NDE 4.0 Podcast | Transcript | Ben Connors, Avonix | Episode 14

NDE 4.0 Podcast Transcript

Episode 14 — Getting to Zero Defects in Parts Manufacturing

Our Guest:Ben Connors, Avonix Imaging

Editor’s Note: In the interest of time, this transcript is still in rough format and has not been edited for proper grammar and punctuation. If you have a need for a fully edited transcript, please contact us.

Ben Connors, Avonix Imaging – NDE40 Episode

NDE 4.0 Podcast – Getting to Zero Defects in Parts Manufacturing with Ben Connors, Avonix Imaging

[00:00:00] Ben Connors: Welcome to floodlight Software’s, NDE 4.0 podcast,

[00:00:17] Nasrin Azari: where we interview various experts in industry 4.0 concepts, issues, and technologies for non-destructive testing and inspections. This show is the place to go to learn about the biggest challenges and opportunities around NDE 4.0 from some of the smartest people in the industry.

[00:00:34] Nasrin Azari: So sit back and be prepared for a really thought-provoking discussion. Hope you enjoy the episode.

[00:00:52] Nasrin Azari: Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s episode of Floodlights NDE 4.0 podcast, where we pose five questions to a [00:01:00] variety of NDE 4.0 experts, and explore the benefits and challenges in this emerging field. Today we are joined by Ben Connors, who is an expert in technical x-ray and computed tomography. Ben Connors graduated from Bridgewater College with an applied Associate Science a a s degree in non-destructive testing.

[00:01:18] Nasrin Azari: In 1998, he worked as an N D T technician in a variety of industries, including nuclear power, bridge construction, aerospace castings, and structural steel. In this capacity, he held A S N T level two certifications in RT, U T M T P T vt, as well as a w s Certified Welding Inspector. Since 2005, he has been in the digital x-ray and CT scanning arena as it has grown from a novel technology to being used in mainstream manufacturing inspection and failure analysis.

[00:01:53] Nasrin Azari: Ben is currently the director of inspection services at Ionics Imaging, where his mission is to build up team and [00:02:00] operations capabilities to meet the future needs of the market. Specifically in scanning parts for aerospace, defense, electronics, additive, and medical devices with digital x-ray and ct. The high resolution and high power micro-focused technology is fueling growth.

[00:02:17] Nasrin Azari: So today’s discussion will focus on the manufacturing side of N D T and how we can bring together several of the latest technologies to become smarter and more effective at manufacturing good parts. Welcome Ben to Floodlights N D e four dot oh podcast.

[00:02:32] Ben Connors: Wow. Uh, thank you. Yeah, it’s nice, nice to be here today.

[00:02:36] Nasrin Azari: Great. The format of this podcast is that I will pose five questions to Ben, designed to dig into some of the most meaningful and interesting aspects of NDE 4.0. Our podcast was developed to help educate and expand conversations around the possibilities, challenges, impacts, and opportunities surrounding NDE 4.0.

[00:02:56] Nasrin Azari: To start off with, I’d like to set the stage for our [00:03:00] audience. Ben, can you tell our audience a little bit more about CT scanning in general and what makes the ionic solution unique and the benefits that your customers will achieve due to that?

[00:03:12] Ben Connors: Yeah, ab, absolutely. So kind of start with CT general and then go into ionic.

[00:03:18] Ben Connors: So CT scanning, um, for, for those that don’t necessarily know what it is, it is a, it’s an X-ray process, right? But rather than just one, uh, x-ray where we’d see a two two-dimensional image. And maybe you would see a, a defect, but not necessarily up a depth of field. Um, CT scanning rotates the part and we take x-rays as the part spins, 360 degrees.

[00:03:44] Ben Connors: So you might take, you know, 1500 or 3000 images in a rotation. And as we collect that, that x-ray image, while the part is rotating, um, we’re able. Able to see the location of different [00:04:00] defects, um, both in depth and in size. Um, so at, at the end of the day, CT is x-ray, but it’s a far more advanced, um, x-ray process.

[00:04:10] Ben Connors: Um, the kind of, the easy way to explain it is, you know, for someone that that’s not familiar with, with x-ray or ct, as you think about when you go to the doctor, You know, a, a CT scan, the x-ray tube and detector spin around the body, right? In industrial X-ray, what we do as a tube and detector are static.

