Computed tomography for inline applications

Coordinate measuring machines with computed tomography are increasingly conquering the production environment. The new Werth TomoScope® FQ machines feature a greatly increased measuring speed and a new evaluation concept and are therefore also suitable for integration into production lines.

The high-power X-ray tube of the new TomoScope® FQ (Fast Qualifier) series from Werth Messtechnik in Giessen, Germany, has a power of more than 1.5 kW. This allows for a shorter exposure time for each X-ray image and thus for measurements with computed tomography (CT) in tens of seconds. The integration of a shutter eliminates the time-consuming starting cycles of the X-ray source. This also results in an extended service life, as wear is significantly reduced. The maintenance-free X-ray tube ensures a high uptime. With the acceleration voltage of 225 kV or optionally 300 kV, even dense materials and large workpieces can be measured.
For inline measurements, the measuring programs can be prepared remotely from the machine at an offline workstation. The workpieces can be inserted into the safety area around the robot via a conveyor belt. There the measuring devices are loaded automatically (Fig. 1). CT coordinate measuring machines record X-ray images of the workpiece in different rotational positions and combine them to form a complete workpiece volume including internal geometries. Measuring points at the material transitions are determined using a patented subvoxeling process. The measuring and evaluation process is then started, for example, by means of a QR code scanner. The workpieces can also be identified later via the QR code.
The new TomoScope® FQ series allows for an up to 50 times faster calculation and evaluation of the measuring point cloud. In a production cycle of 30 seconds, geometric properties are checked and an actual-to-actual comparison is carried out in order to check the workpieces for defects (Fig. 2).
In the WinWerth® Scout user interface, a list of the measured workpieces can be displayed at all workstations in the network. WinWerth® Scout enables a fast and simple check of the measurement results, for example by the shift supervisor. Workpieces that lie outside the tolerances are marked in color. Measurement and inspection take place in the same software so that the traceability of the results is guaranteed throughout, and only one software license is required. The uniform software also enables task sharing between CT and multisensor coordinate measuring machines. The measurement results of all coordinate measuring machines for a workpiece are documented in a common protocol.
Inline measurements with computed tomography are not only advantageous for complex geometries but also for large quantities and heavy workpieces such as valve blocks, housings and castings. With the Werth TomoScope® FQ series such workpieces can be measured in approx. 30 seconds. A measurement in one run of multiple smaller workpieces is also extremely time-saving. This results in a typical measuring time of 1.5 seconds per workpiece.

Network of Werth ScopeCheck S and TomoScope FQ for inline measurements with multisensor technology and computed tomography in 30-second cycles (© Werth Messtechnik)
 

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