“The cost of destruction” might sound a little scary, but the fact is when it comes to quality control practices, the cost of destructive testing is just that.
To provide consumers with top quality goods, extensive testing is conducted at the manufacturing stage to ensure consistency and durability. Whether this is done on something as large as the bumper of a car or as small as a water bottle, current destructive testing practices are costing manufacturers money, time and materials.
But just how high can the cost of destruction be?
The multi-billion-dollar plastic preform, bottle, and container industry for instance often utilizes destructive testing to ensure uniform thickness. Although the traditional material itself is not costly, hundreds of hours and over $4 million in labour wages are spent each year to ensure consistent and durable products are produced. Additionally, by adding complex, multi-layer structures into the equation the cost of materials also becomes a major contributing factor with several hundred thousand dollars per site being tact on to already high labour costs.
Another large market with a hefty cost of destruction price tag is the automotive industry, specifically when it comes to areas such as paint coating thickness measurement, which is an essential quality control practice that automotive parts manufacturers must conduct.
The destructive testing of automotive parts not only carries the cost of time and labour but also materials. Unsurprisingly, scrapped parts within this industry carry a significant financial impact costing tens of thousands of dollar per facility each month.
The high cost coupled with the required need to ensure quality, means that manufacturers of products in all shapes and sizes are in search of new tools and practices to conduct proper testing. An alternative to traditional destructive testing techniques is the growing non-destructive testing (NDT) market, which was valued at over $10 billion in 2015.
Alongside more common modalities such as x-ray and infrared, terahertz technology is emerging within the NDT sphere as a real-world solution, to real-world challenges. Thickness measurement of plastics, coatings and epoxies for example are just one of the applications for non-destructive terahertz technologies, which is where solutions such as TeTechS’ TeraGauge™ or PlastiMeasure™ come in.
With a hefty price tag, the cost of destruction is undeniably high; but, non-destructive testing techniques including terahertz-powered solutions are making waves to help manufacturers save time, reduce cost, and minimize waste.