[00:04:30] Ben Connors: So the light source and the camera chip, you know, effectively our are static and we spin the part. And so the kind of the, the joke that we have is that we don’t care about our patients, um, because we, you know, all of this happens in a safe environment, in a, you know, contained cabinet or vault or something like that.

[00:04:49] Ben Connors: And so when we’re looking at a, you know, metal part or an electronics part, you know, other than, you know, a nuanced, uh, you know, some space applications or a few, uh, med device [00:05:00] applications and electronics, almost everything we see we can give it quite a bit of radiation and the part comes out fine. Right?

[00:05:07] Ben Connors: Um, and so in that, that environment, um, you know, CT is really, really enables us to see defects that, you know, depending on the. The situation, um, someone never saw before without cutting their part in half. So it’s, it’s really a lot of fun to be able to, to CT scan something. So that’s, you know, quick, quick on ct, um, Ionics imaging.

[00:05:34] Ben Connors: So Ionics as a, as a company, started in 2012, originally started, um, as a CT scanning service business. And we still do that today. Um, So Brian Ruther, Jeff Die, started the company and, uh, partnered with Nikon. And the main reason we we partnered with Nikon is because of the x-ray tube technology, and that’s certainly advanced over the last 10 years.

[00:05:58] Ben Connors: I think April was [00:06:00] our 10 year birthday as a company I. Um, congratulations. Yeah. Yeah. We should, maybe we should get a cake. Um, uh, but you know that x-ray tube technology, that’s the base of the physics of x-ray. You know, we all know that x-ray is light and the way that these Nikon tubes are built and the way that we utilize them as we manage heat differently.

[00:06:25] Ben Connors: So one of the things that we do is we use a rotating target, but we do it in a microfocus setting, so very, very high resolution setting. And so with that rotating target or that that spinning target when, what that means to manufacturers, to our customers is flat out we can see defects. No one else can see.

[00:06:47] Ben Connors: And the, the physics is absolutely fascinating with these types of X-ray tubes, but we’ve got, um, you know, customers where we have done round robin tests and we can pretty [00:07:00] openly and confidently say that we can see a defect no one else can see. And that’s, that’s a lot of fun cuz we sit down with someone that’s, you know, literally a rocket scientist in a way.

[00:07:11] Ben Connors: Way smarter than than anyone. I’m, you know, you know, you get to hang out with really, really intelligent people and they’re blown away with what we can, you know, the small portion of, of the, you know, building a rocket or building an electric car or building a, a, you know, heart device. Really impactful things, and we’re a small part of that in helping them make it better.

[00:07:33] Ben Connors: That’s pretty cool. That is

[00:07:34] Nasrin Azari: very, very cool. Very, very cool. Um, and how long has your technology been around? Has it been around since 2012?

[00:07:42] Ben Connors: Um, yeah, so it, well, the. The lineage of, of x-ray. You know, we can go back to rent. Can I, you know, I don’t think we got enough time for that. Um, um, but, uh, you know, I mean the lineage of, of that [00:08:00] x-ray too, you know, it’s a, it’s an Nikon company today.

[00:08:03] Ben Connors: Um, but X Tech was originally started in, in the uk. Um, and then there’s a series of acquisitions and they ended up with, with, uh, or Nikon ended, ended up with a company called X Tech. Um, but the, those x-ray tubes are, they’re developed in the uk. Mm-hmm. Um, and, uh, you know, the, the unique thing is, is, is there’s only a few places in the world where Microfocus X-ray tubes are built.

[00:08:30] Ben Connors: Right. Okay. Germany. Most certainly, right? There’s a lot of German x-ray tubes and they’re, they’re good. Um, you know, there’s the UK and specifically the Nikon or exec product, and then there’s a little bit in, in Asia, but it’s such a niche, niche market, um, and we just manage the physics differently. Cool.

[00:08:50] Ben Connors: Really,

[00:08:51] Nasrin Azari: really neat. So, um, moving to question number two, let’s talk about. What are the [00:09:00] benefits of CT scanning in the 3D printing industry? You know, we’ve talked about 3D printing and that’s a brand new industry itself. And how do you combine those, those technologies and what are the benefits?

[00:09:11] Ben Connors: Sure. So the 3D printing industry is, is really a lot of.

