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Industrial computed tomography: Precise CT measurements for industry

Measurement News from Q-Tech

1. introduction - CT (computed tomography) measurements for industry

In modern industry, precision and quality are crucial. With the advent of new technologies, companies are constantly looking for better ways to analyze and improve their products. One such breakthrough technology is industrial computed tomography (CT). It has changed the landscape of quality control and product analysis, offering companies new ways to examine their products in ways that were previously unthinkable with traditional CMM measuring machines.

CT technology has its roots in medical imaging, but has now found its place in industrial production and analysis. By creating detailed 3D images of objects, it provides a deep insight into the internal structure of components. But what makes this technology so revolutionary for industry? And how do companies benefit from its implementation?

In the following sections, we will dive deeper into the benefits of industrial CT, highlighting its technical aspects and some of the key application areas where it has the greatest impact.

2. advantages of industrial computed tomography

Industrial computed tomography has established itself as a revolutionary tool in modern industry. Its versatility and precision offer companies numerous advantages:

  • Non-destructive analysis of components: CT technology makes it possible to look deep into the inner workings of components without physically damaging them. This is particularly valuable for the inspection of expensive or sensitive components where a physical examination could lead to damage.

  • Examination of porosities, defects, cracks, wall thicknesses and assembly conditions: CT technology can identify a variety of internal features and irregularities in components. This enables detailed quality control and product improvement.

  • Applicability in areas where optical or tactile measurements are not possible: There are many industrial applications where traditional measurement methods reach their limits. CT technology overcomes these limitations and offers precise measurements in previously inaccessible areas.

  • Graphical target/actual comparison: Another remarkable advantage of CT technology is the possibility of a graphical target/actual comparison. Companies can compare a CT scan of a component directly with the digital 3D CAD model. This allows deviations to be identified quickly and accurately, which is particularly useful for checking component quality and optimizing the manufacturing process.

The benefits of industrial computed tomography are manifold and offer companies the opportunity to constantly improve and optimize their products and processes. With such advanced analysis methods, they can ensure that their products meet the highest quality standards.

3. technical aspects of industrial computed tomography

Industrial computed tomography (CT) is an impressive technology based on a variety of technical aspects. These make it possible to carry out detailed and precise analyses of components. In the following, we will dive deeper into these technical aspects and discuss their importance for the industry.

  • Automatic 2D X-ray inspection and its ability to recognize details: Automatic 2D X-ray inspection is also a component of CT technology. It makes it possible to create flat cross-sectional images of an object. The detail recognition of these 2D images is impressive. Even the smallest irregularities that would not be visible to the naked eye can be detected and analyzed. This is particularly useful when inspecting components for micro-cracks or other small defects.
  • High-resolution representation of the 3D volume: Once the 2D images have been created, they are combined to form a high-resolution 3D image. This 3D point cloud provides a detailed insight into the entire volume of the component. It enables not only the detection of defects, but also the analysis of the entire structure and geometry of the component.
  • Metrological evaluation of standard geometries and free-form surfaces: Another technical aspect of CT technology is metrological evaluation. Control geometries, such as cylinders, spheres or planes, can be measured just as precisely as complex free-form surfaces. This enables a precise analysis of the shape and size of components and helps companies to optimize their manufacturing processes.
  • Geometry comparison, e.g. target/actual comparison or wall thickness analysis: A particularly useful feature of CT technology is geometry comparison. Companies can compare the CT scan of a component directly with a digital 3D CAD model or another CT point cloud. With the resulting target/actual comparison, deviations between the actual component and the desired result can be identified quickly and precisely. Wall thickness analysis is another important tool that helps companies to check the quality of their products.
  • Volume-based analysis options, such as defect analysis, porosity and inclusion analysis: Finally, CT technology also offers volume-based analysis options. Companies can analyze the entire volume of a component to identify defects, porosity or inclusions. This is particularly important in industries where high demands are placed on a component, such as the aerospace or automotive industries.

In summary, the technical aspects of industrial computed tomography enable companies to analyze their products with an unprecedented level of detail, not only from the outside, but also including all internal structures. The combination of 2D X-ray inspection, 3D volume visualization, metrological evaluation and volume-based analysis offers a comprehensive solution for quality control and product improvement.

4. areas of application of industrial computed tomography

Industrial computed tomography (CT) has established itself as an indispensable tool in a wide range of industries and application areas. Its ability to perform detailed and precise analysis of components has made it a preferred method for many industries. In this section, we will take a closer look at two key application areas: additive manufacturing and the plastics industry.

4.1 Plastics industry

Plastics are ubiquitous in modern industry. They are used in a wide range of products, from everyday objects to highly specialized industrial components. The quality of these plastic parts is of crucial importance.

Checking injection molding quality: Injection molding is a frequently used process for manufacturing plastic parts. Molten plastic is injected into a mold and then cooled to form the desired component. However, defects can occur during this process, such as air pockets, uneven wall thicknesses, shrinkage or warpage. With CT technology, companies can analyze these parts in detail and detect such defects quickly. This enables them to optimize the injection moulding process and improve the quality of their products.

