Xray technologies are excellently suited to the task of revealing even tiny defects or processes inside materials. To provide industry with suitable tools, the Development Center for Xray Technology (EZRT), a division of Fraunhofer IIS, defines and expands the state of the art in the field of non destructive testing all along the product life cycle. Over the past year, re- searchers at the center have published many innovative new concepts. The researchers are especially proud of two new technologies: “HeiDetect Inline CT Compact R” and “MULIX”.
»HeiDetect Inline CT Compact R« prüft innerhalb der Produktionslinie
A clear trend is emerging in the automotive industry: lightweight construction is the name of the game and it is one of the basic prerequisites for the competitiveness of German car manufacturers. To make vehicles lighter – and therefore more efficient – virtually all com- ponents have to be slimmed down. Of course, this slimming must not reduce safety, which is monitored via component testing. From a purely technological point of view, it has been possible for many years to test components even in the production line. However, most of these inline computed tomography systems are not yet commercially viable. The investment costs for these solutions amount to a high sixfigure sum. Additional costs for direct inte- gration into the process chain further elevate the investment to dizzying heights. Working together with the company Erhardt + Abt, researchers at the Development Center for X-ray Technology have therefore developed a new system concept that works very efficiently and cost effectively: “HeiDetect Inline CT Compact R”. One of the outstanding features of this compact system is its greatly simplified component handling. An industrial robot combines aspects of the manipulator and loading systems, removing the need for many additional individual components.
CT-Bilder in wenigen Sekunden
The system works in a way that is simple and effective in equal measure. Located next to the production line that conveys the objects to be tested is the box of the inline CT system. An adjacent industrial robot lifts a component from the production line, places it in the com- pletely radiation shielded box, and rotates it 360 degrees. While the component is rotating, the Xray components installed in the box create highly informative CT images in a matter of seconds. These images make it possible to clearly identify, locate, and evaluate defects. Specially developed algorithms effortlessly compensate for slight inaccuracies in the robot’s movement, ensuring that image quality is up to the required standard.