[00:09:17] Ben Connors: Fun. You know, if you look at, it’s where it’s at today compared to two years ago compared to 10 years ago. Mm-hmm. I mean, it’s, you know, there, there are 3D printed parts that are absolutely flying today. Right. Whether it, whether it’s on, you know, aircraft or rockets or, or defense things, whatever the case may be.

[00:09:37] Ben Connors: And, um, you know, one of the big deals about additive manufacturing is. The engineers can iterate very quickly so they can make a design or a CAD model today. They can print it tomorrow in, in air quotes. Maybe it’ll take a couple days or a week to print whatever. There were two weeks to get, get your design on the machine, but [00:10:00] relatively quick.

[00:10:01] Ben Connors: Whereas, you know, an older process where if you’d make a design. Send it to a, let’s say, a casting house. And then that casting house takes weeks or months to make tooling, and it could take a really long time to get your first prototype. Whereas they’re now, they’re able to iterate very quickly with their design.

[00:10:20] Ben Connors: So our, our piece of it, the x-ray piece of it in CT part. Is we’ll scan apart after it’s, you know, created and we can see inside of it and they can look to see if they’re making it with or without a defect. And you know, with this microfocus. Four 50, we’re able to see very small defects. And so our customers are able to make a smaller, lighter, more, uh, high quality part cuz they absolutely know that we can see defects no one else can see.

[00:10:52] Ben Connors: And so, you know, when you start adding up, Weight reduction and quality confidence in, you know, [00:11:00] really cutting edge, you know, really, really cutting edge, um, manufacturing situations. Uh, it, it’s a big deal. Um, yeah. To be able to see those, those kinds of defects. So I, I think our, our impact is that feedback loop.

[00:11:14] Ben Connors: Yeah. Right. You know, and right now, um, you know, there, just to be clear, there’s not a. A big red, easy button that goes from the additive printing machine to CT and then tells the additive machine to, you know, change it, you know, to, to change the product and, and change the manufacturing. But we, we had a study with a, a pretty high end university recently, and they, you know, they do defense work when they do other things, um, where we scanned about a hundred samples and on the additive manufacturing machine.

[00:11:49] Ben Connors: They set different settings from knowing that the part was bad to expecting, it was good to knowing it was bad. And, you know, the, the gist of this [00:12:00] study was then they could take the settings from the additive machine, take the ground truth of the CT data, and they actually did do some destructive testing as well to prove out ct.

[00:12:12] Ben Connors: Mm-hmm. Um, And then they could make statements inside their organization about how to manufacture the next part. Right. You know, if you change the setting of this laser or you change this material or what, whatever the changes are, they could use CT along with their settings to make a good decision on the next round of

[00:12:33] parts.

[00:12:34] Nasrin Azari: That’s really, really, that’s really, really interesting. I mean, what we’re talking about here is almost real time. Manufacturing changes, process changes in the, in the manufacturing process. So that it’s, it’s like I feel like what this means, if I look at the big picture, it’s sort of in the old days when it was really expensive to create the process that created the actual part so you wouldn’t wanna change it.[00:13:00]

[00:13:00] Nasrin Azari: Too frequently because that would be costly. Right? And so yeah, the trade off is that you sort of wait until the process is really, really making bad parts. So much so that you really need to change the process. Whereas now, like you say, we can, we can make the process better almost in real time so that we don’t have to.

[00:13:23] Nasrin Azari: To have a tolerance for any kind of defect. Right? Yeah.

[00:13:27] Ben Connors: Yeah. A absolutely. And you know, I mean, there’s a couple components. One is, you know, let’s squeeze defects out of the process. I mean, any good engineering process wants to meet the, that defect at its creation point and fix that. Mm-hmm. Not just, you know, the worst, worst case scenario is you’re always finding it in inspection.

[00:13:45] Ben Connors: Right? Then you gotta, then you got a 20% or 40% drop off rate and you’re throwing parts away. That’s terrible. Yeah. Um, So we wanna feed that back. Um, but the other thing really, with this high resolution [00:14:00] ct, you know, with high resolution four 50, seeing defects that weren’t seen before is parts can be lighter.

[00:14:07] Ben Connors: Mm-hmm. Right. You know, because any engineering factor. Has to consider, you know, what defect could be in there that we couldn’t find. Right, right, right. You know, and the higher the risk, the more that’s a, a concern. Um, but, you know, if we can see small defects confidently, now we can say, let’s make this a little bit lighter.

