System detects concealed faults within products

Written by: Tom Shelley | Published:

A range of X-ray inspection systems, which were originally developed for the security industry, are now being utilised by manufacturing and engineering companies.

A range of X-ray inspection systems, which were originally developed for the security industry, are now being utilised by manufacturing and engineering companies.

3DX-RAY, based at the PERA Innovation Park in Melton Mowbray, has developed several machines based on its patented 3D X-ray technology and can now offer industrial companies the capability of detecting concealed faults and contaminants within products, assemblies and sub-assemblies.

Nicholas Fox, CEO at the company told Eureka: "X-Ray capability can enable end users to identify that all the components are there; that each component is the correct size, shape and in the correct position; that there are no hidden faults or cracks; and that no contaminants are present."

He said the technology is applicable to a wide range of products in many areas of industry, including the medical, pharmaceutical, automotive, aerospace, electronics, waste handling, food and beverage industries.

3DX-Ray has developed a modular range of x-ray components, cameras and systems. Fox continued: "We can provide stand alone units for batch and pilot plant processing and laboratory testing, and x-ray inspection systems which can be integrated into the production line to offer 100% inspection at production line speeds. In particular, the technology can cope with 'plastic-in-plastic' and 'metal-in-plastic' products, typified by components in the medical, drug delivery and automotive sectors.

"Our systems can provide users with either manual or automatic inspection of items, and we offer sophisticated configurable image processing libraries for automated analysis of inspected items to provide real-time pass/fail decisions or data for statistical process control."

The company is offering three camera components suitable for a range of applications. The 3DX-Camera has a resolution of 0.1mm, with conveyor speeds of 0.5m/s; the DEX camera has a resolution of 0.05mm, with 2.0m/s conveyor speeds; and the VixION camera has a resolution of 0.01mm, with 0.1m/s conveyor speeds.

Fox said the cameras are available in 2D or 3D versions depending on application requirements. He also pointed out some of the system's advantages: "Real cost benefits are possible with a return on investment of less than 12 months for most customers. The systems are cheaper and faster than conventional film-based systems; the modular design provides a range of solutions to meet customer requirements rather than 'shoe-horning' applications into standard products; 100% inspection of production gives both product quality verification and feedback data to control and optimise manufacturing processes; superior image processing capabilities at full production speed; and the systems are robust to external factors that affect other inspection systems, for example, lighting, dust, grease and packaging."

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