OTHER X-RAY APPLICATIONS

InnospeXion has developed a unique real-time X-ray imaging technology, based on using a part of the X-ray spectrum not used in other X-ray imaging systems.
Along with a very high image resolution of 0.1 mm, this innovation has unveiled a substantial improvement of the on-line detection capability. This, combined with a very high image read-out speed, enables the usage for a large number of on-line inspection tasks – for example involving food, aluminum, rubber, carbon fibers, glass fiber reinforced polyester, plastics, and other low-density materials

  • BATTERY CELLS

  • CAN SEAM INSPECTION

  • CASTINGS

  • COMPOSITES

  • CORK

  • COUNTERFEIT ELECTRONICS

  • PEARL QUALITY

  • FUR QUALITY SORTING

  • GARBAGE SORTING

  • LAMP INSPECTION

  • PIPES & COATING

  • ULTRA-FAST X-RAY SHUTTERS

  • WOOD QUALITY SORTING

  • EXTRUDED PRODUCTS
    (ALUMINUM, RUBBER)

APPLICATION AREAS

InnospeXion manufactures tailored on-line, in-line, and off-line X-ray systems for various applications. Some are based on our very unique PLC controlled low-energy X-ray systems that provide very high resolution and image quality. This technology has proven especially advantageous for the X-ray inspection online at high speed (up to 200 m/min) of extruded products such as aluminum profiles, rubber, and plastic tubes, polymeric composites, carbon fiber materials,  etc. 

The high contrast achieved at low energy X-ray imaging is relevant for many low-weight, low density, materials, such as CORK, FUR, insulating materials, sandwich structures, etc. For example, low-density natural materials (e.g. CORK) have properties relative to their structural variation which determines where they are best used. Electrodes and electrolytes used in BATTERY CELLS have properties that are based on their structure, its variation, thickness and distribution of elements. Process control and sorting based on X-ray Inspection may be a cost-effective step in the automation process.

Microfocus X-ray technology with ultra-fast imaging is useful for many products where small tolerances are critical for the performance, lifetime, or safety of products. This is e.g. the case for ADVANCED BATTERIES, CAN SEAM QUALITY, LIGHT ALLOY CASTINGS, ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS (COUNTERFEIT ELECTRONICS), LAMP INSPECTION, PEARL NACREOUS LAYER MEASUREMENT, etc.

The ability to sort mixtures using X-ray technology has been available for many years. Such sorting has mainly been based on the shape difference, or a very distinct density or composition difference, between the components of a mixture. Intelligent re-use of e.g. GARBAGE, HOUSEHOLD WASTE, ELECTRONICS, INFEED CONTROL FOR INCINERATION OR ENZYME DECOMPOSITION, etc., may be achieved using novel X-ray technologies. Multi-spectral X-ray imaging has the potential of discriminating the different elements in a mixture with a high precision and is, therefore, an ideal candidate for many sorting tasks. InnospeXion has worked with multiple energy X-ray scanning for SECURITY purposes for many years and has the expertise required to evaluate the cost-benefit of an X-ray based sorting approach.

Non-destructive testing is a traditional area for X-ray imaging. InnospeXion provides tailored solutions for fast, real-time, imaging, typically of large structures like COMPOSITES (windmill fan blades), PIPE CORROSION, etc.

X-ray imaging detectors are a vital part of a modern X-ray system. In addition to using these detectors in the InnospeXion systems, we develop and manufactures solutions for the QUALITY CONTROL OF X-RAY DETECTOR FABRICATION. These systems are based on a tailored X-ray shielding cabinet, a high stability X-ray source and an ULTRA-FAST RADIATION SHUTTER with an opening or closing time down to 1 ms.

EXAMPLES OF USAGE

BATTERY CELLS

Battery and cathode-electrode-interconnect X-ray inspection process & product control


Objective

Battery cells of high performance and precursors for battery and energy conversion devices are critical since defects may have severe implications for performance and user safety.

Solution

Inspection by low energy X-rays offers a very high contrast, suitable for the process control and conformity verification of e.g. carbon sheets, platinum doped sheets, ultrathin electrodes, interconnects, etc.:

  • Graphite plates: The density and porosity of graphite plates can be measured and quantified based on e.g. attenuation profiles across the X-ray images of the plates or sheets. The intensity of the profile reveals the thickness/density and/or compositional variations of graphite (or other elements) across the plate. The porosity is seen as white areas in the X-ray images, whereas dark spots may be due to patches that are more dense, e.g. due to compaction or clusters/aggregates of base material, impurities, etc..
  • Platinum sheets: differences in the variation, frequency, spots, and size of platinum particles is readily seen even for platinum particles in the micron range, due to the high contrast at low energy. Overall, the structure is typically distinctly different for samples that conform to specifications as compared to not-OK samples.

High-resolution inspection is important for the conformity verification of complete battery cells, where even tiny imperfections may have catastrophic consequences. Such high resolution on-line imaging may be achieved by combining microfocus X-ray imaging with advanced and very fast high contrast digital imaging devices.

CAN SEAM INSPECTION

Can seam quality control parameters non-destructively assessed by X-ray imaging and quantification


Objectives

Aluminum and steel cans are still among the most preferred for packaging perishable food. After autoclaving, the product can usually stay for many years, and metal cans are known to be both reusable and safe. Value creation in detecting errors lies primarily in ensuring the control of production instantly and to ensure that error-packaged food does not reach the market. A defective can in a batch can cause rejection of an entire delivery, which has obvious economical downside. At worst, a defective can may reach the end user, where the intake may cause fatal poisoning. Therefore, the need for continuous monitoring of the can seam is significant, especially for canned fish products.