[00:14:30] Ben Connors: So for, yeah, we’re making a tractor. Who cares? You know, I mean, as long as it, it works, it, you know, weight’s not a big issue, but you get to, you know, cars that are trying to be more efficient. Airplanes For sure. Airplanes, I mean, obviously there’s a, you know, there’s a lot of activity on, you know, composite going into aircraft for a reason, right?

[00:14:52] Ben Connors: You use, it’s gonna use less fuel. Um, you know, or you look at pound for pound in the, the rocket business, all these [00:15:00] satellites that are going up, all the stuff that’s going up right now. Um, No pound for pound. That’s, that’s a big deal. Yeah. You know, we’re, you know, I don’t wanna project that we’re designing these rockets, we’re not Right.

[00:15:12] Ben Connors: But we, we do look at, you know, components and we certainly have a, a, you know, a small piece of that.

[00:15:18] Nasrin Azari: That’s pretty cool. Yeah, definitely. I mean, it takes, it takes the whole process to, to make a change. So, you know, it’s really fascinating to think about these things. So one of the things I’d like to dig into a little bit, we’ve, you’ve touched on it already, but.

[00:15:31] Nasrin Azari: You’ve talked about this feed feedback loop between inspecting the inspection of parts and the configuration or settings of the 3D printer that manufactures parts or manufacturers future parts. So for our question number three, can you explain a bit how, how, first of all, how it works today? You know, I know it’s not magic, um, but how you kind of anticipate.

[00:15:58] Nasrin Azari: It working down the [00:16:00] road as, as you make, as improvements are made to that process. And then, you know, I think the benefits are obvious that you’d be able to see, you know, sort of make quicker adjustments to the manufacturing process based on real results and real readings, right?

[00:16:17] Ben Connors: Sure. So the, the, the feedback loop today as we see it, and I’ll um, kind of refer back to our, our university friends, cuz that’s an, an easy one that, that I can talk about somewhat openly.

[00:16:29] Ben Connors: Um, but in, in that feedback loop, they designed that test of making good parts and bad parts and the CT. To basically train future operators and future engineers on that, um, on that additive system. Right on that additive machine. They use that as a, as what they would always refer to as the ground truth.

[00:16:56] Ben Connors: Mm-hmm. Of, you know, you, you set the knobs a certain way [00:17:00] and, um, then, then these people can make decisions on, you know, if I’m making this area of this part this thick, I need to think about these things, et cetera. Um, you know, I, I can see that. Becoming a little less manual. I mean, that was a purely an r and d environment.

[00:17:17] Ben Connors: And you know, the people we were working with are writing additives, standards, you know, they’re, they’re, what they’re ultimately trying to do is cascade. A set of rules like A S T M or other, other procedures, uh, other guidelines. They’re trying to cascade that out to the market that builds, you know, things that fly.

[00:17:37] Ben Connors: Um, so that, that, that’s kind of where we’re at at the moment. Um, if you go to, you know, specific manufacturers based on the pressure that they have, they’re doing that quicker. Yeah, but it’s, um, I mean, we’re, we’re certainly a ways away from a, you know, a CT scan, just cut, paste, drag, and drop it on the. [00:18:00] On the additive machine, and then some knobs are turning.

[00:18:02] Ben Connors: Right, right, right. Project that, that’s happening today. It’s, you know, I’m not aware of it. Yeah, yeah. Interesting. But it, but it, but there’s potential there. Right. There is definitely potential. You know, it’s, yeah. That’s, uh, um, you know, but the, the quicker we can make help someone make a good part, you know, and the better off they’re, they’re gonna succeed.

[00:18:22] Ben Connors: We’re gonna succeed.

[00:18:24] Nasrin Azari: Definitely. And. One of the things that’s always the case with, with new technologies is that there’s, there tends to be resistance. And so I’d like to talk about that a little bit, uh, in our, in our next question. Do you think that there will be any roadblocks for organizations that are interested in this technology?

[00:18:43] Nasrin Azari: Um, you know, in terms of adopting an, an automated, automated feedback loop or some of the, you know, kind of just the whole general technology. And if so, what do you think the roadblocks will be? What do you think the resistance, what kind [00:19:00] of format do you think that resistance will come in?

