Published on Tuesday May 17, 2022 by Tom Meulendijks
In the steel industry, data is crucial. In fact, if the data is not correct, major catastrophes can happen. It is therefore not surprising that manufacturers only want to collaborate with the best laboratories and NDT companies. But despite the fact that all data is passed on in the best possible way, test companies lose control over the data once it has left the premises. Fortunately, new technologies are available to protect the integrity of your company.
A paper society
Many laboratories and NDT companies are currently working with paper test reports and PDF files. The laboratory or NDT company puts a signature under the report, and it leaves the premises. You then have no control anymore over what happens with the data. This susceptibility to fraud could damage your integrity.
This certainly applies to laboratories and NDT companies that are highly reputable among manufacturers and end customers. As soon as they see the name of a specific company, they know that they are buying quality that has been extensively tested. And although it doesn’t happen very often, there are cases known where the test companies are the victims of fraud with their test reports.
Reputation and customer retention
The reputation of a laboratory or NDT company is inherently linked to their customers. Often, such a reputation is a result of years of outperforming and serving the customer. Therefore, it is detrimental if a test report containing incorrect or altered data ends up in a project where the norms or criteria are higher than the properties of the sample.
Although the safety margins in a project are there for a reason and something doesn’t necessarily have to go wrong, the consequences are disastrous as soon as something does go wrong. Eventually, the test report will be inspected and the laboratory or NDT company may be held partly responsible, with all the consequences that this entails.
You can not tamper with digital data
In most cases, it all works well with unsecured test reports. Nevertheless, it is desirable to prevent future errors or fraud. Imagine that a digital portal existed in which all test results for all pieces of steel are uploaded.
And where blockchain technology ensures that the data cannot be tampered with, because each test result is linked to a specific sample. As a test company, you will then never again have to fear that the integrity of your data will be compromised.
As a laboratory or NDT company, you can build on your brand that will be regarded as trustworthy throughout the entire supply chain.
The aforementioned platform is closer than you think. It already exists, and SteelTrace engineered it. We’ve spent the last few years developing one place where all the pieces of steel will be recorded, along with their test reports. Driven by blockchain technology, a manufacturer or end-user can then check the non-falsifiable values of the steel in real-time. Once the test results are in the online platform, they are linked to a particular piece of steel. This prevents fraud and possible failures.
SteelTrace already works with various stakeholders within the oil and gas industry to provide the supply chain with reliable data. As you can read in our previous article, laboratories and NDT companies will soon also be requested to supply digital data.
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