Based on its recent analysis of the industrial computed tomography (CT) systems market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes GE Inspection Technologies (GE) with the 2016 Global Frost & Sullivan Company of the Year Award. GE has consolidated its market and technology leadership with the launch of its v|tome|x c HS industrial CT scanner and speed|scan CT 64, which aid rapid and high-accuracy scanning in industrial production process optimization and quality control. The solutions offer a simplified and automated workflow and improved scanning speed to monitor the output of many production lines e.g. in automotive casting or for 100% inspection of extremely complex or security relevant parts such as turbine blades or additive manufactured parts in the aerospace industry. Additionally, with the recent launch of the v|tome|x m as world’s first industrial microCT scanner with advanced scatter|correct technology, GE enables CT users to reach low scatter artifact quality levels never reached previously in the CT industry with excellent quality and inspection.
“With its sound technological expertise and vast experience, GE has leveraged its non-destructive testing technology by implementing its unique scatter|correct technology into CT systems that combine the high precision of a fan beam CT system with the up to 100 times increased throughput of cone beam CT inspection,” said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Mariano Kimbara. “Consequently, the next-generation of CT scanners from GE will be comprehensive inspection solutions that feature a high degree of flexibility for failure analysis, production and R&D.”
Striving to take CT technology to the next level of data automation in the production environment, GE introduced its phoenix v|tome|x c 450 HS industrial CT scanner and further developed its speed|scan CT 64 in 2015. The v|tome|x c HS industrial CT scanner is one of the first of its kind to support high throughput in the industrial production environment. One of the product’s outstanding advantages is that it achieves low scatter radiation quality and inspection throughput through its scatter|correct and quick|pick capabilities. The quick|pick module was developed for automated blade batch examinations to generate CT scans of 25 blades within two hours without operator intervention. Meanwhile, scatter|correct provides end users with the same image quality that can be obtained from the time-consuming line detectors, while heavily streamlining the scanning process.
The scatter|correct hardware/software module enables relatively fine surface detection and precisely measures wall thicknesses for high-density materials. This unique proposition distinguishes GE from other leading participants in the industry and allows users to improve the image quality and precision of failure analysis, and easily compare 3D computer-aided design (3D CAD) models with the acquired 3D information.
In 2015, GE rolled out its compact CT system, phoenix v|tome|x m metrology edition, now available with the unique scatter|correct technology. The scanner is widely used by metrology labs and industrial process controls because of its 300 kV/500 W microfocus scanning capability, offering a measurement accuracy of 4+L/100 μm. This is the first industrial microCT scanner with scatter|correct technology incorporated to automatically eliminate most scatter artifacts.
Another unique CT solution for industrial mass inspection is GE’s speed|scan CT 64 system. Based on a medical GE Healthcare CT gantry adopted for high throughput and harsh production environments, speed|scan represents a revolution in industrial computed tomography by offering unique advantages for near-production use when it comes to productivity. The system allows complete CT scans of parts of up to 900 mm in length and 500 mm in diameter – large enough for 3D inspection even of automotive cylinder heads or gear cases several hundred times faster than conventional fan beam CT scanner. Its extremely high throughput rate allows 100% inspection or statistical surveillance of several production lines.
There is a clear industrial need for CT solutions that enable the inspection of objects for both NDT and metrology of complex inner and outer structures. “Original equipment manufacturers in automotive and aerospace industries have appreciated the price performance value delivered by GE’s CT systems, as they reduce maintenance and ownership costs while improving inspection quality and productivity for high-throughput industrial applications,” noted Kimbara.
As one of the leading technological and digital companies in the world, most advanced core components of GE’s industrial CT systems such as software, X-ray tubes, generators, digital detectors, helix CT gantries but also innovations like its unique scatter|correct technology or its advanced 3D speed|ADR algorithms are proprietary technology and – therefore exclusively available for its CT users to drive their inspection precision as well as throughput.
Committed to delivering an enhanced customer ownership experience through the life span of its CT products, GE has leveraged a proven technology to design a wide range of solutions from extremely high resolving nanoCT for R&D labs over high precision solutions for quality labs and metrology rooms up to highly automated high throughput, medical gantry based helix CT for statistical process control in foundries and high quality high throughput 100% turbine blade inspection. “It continues to be the leading provider of CT dimensional metrology solutions, with a market share of 24 percent in 2015” commented Kimbara. It places strong emphasis on sustaining its leadership position among applications in key vertical markets such as automotive and aerospace.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in devising a strong growth strategy and robustly implementing it. The recipient has shown strength in terms of innovation in products and technologies, leadership in customer value, as well as speed in response to market needs. In short, the award looks at the emerging market players in the industry and recognizes their best practices that are positioned for future growth excellence.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.