[00:19:02] Ben Connors: Sure. Well, a lot of times we can use history as a guide.

[00:19:06] Ben Connors: It’s not perfect, but it’ll give you some clues. Right. And, um, you know, the, the easiest one for me in, in this business to refer to is a film to digital conversion conversion. Or a, you know, film to CT conversion, you know, something like that where there’s a, an old product, an old methodology that everyone’s comfortable with.

[00:19:29] Ben Connors: Right. And, you know, in the past, you know, before a S T M had matured in procedures and everyone had had matured with digital, there was a lot of argument against it, against digital. Um, but I, I think, you know, you always have to weigh the value, right? Uh, you know, I think back to a, a customer, a company I worked with years ago, they’d spend a million dollars a year on film.

[00:19:53] Ben Connors: On x-ray film, right? And you come to ’em with a, you know, digital x-ray and they’re like, wow, we can stop [00:20:00] using film tomorrow. Like, well, you’re gonna need a couple of these machines, type, type of a deal. And then we had to get into proving it out. Can we see the defects or not? Right? And so the, the social part is probably the hardest hurdle.

[00:20:15] Ben Connors: It’s usually not, not the technical hurdle, it’s that kind of commitment to the old thing. Right. Right. Um, that, that is, that is a hard thing to overcome. Um, but I think usually the, the proof is in the pudding and, you know, if you can just do a side by side study, you know, again, film, film to Dr as an example mm-hmm.

[00:20:39] Ben Connors: Was, I can see a defect here. I can see it here. Yes. Go to the next one. Yes. Yes. And you have to do that over and over and over again. Um. The, the next hurdle after you’ve kind of proven, yes, I can see it today, is can I see it over a period of time? Right. Can I see the defect over a period of time? [00:21:00] Which, you know, that leads to a lot of the A S T M stuff.

[00:21:03] Ben Connors: There’s a, you know, friend of mine that, that worked pretty heavily on the A S T M, um, you know, digital and defense working group type stuff. And. You know, it took quite a while for standards to adopt exactly how we’re gonna test this machine to prove, I saw the defect today, will I see it in a year? Right now, that’s all very normal, right?

[00:21:25] Ben Connors: If you go into anyone that’s doing some kind of digital x-ray work, they’ve got some kind of an A S T M 27 37 or something to, to prove their machine works, right? To prove that, that the panel works or whatever. So pushing forward into, you know, using CT to talk back, uh, in, you know, to be some kind of a feedback loop, um, you have to prove it, right?

[00:21:50] Ben Connors: The, the social aspect of, of getting past someone that, that’s got their heels dug in. You know, I mean, that, that’s, that’s hard. That’s. It’s [00:22:00] probably, it’s maybe over my head. It’s more psychology than technical.

[00:22:04] Nasrin Azari: Yeah. It, it, it is funny, I think in all the conversations I have with folks about the challenges, um, hardly anybody talks about the challenges technically, right?

[00:22:17] Nasrin Azari: I mean, it’s like we spend so much time on the, on the technical aspects of these new technologies and testing and figuring stuff out. By the time it gets to. The point where we can really take it to market. We’ve sort of ironed out the technical issues to the point where, yeah. Right. We know it’s gonna work.

[00:22:37] Nasrin Azari: And it’s almost like I feel like we, we end up. Bringing people along is more, more of an afterthought, because I feel like that’s where always the resistance is. It’s people that don’t believe that it works or they have to be convinced and they have to be shown. And so that just kind of adds another year or two to the adoption cycle.

[00:22:58] Nasrin Azari: Um, I don’t know that anybody, [00:23:00] anybody’s figured that out, but I, what I have noticed is that almost always resistance is a, like you say, a social thing, a. People thing versus a technology thing. It,

[00:23:10] Ben Connors: it, it is. And I’ll, uh, maybe take a little detour. We had, we were at a, uh, ass and t conference, I think it was about a year ago.

[00:23:20] Ben Connors: And, you know, so it was a, a group of, you know, level threes and high end engineers. And the one thing that, you know, was an open panel discussion we were involved in. And, um, the thing that detoured the whole conversation was a great discussion was core values. Of the people that you’re dealing with, right?

