Metrology is the science of measurement, and it has come a long way. Recent developments in technology, in X-ray, CT scanning and digital information storage and processing in particular, have transformed the science of measurement and given rise to whole range of new applications. Industrial scanning techniques can be used in a number of fields, including archeology, aerospace, automotive, geology, engineering, forensics, defense, industrial production, energy and electricity.
Industrial CT scanning comes of age
CT scanning was first developed in the 1970s, based on the work of Nobel Peace Prize winners Godfrey Hounsfield of EMI Laboratories, England and physicist Allan Cormack of Tufts University, Massachusetts. CT stands for “computerized tomography” and is sometimes also called CAT or “computerized axial tomography”. X-rays are used to take pictures of structures inside a body or an object and the images are projected on a monitor screen. Tomography refers to the process of creating a two dimensional image known as a “slice” or a “section” of a 3D object.
Early CT scanning was a slow process and its use was limits to medical facilities. However as digital X-ray scanning technology has developed, scan speeds and accuracy have improved to the point where a large number of applications are possible. Improvements in metrology combined with digital technology make industrial 3D scanner services a powerful tool.
Industrial CT scans for product inspection
Metrology and industrial CT technology are improving rapidly, and complex 3D models with billions of voxels can be created in just seconds. Only a few years ago, it would have taken hours to generate a few CT slices. Advances in metrology have made possible uses like 3D reverse engineering, rapid prototyping, 3D metrology and more.
Industrial CT scanning makes possible a number of functions, including preproduction inspection, production inspection, lots inspection of suspect parts and failure inspection. The new technology reduces the cost of new product and failure inspection by 25 to 75% as compared to the old technologies.
Advantages of digital radiology
Digital radiology offers many advantages over the older, slower processes. The increased speed means that exposure time to X-rays is drastically reduced. Further, electronic image processing and transfer is much faster than the chemical processing methods that were used earlier.
CT scans can also be used for micro-scans, so that parts as small as .5mm in length can be digitally X-rayed. Parts size is no longer an issue, and at the other end of the scale, parts as large as 660mm in diameter by 1m in length can be scanned.
As the technology develops, more and more creative uses for CT scanning are being discovered in various fields. Some of the most exciting recent advances in archeology and geology have used digital scanning techniques to analyze sites and objects. Industrial Ct scanning processes can be customized to meet the needs of individual businesses and processes, giving them more flexibility than ever before.