What is PACS and how it serves NDT

PACS is a software that establishes a complete digital evaluation and workflow among inspection management systems, testing devices and service contractors.

Inspection orders, images and results are automatically exchanged between the systems, eliminating disruptive media breaks in information transfer, such as Excel lists, USB Sticks, emails, paper reports etc.

Another feature of PACS is a structured NDT database with a traceable history. NDT data is standardized into the international vendor-independent IT format DICONDE that enables data integrity across multiple systems. Important images, reports and other documents can be accessed and distributed by inspection participators in a few clicks.

At the evaluation stage, PACS provides numerous tools for the reliable analysis of NDT data. For example, images from different radiographic inspections can be viewed side-by-side and compared to assess changes over time.

Access to NDT data from anywhere, even remotely
Evaluation, storage and distribution of NDT data

The main components of DIMATE PACS are:

  • Workstation software to evaluate and display data from a wide range of inspection techniques and to support the creation of inspection reports 
  • Database for overview and search of all test data 
  • DICONDE interfaces to compliant test devices and systems 
  • Import gateways for the transfer of various test data 
  • Interfaces to administrative ERP, QA, RBI and other IT systems 
  • Archive storage management for all test data
All NDT data in one system
... including photos, videos and PDF reports

Digitalization in NDT

Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a technique used across industries to check the integrity of structures and components without destroying them.

As other parts of inspection, this type of testing has also faced a significant transition from analog to digital over the last decade.

In the past, NDT relied on analog technologies such as film-based radiography and manual measurements with a caliper. These methods were time-consuming and required a high level of expertise to interpret the results.

Modern NDT methods include digital radiography and advanced ultrasonic testing techniques and are aimed at making it easier to collect, store, and analyze NDT data.

As a result, they have improved efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness and eliminated the need for physical storage and reducing the risk of data loss.

This transition from analog to digital has revolutionized NDT, making it a vital tool in ensuring the quality, reliability and safety of structures and services.

Artificial intelligence in NDT: Automatic error detection and higher data integrity

AI solutions are changing the world and our familiar working environment in a positive way. Also in NDT. Here, artificial intelligence is providing significant improvements in inspection processes - and DIMATE is leading the way.

The range of applications includes the automatic recognition of components and the assignment to an inspection instruction: once stored, the software recognises which inspection part it is based on the images and automatically places a matching template over the image, which shows exactly at which locations measurements must be taken. The generated inspection data is fed back into the Inspection Management System. The advantage: it is ensured that the right measurements are taken on the right component with the right designations and fed back into the management software. Such automated inspections can also be carried out retroactively for inspections that have already been performed, for example for quality assurance purposes.

However, AI can also be used to automate the measurement itself. For example, the point with the thinnest wall thickness on a pipeline can be automatically detected and measured. Finally, the third application scenario is the automated detection of erosion, corrosion and deposits on the test images. Such detection simply takes place in the background, the inspector does not have to do anything for it.

PACS as a prerequisite for AI in NDT and inspection

The prerequisite for the use of such AI solutions is a qualified database. And this requires that the inspection workflow is digitized in such a way that inspection data and reports are available digitally and that there are no media breaks in the process. In short, the use of AI requires the use of a PACS, i.e., software for image data management with interfaces to the customer's leading IT systems. The DIMATE PACS fulfills these tasks, so it was only logical that we use our excellent database to provide our customers with further advantages through the use of AI.


DICONDE stands for Digital Imaging and Communication in Non-Destructive Evaluation and is an international IT standard for all test data and test procedures in non-destructive testing (NDT). The standard describes an open file structure for vendor-neutral storage, presentation and evaluation of test data. In addition to the data format, DICONDE also defines services, e.g. for the exchange of test images, signals and documents as well as order data in the network.

Two of the most important services for a digital inspection process are:

  • DICONDE Store (storage service between the test device and the computer archive / PACS, among others).
  • DICONDE Modality Worklist (transmission of test orders to the test device)

DICONDE has been managed and administered by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) since 2004 under the ASTM E2339 standard, but it is also constantly being further developed and adapted to new test methods. More information about the IT standard can be found here in our blog post "Seven reasons for DICONDE"

Would you like to learn more about DIMATE PACS and how it can be integrated into your processes?

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