When people hear CAT or CT scan, they typically think of it in medical terms to look at ailing bones, tissues, and other internal bodily elements. While this is usually the case, industrial CT scanning services are one of the biggest trends for looking at machines and devices now as well. Essentially, it utilizes the same X-ray computed tomography technology to produce three-dimensional images of industrial machines and parts instead of bones and tissue. Those images can then be analyzed for flaws, failure analysis, metrology, assembly analysis, and reverse engineering applications.
Quality and timely inspection can save time and money in the long-run rather than forcing you to wait around for something to break. In that case, you’re likely to spend even more trying to repair the damage already done than if you had been alerted to the problem and rectified it immediately. The industrial CT scanning process allows customers to reduce their new product inspection costs and failure analysis costs between 25 and 75% when compared to existing technology.
The technology used consists of three main aspects. An X-ray source, a movable table, and a detector. The number of individual X-rays taken in a single CT scan can range from several hundred to several thousand.
Some of the benefits received from this process include fast and accurate validation of design requirements, reduction in development costs of the first CAD models, reduced chance of product recalls due to increased product quality, precise internal measuring without destruction, and the ability to scan delicate and fragile parts.
The accuracy of these services can vary depending on the specific devices used and the size/type of the part being scanned, but overall it ranges from one to 150 microns. Extremely detailed scan calibration can be achieved if necessary which will cut this range down to under five microns.
While industrial CT scanning inspection services are still uncommon in the U.S. more and more companies are discovering the benefits of them, in turn making it a growing industry. If total industrial production continues to increase, as it did between August 2014 and August 2015 by 0.9 points similar to China’s 8% increase in December 2014, it’s safe to say the demand for these services will, too.