Manufacturers of products for industrial installations are legally required to test the safety of their products and to document these tests. The same applies to operators of industrial installations. If NDT data are generated, analyzed and archived digitally, manufacturers and operators need to make sure that all data are revision-proof in case any product liability issues emerge.
But what precisely is revision-proof data archiving? The German Federation of Organisation and Information System Suppliers for Enterprise Content Management and Document Management Systems (Verband der Organisations- und Informationssysteme – VOI) compiled ten principles of audit-proof electronic archiving (Merksätze des VOI zur revisionssicheren elektronischen Archivierung):
- Each document shall be stored in compliance with statutory requirements and company policy.
- Each document shall be archived. No document must be lost.
- Each document shall be archived as early as possible.
- Each document shall fully correspond to its original and shall be archived in a way to make it unalterable.
- Each document shall be accessible only by authorized persons.
- Each document shall be retrievable and reproducible within an appropriate time frame.
- Each document shall be retained at least for its defined retention period. No document shall be deleted before the end of the retention period.
- Each change activity in the electronic archiving system shall be documented in a way that is comprehensible to the authorized user.
- The entire archiving procedure is subject to audits at any time by an external expert.
- Compliance with all principles shall be ensured for all migration and change activities.1
While audit-proof data archiving might sound quite intimidating at first, today intelligent IT systems are available that handle the processes in a user-friendly and safe way. NDT data management systems such as JiveX NDT are designed not only to fulfil regulatory requirements for audit-proof archiving but also to facilitate and optimize digitalized material testing workflows. Rights management processes define access privileges and ensure that only authorized users can view documents. Time stamps provide the point of departure for automatized and safe deletion processes.
The crucial advantage of JiveX NDT is the fact that the system is based on the globally recognized DICONDE standard. The use of standards is highly recommended when data are exchanged across institutions or when they need to be migrated since the standards allow external or new systems to read and process the data. Manufacturer neutrality moreover offers increased flexibility and paves the way for future developments, such as Industry 4.0, the next “digital revolution”