Nikon Metrology Showcase Semi – Automated CT Inspection

An im­por­tant chal­lenge to man­u­fac­tur­ers is to in­crease prod­uct qual­ity, which can be achieved through 100% part in­spec­tion.

Tra­di­tion­ally, X-ray Com­puted To­mog­ra­phy (CT) has been a valu­able tool mainly used in re­search or pro­to­typ­ing labs to eval­u­ate fail­ures or spot de­fects; a proven en­gi­neer­ing tool that was gen­er­ally con­sid­ered as too slow to be used on a pro­duc­tion line.

Now how­ever, re­cent ad­vances in high-flux ro­tat­ing tar­gets for X-ray sources, cou­pled with easy au­toma­tion of CT scan­ning and analy­sis tech­niques allow sam­ples to be scanned, re­con­structed and eval­u­ated in time mea­sured in min­utes with mi­cron ac­cu­racy. This opens the door to a broad range of au­toma­tion in­spec­tion ap­pli­ca­tions, vary­ing from sim­ple pass/fail in­spec­tion to semi-au­to­mated ct in­spec­tion and full in-line au­to­mated CT in­spec­tion with feed­back to the pro­duc­tion process.

By com­mu­ni­cat­ing with pro­duc­tion data­bases the CT sys­tem can au­to­mat­i­cally rec­og­nize the part to be in­spected, and ad­just all pa­ra­me­ters ac­cord­ingly, fur­ther re­mov­ing pos­si­ble op­er­a­tor error. In­spec­tion re­sults can be writ­ten back to the data­base for fur­ther analy­sis or to pre­serve data his­tory.

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