A Framework for Nondestructive Evaluation Application in Supply Chain Management

A Framework for Nondestructive Evaluation Application in Supply Chain Management

Benedict M. Uzochukwu (Virginia State University, USA), Chandan B. Samantaray (Virginia State University, USA) and Caleb Woodies (Virginia State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7320-5.ch003


This chapter introduces a general framework for Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) application in Supply Chain Management (SCM). With the support of emerging and existing technologies related to supply chain implementation, nondestructive evaluation provides an enabling platform to analyze the design, planning, and operational decisions within the upper and downstream ends of the supply chain system. This clarifies supply chain goals, supports making of efficient decisions without constraints, identifies managerial strategies that improve overall supply chain performance, competitive advantage, and profitability. Unfortunately, the desired attention has not been paid to how the numerous nondestructive evaluation technologies can be applied to supply chain management and implementation. This chapter, therefore, considers both technical and business perspectives of this application. It is from these viewpoints that an application framework is proposed. It covers the various nondestructive evaluation methods, operational scenarios for each method, and application issues and challenges within the supply chain.
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1. Introduction

Supply chain management centers on the idea that practically every product that reaches an end user represents the cumulative effort of multiple institutions and activities. These institutions are referred to collectively as the supply chain. The overall goal of supply chain management is for production to meet the demands of the customers. However, various risk factors are prevalent in the supply chain system. These supply chain associated risks can greatly impact production and the opinion of the customer regarding a product. Understanding both the causes and effects of risks can help supply chain management stakeholders to become more proactive and productive in both avoiding mistakes and in profit maximization. These stakeholders within supply chain management work collectively in order to promote efficiency. All aspects of this collaboration ensure product success in the market. The implication of this collaboration is that all supply chain stakeholders that work within supply chains do have a common goal which hinges on meeting the ever-changing demands of customers.

In Figure 1, all stakeholders in supply chain management are shown. The supply chain is not only limited to the manufacturers and suppliers of products but includes other functional activities like transportation, warehousing, finance, customer service, information technology, sales and marketing.

Figure 1.

SCM stakeholders


A typical supply chain is dynamic and involves continuous flow of information and other resources (human, material, methods, money and machines) at every point in time. Supply chain design, planning and implementation decisions play a major role in determining whether a supply chain organization will succeed or fail. The process view of supply chain underscores the sequence of flows that occur between different functional activities which combines to satisfy the need of the customer. For a successful supply chain management, stakeholders must work together to make production, quality and logistical decisions that improve profitability.

As alluded to earlier, supply chain risk factors abound. Typical examples of risk factors are supply risk, demand risk, internal risks, and external or environmental risks. External or environmental risks cannot always be predicted but precautions can be made so that the problems that may arise can be avoided or mitigated. Supply risks are risks on the supply or inbound side of the supply chain. Such risks may be defined as the possibility of disruptions of product availability from the supplier or disruptions in the process of transportation from the supplier to the customer. Another crippling risk factor is known as demand risk. Demand risk is the downstream equivalent of supply risk and is present on the demand and outbound side of the supply chain. There are also risks associated with events that are related to internal operations of the organization. Such risks are known as internal risks. Examples include chemical spillage leading to plant closure, labor strikes, quality problems, and shortage of employees.

There is the notion that most of the flaws within materials and inventory are to blame for most product failures in supply chain system. Nondestructive evaluation can be a mitigating factor. A combination of more than one of the various nondestructive evaluation methods will benefit production significantly. Non-destructive evaluation (NDE) is a special analysis technique widely used in manufacturing, mechanical, systems, industrial engineering settings and aerospace applications. The term nondestructive evaluation has similarity to:

  • 1.

    Nondestructive Testing (NDT)

  • 2.

    Nondestructive Inspection (NDI)

  • 3.

    Nondestructive Examination (NDE)

Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) will be used interchangeably for NDT, NDE and NDI respectively for the remainder of this chapter. All are commonly used terms and highly valuable techniques that can save both money and time in product evaluation, troubleshooting and research, and they are closely connected to supply chain management.

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