Detection of defects: Even if the injection molding process is carried out correctly, defects can still occur in the plastic parts. This can range from small cracks to larger structural defects. With CT technology, companies can identify these defects quickly and accurately. This is particularly important in industries where quality and safety are crucial, such as the automotive or aerospace industries.

4.2 Additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, has become considerably more important in recent years. It enables the fast and cost-effective production of prototypes and end products. However, this new technology also brings new challenges in terms of quality and precision.

Quality control and defect detection: After a part has been produced with a 3D printer, it is important to check its quality. With CT technology, companies can scan the entire volume of a part and look for defects or irregularities. This can range from invisible cracks to flaws in the internal structure. By detecting such defects at an early stage, companies can save time and money and ensure that their products meet the highest quality standards

In summary, industrial computed tomography is invaluable in a wide range of applications. Its ability to perform detailed and precise analyses of components makes it an indispensable tool for companies that want to constantly improve and optimize their products and processes.

5 What data do you receive?

Industrial computed tomography (CT) has established itself as one of the most advanced and precise methods for examining and analyzing components. It makes it possible to look deep inside objects without physically destroying or damaging them. But what data comes out at the end of a CT scan? And how is this data used in industry?

  1. Detailed geometric information: After performing the scan with the computer tomograph, companies receive detailed geometric information about the examined component. This data can be available either as volume data, such as RAW files, or as triangulated surfaces, such as STL files. These file formats are widely used in industry and are used in many Computerized Numerical Control machines (CNC machines for short), 3D printers and other equipment.
  2. Metrological evaluation: With specialized software solutions, such as the GOM Suite and VGSTUDIO MAX from Volume Graphics, the generated volume data of the components can be measured very precisely. All edges, including those on the inside of the component, are fully recorded. This process is particularly suitable for creating initial sample inspection reports and for visualizing geometric deviations, for example when correcting tools.
  3. Analytical evaluation: In addition to purely metrological evaluation, the high-resolution volume data from computed tomography offers many other analysis options. These include the analysis of cavities (so-called blowholes) or cracks. In addition, various assemblies can be analyzed. For example, a seal can be checked for possible damage and for correct fit. For the industrial and scientific sectors, it is also possible to analyze transport phenomena or carry out structural mechanics simulations.

The data that emerges at the end of a CT scan is invaluable for companies. It provides detailed insights into the structure and quality of components and enables a wide range of analyses and evaluations. With the ongoing development of CT technology and the associated software, this data will become even more precise and meaningful in the future.

6. conclusion

In recent years, industrial computed tomography (CT) has established itself as a revolutionary tool in modern industry. Its ability to look deep inside components and carry out detailed, precise analyses without physically destroying the object has made it an indispensable tool for numerous industries.

The importance of CT technology for industry cannot be overestimated. It enables an unprecedented level of detail in the examination of components. This is particularly valuable in sectors where the quality and reliability of components are of crucial importance, such as aerospace, the automotive industry or medical technology.

The advantages of industrial computed tomography are manifold:

  • Non-destructive analysis: Companies can examine the inner workings of components without damaging them. This saves costs and enables the inspection of components that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to access.
  • Detailed inspection: CT technology can detect even the smallest irregularities, cracks or defects in components that could be overlooked using other methods.
  • Quality control: Companies can ensure and continuously improve the quality of their products by performing regular CT scans to ensure that their products meet the highest standards.
  • Optimization of manufacturing processes: Through the detailed analysis of components, companies can optimize their manufacturing processes, identify sources of error and thus increase efficiency and productivity.

In conclusion, industrial computed tomography is a key tool for the future of industry. Its ability to perform detailed and precise analyses will continue to help companies optimize their products and processes and thus ensure their competitiveness in an increasingly demanding market environment.

7. CT-Scan packages from Q-TECH

Q-Tech offers special CT scan packages that help companies to digitize their components efficiently and reliably.

The CT scan packages from Q-Tech at a glance:

  • Packages: Q-Tech offers various packages including Silver (10 scans), Gold (20 scans) and Platinum (50 scans). These packages are designed to meet the different requirements of companies.
  • Advantages of the packages:
  • Prioritized processing: Your scan is given priority.
  • STL included: Each scan contains an STL file with best-fit alignment.
  • Innovative dashboard: A dashboard gives you a constant overview of the remaining scans.
  • Attractive graduated pricing: you can save up to 10%.
  • Automation bonus: Make real savings with multiple scans
  • Digital workflow: The quotation and ordering process is simplified, linear and completely digital.
  • Technology and quality: Q-Tech uses state-of-the-art measurement technology to map the component digitization process 100% digitally and automatically. With the CT packages, companies benefit from prioritized processing and gain access to their CT data sets without additional administrative effort.
  • Computer tomographs: Q-Tech uses state-of-the-art computed tomography scanners such as the ZEISS METROTOM 800 and the ZEISS METROTOM 1500, which offer high measurement accuracy and resolution.
  • Additional support: The Q-Tech consulting team is at your side if you need help with the evaluation and assessment of the high-precision CT scans.

If you would like to find out more about the CT scan packages from Q-Tech, please contact us at any time or arrange a consultation directly.