The computerized tomography scan (CT) has come a long way. When it was first invented in 1972, it would take several days to produce even one image from one piece of a scan. Now CT scans can process up to four “slices” in about 350 microseconds and create a 512 by 512 matrix using millions of pieces of data in seconds.
While many people are familiar with the use of CT scanning services for medical purposes, not as many are familiar with the use of the technology for industry. While advancements have been made for medical CT scanning, industrial CT scanning inspection services have also grown. The assembly analysis that can be produced through CT scanning services offers a lot of advantages over other methods used to analyze materials and parts.
CT scanners use x-rays to take images, which are combined to form 3 dimensional pictures. These can be on living creatures (animals and humans) or on objects. The ability to see inside compornents makes it a great tool for assembly analysis, failure analysis, the detection of flaws, reverse engineering and metrology.
Some Benefits of CT Scanning:
- It can improve product quality. Fewer product recalls means a better bottom line. This is because flaws in a product can be detected a lot earlier. They can be potentially fixed before shipping.
- It is a non-destructive way to inspect materials and compornents. Unlike other inspection techniques, none of the materials or components are damaged during a CT scan. Because the items are viewed in a “free state,” there is no warping of the images due to any stress placed on the materials or components. This also means the more delicate parts in an assmbly are untouched.
- It is cheaper than other assembly analysis methods. Capturing images is a lot cheaper with CT scanning.
- It is very accurate. Internat and external comporents can be viewed accuratelt and quickly.
- Almost any sized part can be scanned. The range for parts that can be scanned goes from .5mm to 660mm can be scanned and analyzed.
Today, parts are not always designed and manufactured in the same place. They can be designed in one area, built in another and assembled in a third. Having a way to make sure all the parts fit together the way they were intended to do before they are assembled can do a lot to cut down on problems later. CT scanning technology make that possible.
When Godfrey Hounsfield of EMI Laboratories and Allan Cormack of Tufts University invented the technology and the techniques to create 3-D images of 3-D objects, they may not have known how far reaching their invention would be. While it did earn them a Nobel Prize for Science and Medicine, CT scanning has evolved to be an important took for many industries. Using these techniques for assembly analysis can cut companies between 25 and 75% new product inspection costs and failure analysis. This makes this kind of scanning very cost effective for businesses.
Medical CT scanning is also conducted all over the planet. There are at least 30,000 CT scanners all over the planet. In the United States, there are around 6,000. While the head was the first body part to be scanned, patients now have their entire bodies scanned and examined in CT machines. This has led to many advances in medical care and treatment.
The bottom line is that if your company needs to do assembly analysis on components, using industrial CT scanning technology is a great way to do it.
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