Initially utilized for medical applications, 3D CT has been prevalent for industrial applications in recent years, due to technological advancements in computerized software and digital detectors. This technology has revolutionized the way industry leaders inspect, qualify and validate objects, using outsourced nondestructive testing labs for a quick and accurate 3D CT scan.
3D imaging is a process of creating the illusion of depth in an image, a process that can be traced back to the early 1500’s in Leonardo Da Vinci’s work. In regards to industrial applications, technological advancements and specialized inspection techniques have allowed users to obtain accurate and timeless 3D data on objects, by providing a 3D image for testing purposes.
Conventional inspection methods such as x-ray testing techniques provide inspection and measurement, which is analyzed in two dimensional form. This limits users in accessing data and analyzing part structures with confidence, as resulting data is restricted to a flat 2D x-ray image. With the introduction and implementation of 3D inspection and measurement testing methods and processes, users are able to access internal and external part data in 3D, providing limitless opportunity for improving quality control. With the use of nondestructive testing labs, industry leaders are able to access 3D inspection test results quickly and accurately.
X-ray technology and radiographic techniques have been utilized for quality control purposes in regards to industrial applications for many years. A relatively new form of X-ray is 3D x-ray, where users are able to view 2D x-ray imaging results from different angles of a given part for failure analysis purposes. Users often outsource such testing projects to certified radiographers and nondestructive testing (NDT) labs for a quick and easy part analysis.
In efforts to improve quality, the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) was founded in 1998 by the Aerospace industry. To provide direction, improve process and organize documentation, AS9102 standard was established for First Article Inspection (FAI) reports for the Aerospace industry.
Geometric measurement and tolerancing (GD&T) is a universal practice for communicating the design, function and engineering intent of a part. ASME Y14.5 is a standard developed as a guideline and direction for the language of GD&T. ASME Y14.5 GD&T is used commonly across automotive, aerospace, electronics and manufacturing industries.
With every part, object or product, comes a set of different failures modes that could be possible during its lifespan. In order to avoid these failures from occurring, industry professionals have taken advantage of the technological advancements in testing methods for failure analysis purposes. From having access to nondestructive testing labs to being able to attain internal insights on a particular component, the industry has avoided numerous detrimental failures that could have been a potential hazard to user safety.
Before the manufacturing process begins, industry requirements suggest a detailed verification and comparison of product design vs. production result, known as First Article Inspection (FAI). Frequently used in the aerospace, medical device and automotive industries, FAI reports are becoming a standard process to ensure quality and consistency of the final product. Although conducting FAI can be complex, technological advancements and user friendly software’s have allowed users to implement and execute this process quickly and accurately.
In order to develop a method of effective communication, standards have been put into place related to the practice of GD&T. In North America, ASME Y14.5-2009 (most updated version) is the most commonly used standard, while ISO 1101 is more prevalent in Europe. Regardless of the industry, it is common for users to outsource GD&T applications due to the ease of implementation and retrieval of accurate part data.
Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing (GD&T) is a language representative of engineering drawings to classify deviations and tolerance of part measurements and geometric analysis. It is an efficient way of communicating measurement conditions and specification of a part. Consisting of symbols, this language is used to define the allowable variations from theoretically ideal geometry.
Laser scanning, commonly referred to as 3D laser scanning, is one of the most common testing methods utilized today for the inspection and analysis of an objects external structure in 3D. The implementation and use of this technology has provided users with limitless opportunity for accessing, manipulating and improving part design processes for refined quality control. Industry leaders seek outsourced inspection labs for 3D laser scanned results in order to attain high accuracy in a timely manner.
Micro-computed Tomography was initially developed for medical applications for healthcare purposes. With the improvements in technology and advancements in computerized detector panels and software, micro computed tomography took off for industrial applications. Prevalent in the industry today, micro CT is used for qualification and validation of aerospace components, automotive parts and medical devices. Industry leaders seek outsourced nondestructive testing labs to conduct a speedy and accurate microtomography scan for failure investigations, part geometry and internal part analysis.
In order to provide consistency and stability, suppliers are now required to submit a PPAP report for assessment. Although the process may be complex, features of a PPAP report are commonly outsourced, to attain consistent part data. For example, dimensional analysis are commonly outsourced to an inspection lab. This helps users maintain the integrity of the PPAP report and ensure accurate analysis.
Real time x-ray is referred to as the inspection of a test subject using x-ray technology, while the subject is in motion. Since this concept is relatively new in the industry, users often outsource such real time x-ray projects to specialized NDT labs.
The concept of reverse engineering has long been embedded in our history, from applications during periods of war to reverse engineering hardware and software. For example, Germans seized an American bazooka and reverse engineered it to develop a superior weapon during World War II: Panzerschreck. Although reverse engineering applications may have been complex and time consuming in the past, recent technologies such as Industrial Computed Tomography (CT) and 3D Scanning have provided the ability to quickly reverse engineer with ease, and accuracy.
The use and implementation of computer aided tomographic techniques in the late 1970’s allowed users to access an innovative technology for significant contributions for medical applications. Soon after, tomographic techniques were utilized for industrial applications, enabling users to identify and locate internal failures, without cutting open the industrial part. Computer aided tomographic techniques, such as Industrial Computed Tomography (CT), have revolutionized the way industry leaders qualify and validate industrial parts.
Determining the measurement of wall thickness for a part to fulfill various applications is a highly critical aspect of designing and manufacturing a final product. Being able to access internal and external measurements and failures within thin and thick wall applications accurately becomes essential during pre-production stages of manufacturing. Technologically advanced nondestructive testing technologies have provided design engineers and manufacturers with access to quick and accurate wall thickness analysis.
A form of electromagnetic radiation is referred to as X-radiation (X-ray). X-ray is known to be introduced by Wilhelm Rontgen, who named it X-radiation signifying the “unknown” or “unfamiliar” type of radiation. Very soon after the discovery, X-rays were being utilized for medical purposes. With today’s technological advancements, x-ray technology has many different uses ranging from diagnosing diseases to industrial part inspections.