Before 2017, compact CT machines were only available with reflection target tubes in a closed design. Their large focal spot limited resolution and accuracy due to geometric blurring. Although the machines were relatively inexpensive, they incurred high maintenance costs. The limitation to acceptable focal spot sizes, which were only achieved when the machine was operated at very low power, resulted in high exposure and thus measurement times. Standard-compliant specifications for assessing performance and for comparison with other machines were often lacking.
For large machines, transmission target tubes with up to 300 kV tube voltage enabled high resolution and accuracy. However, they were expensive to purchase and maintain, and because of their size and weight they were mainly used in specially designed measuring rooms.
Michael Mityasoglu - Commissioning: “Our TomoScope® XS machines are relatively lightweight and compact, so we even transport them in-house by passenger elevatorˮ
Werth received many inquiries from customers who found the CT technology highly interesting, but could not economically justify the investment due to the high prices. This fact motivated the Werth development team to think in new directions. The prerequisite for the introduction of a new, more cost-effective machine was the new tube design that resulted from intensive development work. For the new TomoScope® XS, tube, generator and vacuum generation were combined in an open monoblock design. This design allows long maintenance intervals with a virtually unlimited service life, as spare and wear parts can be replaced during annual machine maintenance due to the open design. For the user, this results in short downtimes and low operating costs. Since the new machine has been equipped with a transmission tube, the focal spot size remains small even at high tube power. This is an important advantage of the TomoScope® XS, which thus allows fast measurements with high resolution. The novel X-ray tube was combined with a compact and precise air-bearing rotary axis and a fast detector. In addition, small machine dimensions and a specification of the length measurement error in the lower micrometer range were crucial. Intelligent design solutions made it possible to offer the machine at about the same price level as conventional tactile or multisensory coordinate measuring machines.
Lea Simon, Industrial master craftsman - CT assembly line: “Suddenly, all customers wanted a TomoScope® XS. We had to qualify our staff very quickly to avoid long delivery times with the increased demand.”
With the TomoScope® XS, CT coordinate measuring machines now became affordable for everyone. The high demand could only be met by expanding production capacities.
Adrian Schmidt M. Eng. - design engineer:“Modularity was a decisive requirement. The axes are manual or fully CNC-controlled as required. Detectors of different sizes and X-ray sources with up to 160 kV voltage and 80 W power can be combined in the machine.” Martina Müller - Technical draftsperson: “The engineering department was approached with the requirement to design a compact, cost-effective radiation shielding enclosure.”