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Home / The Future of Dimensional Inspection

The Future of Dimensional Inspection

Emerging production techniques like additive manufacturing produce small and highly complex components that cannot be inspected using touch probes or optical sensors. The fusion of metrology and X-ray computed tomography makes it possible to measure and analyze these components for porosity, among other issues, in a single non-destructive operation.

The “absolute accuracy” of the MCT225 system guarantees measurement accuracy without time consuming comparative scans or reference measurements; samples are simply placed on a rotary table inside the enclosure and measured without the need for granite or touch probes inside the machine. 
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Nikon Metrology, Inc. (Brighton, MI) combines 50 years of experience in coordinate measuring machine (CMM) metrology with 25 years of experience in X-ray computed tomography (CT) to develop a new “absolute accuracy” Metrology CT system. MCT225 provides Metrology CT for a wide range of sample sizes and material densities with
9+ L/50 µm accuracy in accordance with the VDI/VDE 2630 guideline. All internal and external geometry is measured efficiently in a single non-destructive process. A full 3D visualization of the sample volume additionally provides valuable insights into part deformations, porosity, and internal structural integrity.

Metrology CT is the fusion of metrology and X-ray Computed Tomography (CT). X-ray has long been used for industrial applications. With X-ray CT, a number of 2D X-ray images are taken around the sample as it rotates 360 deg. All of the external and internal geometry is captured as the X-rays pass through the sample. CT software reconstructs a 3D volumetric model of the sample using these 2D images. Dimensional characteristics such as size, position and form can be measured directly using the model as well as full part-to-CAD comparison, section reporting and GD&T analysis.

ABSOLUTE ACCURACY FOR INTERNAL GEOMETRY 
MCT225 is pre-calibrated using accuracy standards traceable to the UK’s national measurement institute (NPL) and verified using VDI/VDE 2630 guidelines for Computed Tomography in Dimensional Measurement. “Absolute accuracy” guarantees measurement accuracy without time consuming comparative scans or reference measurements; samples are simply placed on a rotary table inside the enclosure and measured without the need for granite or touch probes inside the machine.

A key component of the MCT225 system is the 225 kV micro-focus X-ray source that produces incredibly sharp images with low noise levels, enabling magnification levels up to 150X with 2 µm feature detection. Additionally, its open tube design allows for easy maintenance, long life, and reduced cost of ownership.

High-precision linear guideways equipped with high-resolution optical encoders are error corrected using laser interferometer mapping techniques employed for optimal accuracy and long-term stability. To minimize thermal effects, the interior of the MCT225 enclosure is temperature controlled, effectively creating a conditioned measurement room stable to 20 deg C ± 1 deg C.

FLEXIBLE EFFICIENCY
MCT255 is an invaluable asset for manufacturers seeking to benefit from reduced leads times and inspection cycles. The high-resolution X-ray source combines large capacity manipulator and high magnification to create a solution suited to a wide variety of applications.

Plastic injection-mold, metal die-cast manufacturers, and additive manufacturers can significantly reduce correction cycles during tool development and production start-up, accelerating time to market for new products. All shrinkage, porosity, deformation and dimensional errors are clearly identified in easy to understand inspection reports making it easier to define corrective actions.

Emerging production techniques like additive manufacturing now make it possible to produce small and highly complex components that cannot be inspected using touch probes or optical sensors. Here too MCT225 makes it possible to measure and analyze these components for porosity among other issues, in a single non-destructive operation.

Nikon Metrology offers the most complete and innovative metrology product portfolio, including state-of-the-art vision measuring instruments complemented with optical inspection and mechanical 3D metrology solutions. These reliable and innovative products respond to the advanced inspection requirements of manufacturers active in consumer, automotive, aerospace, electronics, medical and other industries.

Nikon Metrology, Inc., 12701 Grand River Road, Brighton, MI 48116, 810-220-4314,
marketing.nm-us@nikon.comwww.nikonmetrology.com.

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