko Z.I. developing a flight simulator. Mato Pavlovic has a degree (Dipl.-Ing) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Zagreb, Croatia and a postgraduate degree (Dr.-Ing.) in Material Science from the University of Saarland, Germany.

The tutorial is an additional, though independent offer to the WCNDT and requires its own registration and payment.

Please register here

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