X-Ray Computed Tomography: a new way to increase efficiency and reduce costs
Nowadays inspecting polymeric parts is a common task for computed tomography. Polymer consists of materials with really good penetrability to X-rays, that determines a clear image, with low artefacts due to beam hardening or scattering.
This relatively new non-destructive testing technology provides high data density, fast acquisition time, reliable results and can be fully automated from the scan to the inspection report generation.
For random sampling, robots can be installed directly on the production line in order to load one or several parts at the same time in the system. Data acquisition duration is reduced, parts are not damaged and can then be released in production.
Because destructive inspection is always incomplete, several iterations are often needed before having the right correction applied to a particular mould for instance. With a CMM (Coordinate-Measuring Machine) inspection, the problematic area is sometimes overlooked. On the contrary, with X-Ray CT, internal and external structures are fully reconstructed with only one scan and in-depth analyses are performed wherever it is needed and green light for production can then be given in time.
In addition, more detailed analyses can always be performed in retrospect with data generated thanks to CT systems. Warpage and shrinkage analysis can be achieved and going back on a previous scan to get a new dimension is not any longer a problem.