[00:23:39] Ben Connors: So our company, uh, maybe about a year and a half, two years ago, myself and the owners and a couple other people and a coach got involved with, uh, setting core values for our organization, right? Mm-hmm. And, you know, so we, like any company, we want to have success for our [00:24:00] team, for our customers, our strategic partners, vendors, anybody that comes in contact with us.

[00:24:05] Ben Connors: We want ’em to succeed, right? Because if, if my vendor doesn’t succeed, how am I gonna succeed? Right? If my customer’s not doing well, et cetera. So we gotta have some level of mutual success. And so we were brainstorming on, on a whiteboard of what, what should our saying be? What should our core values be?

[00:24:22] Ben Connors: That’s sort of thing. There’s three things that that stuck out when you look back on, um, you know, people you’ve worked with. And the, the three things that really stuck out for us is authenticity. Competency and empathy, right? Mm-hmm. And we coin it as ace. Um, the reality is competency is what most of us technical type people talk about.

[00:24:47] Ben Connors: Are you a level two or are you a level three? Are you a professional engineer? Do you have a PhD? On and on and on, right? Like, what’s your sticker, your certification? That one’s really easy. Mm-hmm. Right? You know, either. [00:25:00] You are or you aren’t either you, um, can do the job or you cannot. Right? So the, the C is the easy part.

[00:25:07] Ben Connors: Authenticity, you know, for us, our, kind of our saying or what we’ve written up, you know, show up. Joyful, humble, imperfect. Actually it’s some debate on, on that and I’m glad it’s in there. Um, you know, Vulnerable, compassionate, curious, and grateful to serve others, right? So that authenticity, if someone shows up authentic, um, you know, you can be confident that they’re not fighting you for the wrong reasons, right?

[00:25:36] Ben Connors: Um, and then empathy. Um, you know, you, you’ve gotta look through other people’s eyes, not your own, right? That’s hard. Yeah. Your, you know, if, if it’s your customer and they’ve gotta line down and they are, they can’t ship parts today. You know, you need to be falling all over yourself to help them. Right? Yeah.

[00:25:55] Ben Connors: And, um, you know, so I mean, back to the [00:26:00] original thing of, of, you know, how do we get over that resistance? A lot of that comes down to core values of the person or the organization, right? True. Yeah. Are you, are you gonna battle this progress or are you gonna help it along? I’m not saying do something foolishly, it’s gotta work.

[00:26:18] Ben Connors: Yeah. Right. Whatever the technologies, it’s gotta work.

[00:26:21] Nasrin Azari: Um, and a lot of the resistance, I feel like comes from something you touched on, which is, which is really risk tolerance. I mean, that’s really what this whole industry is about, is Yeah. Addressing risk, right? And so if, if a customer’s bringing in an if or if an organization’s bringing in a new technology, they have to be really, really darn sure.

[00:26:41] Nasrin Azari: That’s gonna work better than what they’re already doing. Absolutely. Otherwise, they’re bringing more risk to their organization and to their customers. Right? Yep. So,

[00:26:51] Ben Connors: yep. And, and some of that, you know, and, and some of that is, you know, technology, but some, some of that is, you know, it just comes down to [00:27:00] the p and l, right?

[00:27:01] Ben Connors: Yeah. Flatly the, I mean, the dollars have to get involved at some point, and, you know, if you can make a lighter part quicker and get to market quicker, Away you go, right? You’re going to succeed. And if you’re really slow and really heavy and you’re having a hard time flying something, it’s, you know, it’s gonna be awkward.

[00:27:20] Nasrin Azari: Super. Yeah. Super interesting. It’s really interesting to think about all the dynamics between. Um, psychology and technology and, you know, moving forward, change, all of those things are kind of all part of this, this, this still

[00:27:37] Ben Connors: people. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:27:42] Nasrin Azari: Let’s move on to our final question of the day, which is, which is, um, we’ll hit more on your introspection here. If you could jump five years into the future, what would you hope to see different, changed or improved? And what impacts do you think that will have?

[00:27:58] Ben Connors: Oof, um, [00:28:00] Well, I’d like to go to the stratosphere and say that there’s a red, easy button for everything.

[00:28:06] Ben Connors: Um, you know, as far as like, we do a same, it might eat, it just fixes the part and whatever. Um, but just like anything, how do, how do we eat an elephant? One bite at a time, right? One bite at a time. So I think part of CT adoption is, you know, the standards maturing, right? The, you know, OEMs and the top end, uh, type customers adopting CT and really putting it on the print.

