none destructive testing (NDT) is not really new, however, it is being applied to new situations, which is exciting for many businesses because it allows them to improve quality control while reducing costs. Laser inspection equipment such as an industrial CT scanner allows customers to reduce inspection costs and failures by 25 to 75% compared to non-CT scanner options. While the rate of possible reduction is wide, it varies based on a number of factors.
CT stands for computerized tomography and it uses a computer to take the data from multiple x-ray images and put them together to create a single image on the screen. Essentially, it allows you to get a two-dimensional image of a section through a three-dimensional object. Most people are familiar with the process or at least the term, CT scan, from the medical field.
Computerized tomography was invented by Godfrey Hounsfield, a British engineer, and Allan Cormack, a South African physicist in 1972. They were both awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their contributions to science and medicine because of it.
The first CT scanners to be used in a medical setting were installed between 1974 and 1976. These initial models were designed specifically to create images of the head.
However, later versions were created to take whole body images through the use of larger patient openings. These larger versions were first used in 1976. They grew in popularity in the early 1980s and are not now widely used in the field of medicine. Recent reports suggest there are over 30,000 of the used worldwide in medical facilities. The original scanners took hours to develop an image. Newer ones take mere seconds.
CT scanning technology and equipment is now being used in other industries. Uses include product inspection and quality control through NDT. The equipment can scan the size and density of an object without disturbing the packaging.
Industrial CT scanning technology can completely recreate a 3D model of the object being scanned in a few seconds. In addition to NDT, this makes it possible to conduct 3D reverse engineering, 3D metrology, rapid prototyping, and much more. CT scanning equipment has the potential to revolutionize industrial creation.
The resolution of these scans is superior to all other methods and is more versatile. Going back to none destructive testing, a company can rely on CT scanning to conduct random quality control tests. Scans can allow quality control managers to inspect the integrity of the product. Cracks or weaknesses too small to detect with the naked eye can be picked up on scans.
Scanning can also be used to inspect products prior to unpacking them. This will save commercial customers the aggravation of unloading product only to discover it is defective. Along the same lines, it can eliminate the liability of defective products being used in the production of other products and then sent on to the consumer.
Retail customers can also benefit from this technology. While the products are delivered to them finished and ready for retail, conducting quality scans can ensure the products are delivered in the quality they were promised. Due to the speed in which the scans work, an experienced quality control manager can create and analyze scans in just a few minutes. Identifying problems quickly can allow the commercial client to refuse the shipment if it is not the expected quality.
NDT can be applied in a multitude of industries from creation through to retail. It is far more cost-effective than other testing methods that involve the destruction or potential destruction of products. It can also reduce the risk of later injuries or even fatalities resulting from defective parts. Once again, this risk and reward can be applied to a multitude of industries.