An inspection is, most generally, an organized examination or formal evaluation exercise. It involves the measurements, tests, and gauges applied to certain characteristics in regard to an object or activity. The results are usually compared to specified requirements and standards for determining whether the item or activity is in line with these targets. Inspections are usually non-destructive.
Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) or Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) describe a number of technologies used to analyze materials for either inherent flaws or damage from use. Some common methods are visual, Liquid or Dye Penetrant, Magnetic Particle, Radiography, Ultrasonics, eddy Current, Acoustic Emission and Thermography. In addition, many non-destructive inspections can be performed by a precision scale, or when in motion, a checkweigher.
A surprise inspection tends to have different results than an announced inspection. Leaders seeking to discover how well lower echelons in their organization are typically doing sometimes drop in unannounced to see what is going on and what conditions are. When an inspection is scheduled in advance, it gives people a chance to cover up or fix mistakes. A surprise inspection, therefore, gives inspectors a better picture of the typical state of the inspected object than an announced inspection.