Since the beginning of civilization, people have strived to analyze and understand their world. The earliest form of analyzing is known as metrology—measurement through observation. As society evolved, people had to measure distances to destinations or even distances between stars. They measured everything from territories they owned to dimensions for buildings to tools for work. Civilization was on its way to analyzing and utilizing the world and creating new and wonderful inventions.
Industrial metrology is at the core of all physical part analysis. From rulers, levels, pendulums and right angles, to microscopes, coordinate measuring machines (CMM’s) and vision measuring equipment; metrology continues to evolve as technology advances. In recent years, x-ray vision has performed metrology with unprecedented ease.
Along with the development of software technology (new software innovations promise greater accuracy and speed when measuring and analyzing parts), CT scanning is the most advanced measurement technology available to us today. CT scanning, also known as three-dimensional (3-D) x-ray computed tomography or metrotomography, captures data at an accuracy of 5-7 microns and scans an article in an hour. For these reasons, CT scanning is fast becoming important to industrial metrology equipment manufacturers.
Device manufacturers realize that the same technology used to scan people for medical conditions can scan their parts and assemblies. What better way to inspect a complex assembly than by using x- ray vision to do all of the work?
Just as in a hospital setting, x-rays are directed at parts or assemblies to capture images of all internal and external components. These two-dimensional (2-D) images are captured virtually by a detector. A computer linked to the detector calculates volume and distances. Finally, thousands of 2-D images are virtually combined to create a 3-D generated model of the part that was scanned. Through continuing innovation, CT scanning is redefining industrial metrology.
A major benefit to CT Scanning is speed of product qualification. A whole part analysis can be done in an hour, leading to faster decision-making, rapid metrology and product validation. In contrast, typical scanning techniques may be destructive when determining what is happening within complex parts.
With 3-D scanning, virtual cross sectioning allows analysis of internal features without physical damage. An added benefit is that no fixturing is required with CT scanning. Three-dimensional (3-D) scanning detects areas of poor product performance, captures data quickly, shortens production cycles and improves product design and quality.
The competitive nature of the industrial marketplace drives the need to reduce costs, introduce products faster and increase long-term efficiencies. Advanced 3-D CT scanning optimizes product quality, leads to quicker product launches and even recoups enormous research and development costs.
When it comes to manufacturing, a company’s needs extend beyond just metrology. By hastening the parts qualification process, increased production ultimately enhances a manufacturers ability to provide better customer service. What has your experience been in CT scanning of products and devices?
Learn more about the benefits of partnering with an expert in the 3D CT Scanning process and technology.