industrial ct scanner

X-Rays and Measuring: The Industrial CT Scanner

We keep ourselves informed of the Quality industry’s latest and greatest inspection machines and methods here at Advanced Measurement Labs. Here is a write up on one such technology we found, the Industrial CT Scanner – and how we can help you should you need this service:

Progress in Prototyping and Design

Ensuring that your final product has gone through rigorous Quality Control usually involves a careful inspection of each of its components. This is especially true for industries, like Aerospace and Automotive, that have created blueprints with detailed specifications. Each dimension is called out with the intent of manufacturability and QC inspection in mind.

But technology is moving ever forward. 3D-printers, also known as rapid prototyping, has allowed the creation of working prototypes in a matter of days. To meet the demands of this manner of fabrication, great improvements to direct modelling CAD software have allowed designers to sketch out their ideas without the usual constraints found in parametric modelling.

As a result, the act of designing and manufacturing a product has become more agile and flexible than in the past. It only follows that quality, and even validation, should take on these traits as well.

Industrial Computed Tomography

Enter Industrial Computed Tomography. A marriage of traditional CT and 3d metrology, it’s one of the latest developments in non-contact testing. Similar to a CAT scan, CT scanning uses x-rays to capture internal and external features, layer by layer, to create a digital model of a part’s components.

However, the model is more accurate than ever, and can be used by inspection software to check components against the tight tolerances, like those demanded of industries like Medical and Electronics.

It is also capable of scanning the whole component as it is assembled in the final product. This is useful for validation purposes, where you can confirm that the components are still maintaining their form post-assembly, something that is almost impossible to do with traditional inspection methods.

Industrial CT Scans in Traditional Inspection

Industrial CT scanners can also be used to check contours that would be difficult to measure with bridge CMMs. In particular, they are ideal measuring machines for parts with composite features, such as helicopter rotor blades and the side and door panels of cars and trucks.

Moldings and castings also benefit from this tech. Not only can it scan the impressions to the burr and flash, but as an x-ray it can also identify any voids left behind in the plastic or metal. You can then measure the air pockets for its size as well as its location from the part’s surface – allowing a more informed analysis on the void’s impact to structural integrity.

Industrial Computed Tomography allows these kinds of measurements with a non-destructive scan. No need for destroying parts to create cross-sections. The part is left intact, leaving you with comprehensive data without ruining a functioning prototype.

How we can help

We have been part of the quality industry for over 25 years. In that time, we have not just developed a deep knowledge of inspection methodology, but contacts and relationships with our fellows in metrology.

If what you have read here has peaked your interest – please contact us. We can assess your inspection needs and pair you with the service that you need.