[00:28:36] Ben Connors: I mean, we’re, we’re seeing that, when I say on the print, I mean, if you’ve got an approved engineering document of some sort and it says it’s gotta measure this and be made of this material and it’s gotta be CT scanned, you know, we’re starting to see that. But most of the time if we get a a, a. Print like that.

[00:28:56] Ben Connors: It’s the first time this person is doing that, [00:29:00] right? It’s the first time they’re going and asking, first time they’re receiving. They’re just kind of learning. I think once that is really rolling and really normal, I. Right. Then people look at it and say, okay, there’s a lot of manual work on, you know, taking this CT scan and talking back to the machine, right?

[00:29:19] Ben Connors: So get it on the print, you know, it, it becomes normalized as um, something that’s just as, as normal as a C M M or a laser scanner, right? Mm-hmm. It’s just, it’s part of the quality environment. Um, and, and I think once that’s normal, you know, cuz right now we’re. Uh, 10 years ago, I feel like it was 90%.

[00:29:43] Ben Connors: Somebody I talked to didn’t know that CT scanning existed in this form. Right now, I feel like, you know, the people we meet, new customers, it’s, you know, 40, 50%. We’re still in the education phase. Mm-hmm. You know, five years from now, [00:30:00] uh, I hope that we’re in more rooms and more conversations where a customer comes in and they say, Oh yeah.

[00:30:07] Ben Connors: I’ve got a, you know, four 50 microfocus and I’ve got a 43 43 panel and I’ve got this and I like Cesium and you know, like that conversation is completed and they know. Mm-hmm. That’s when we move to how do we push the data back around. Right. Gotcha. You know, we’ve certainly got, you know, Very educated customers, right.

[00:30:28] Ben Connors: That have, you know, written standards and certainly brilliant. And we’ve got other customers where today might be their first time they’ve ever heard of ct. Mm-hmm. You know, so we’re still in education mode, but I think as the market matures, education wise in, in how CT works, that will drive, you know, NDT 4.0.

[00:30:52] Ben Connors: Big, big time. Right. You know, cause you gotta, you gotta know the, the footings and the foundation before you start, [00:31:00] get getting further along.

[00:31:01] Nasrin Azari: Yeah, I totally agree. I mean, there’s definitely a process, a learning process as you say, and getting used to technology, um, you know, from, in our world. At floodlight, it’s, it’s kind of similar.

[00:31:15] Nasrin Azari: We’re, we’re providing a digital foundation for customers just so that they can get their data digitalized, which is really step one in this much longer, you know, digital transformation process. And, you know, some customers are, are, are sort of well on their way and some companies are just really struggling with those first steps and, and you’re exactly right.

[00:31:37] Nasrin Azari: So I think there’s a lot of correlation there. So, In any case, this was a really, really fantastic discussion. Thank you so much, Ben, for being here today and bringing us such interesting perspectives. This was a great conversation.

[00:31:49] Ben Connors: Well, thank, thank you for having me. That’s uh, My first podcast, so I didn’t know what to do.

[00:31:56] Ben Connors: Well, you

[00:31:56] Nasrin Azari: did fantastic. Um, thank you. And [00:32:00] so, and I look forward to seeing some new advance advancements coming out of, of Annex and definitely will continue to follow you, Ben, and I encourage our listeners to also follow Ben and or Avanex as well. You’ll find links on our podcast webpage as well. S Uh, if any of our listeners have any feedback or would like to nominate an individual or an organization to be a guest on a future episode, please send a message to one of us here through the Contact us form on our website, www.floodlightssoft.com.

[00:32:31] Nasrin Azari: Thanks again, Ben, for being with us today, and thanks to our listeners for joining, and we’ll see you next time.

[00:32:48] Nasrin Azari: To learn more about NDE 4.0 emerging technologies and digital transformation, please visit www.floodlightsoft.com for additional resources, including our blog [00:33:00] and several relevant white papers. If you have any questions about today’s episode or suggestions for future episodes, please send an email to info floodlight soft.com.

[00:33:11] Ben Connors: Thank you so much.

For more expert views on NDE 4.0, subscribe to the Floodlight Software blog at floodlightsoft.com.

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