3-D x-ray system scans components

German engineers have developed an industrial x-ray system that checks the dimensions of machined components by building highly accurate 3-D images. The system, designed at the Fraunhofer Development Center for X-ray Technology (Fürth, Germany; www.iis.fraunhofer.de), uses a computed-tomography scanner developed by ProCon X-Ray (Garbsen, Germany; www.procon-s-ray.de).

German engineers have developed an industrial x-ray system that checks the dimensions of machined components by building highly accurate 3-D images. The system, designed at the Fraunhofer Development Center for X-ray Technology (Fürth, Germany; www.iis.fraunhofer.de), uses a computed-tomography scanner developed by ProCon X-Ray (Garbsen, Germany; www.procon-s-ray.de).

To check components, manufacturers traditionally use either destructive methods or optical- or surface-scanning techniques, which take several hours and do not inspect complex contours well. The new system scans an object by registering the transition from solid body to air, determines the contours of the component, and derives measurements of the object to within 10 μm. Software converts these measurements into a 3-D cloud of measuring points, and an algorithm identifies geometrical forms. The 3-D image can be compared to the original CAD model of the object to check that the finished component matches the original design.

Joachim Gudat, managing director of ProCon X-Ray, says that one advantage is that a new detector system enables the equipment to scan far larger objects than previously possible, making it competitive with more expensive industrial x-ray machines.

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