Solution

InnospeXion has developed an off-line inspection technology to quantify the details of the seam at 360 degrees, with a precision better than 10 microns. Based on this experience, further development and end-user request, lead to a technology that can be used on-line to automatically validate the can closures on-line, at a rate per system up to 180 cans per minute. The ON-LINE CANSEAMSCANNER is unique worldwide and is based on extremely fast X-ray imaging (up to 300 frames per second), integration of advanced and fast sensors, and a newly developed geometric imaging principle.

The primary goal is the detection of seam defects, but also other can errors and deformities that affect the product’s appearance, durability and ruggedness. Depending on speed, can size, and can format, defects down to 0.25 mm are detected and automatically discarded. This is of course much reduced relative to the off-line system performance, but the key requirement for the online technology is the detection of the faulty seams. The system design is controlled by a PLC, this ensures that results can be used as part of process control, and not just as a final discard.

The system operates with a false reject rate of less than 0.15% at a 95% probability of detection. In many cases, the system allows simultaneous control of the can content, both in terms of quantity, distribution and possible foreign objects within the product.

The ON-LINE CANSEAMSCANNER responds to a specific and essential need of canned food manufacturing companies. The technology is introduced to ensure productivity competitiveness and profitability through strong savings and better control of product quality. The system helps to minimize rejection significantly because of the on-line error detection capability. The system replaces final inspection which is performed by humans and thus relieves the need of repetitive and hard human work, that in any case only in part can satisfy present quality requirements on food safety.

CASTINGS

Cast products X-ray scanning systems

InnospeXion has supplied a number of tailored X-ray systems for manual, semi-automatic and automatic inspection of both light alloy castings, and large sand cast iron castings.
The systems are used for quality control, as well as for production and process control, in direct relation to the production line.

The InnospeXion know-how combines the best possible technology for the specific inspection task, in the most cost-effective way. Systems are based on microfocus, mini focus or high stability powerful X-ray tubes, combined with state of the art digital imaging devices. The latter includes flat panel CMOS detectors, linear (scanning) arrays, conventional x-ray image intensifying tubes, and area imaging detectors otherwise.

Sample scanning using advanced servo-technologies controlled through PLC software provides a robust solution with high user-friendliness relative to adjustments and fine-tuning sequences for new products.

InnospeXion designs and manufactures tailored cabinets and integrates the sample handling and insertion/extraction to the X-ray inspection compartment.

Specification examples:

Light alloy X-ray system

  • Mini- or microfocus X-ray tube, limiting resolution < 5 microns;
  • Choice of state of the art real-time X-ray imaging detectors depending on the application;
  • X-ray cabinets based on steel, steel, and lead, or lead-sandwich panel plates with optional lead glass
  • Complete sample manipulation from 1 to 8 axes
  • Automatic doors, shutters, and other auxiliary equipment
  • High-performance image acquisition and processing hardware and software
  • Automatic image analysis and reject of “out of compliance” samples
  • X-ray safety certification according to prevailing regulations, or US/European general regulations

Cast Iron X-ray system

  • High contrast, high resolution imaging with flat panel detector;
  • 300 kVp X-ray source for imaging through up to 50 mm of iron
  • Radiation cabinet designed for pieces up to 600 x 600 x 300 mm
  • Complete X-Y manipulation system, PLC controlled and prepared for automatic operation
  • Optional counting detector technology – for micro-porosity determination & quantification
  • PC based operation with PLC as master
  • Inspection cycle 30 s or less
  • Operator-based or automatic decision taking

 

COMPOSITES

X-ray Imaging of Carbon or Glass Fibre Reinforced Polyester (CFRP or GFRP) Composite Plates. On- and offline inspection.


Objectives

The objective of an inspection is often the detection of strength limiting structural variations, i.e. to detect and quantify structural variations that may affect the mechanical properties, under load. The technical solution is a high contrast, high resolution, X-ray imaging of GFRP and CFRP plates and structures, using low energy X-ray real-time imaging.

Solution

InnospeXion has developed an off- or on-line inspection technology to inspect composite boards and plates continuously. This InnospeXion system provides a spatial resolution of 0.1 mm and a high contrast sensitivity. The latter is particularly important in order to obtain a better ability to discriminate between fibers and the thermoplastic matrix. By X-ray examination, sub-surface structures may be unveiled. If there is a difference in X-ray attenuation, details will be visible on the resulting grayscale images. Since carbon has a relatively low atomic number, and the plates often are of low thickness (e.g. up to 10mm), the X-ray energy must be as low as possible. 

  • The results reveal that the overall homogeneity of the samples can be readily subjectively evaluated based on real-time low-energy X-ray imaging
  • Sample quality can be correlated to quantifiable data, e.g. as extracted from simple line profiles in the X-ray images
  • The pattern of the carbon fiber layers can be unveiled
  • Samples with abundant voids and/or density distribution variations beyond a given threshold can be readily detected/rejected

CORK INSPECTION

Online X-ray inspection of cork

Objectives

The quality of cork discs for wine sealing must be carefully controlled. Presently, this is done by vision technology yet low energy X-rays are much more promising in as much as the very critical defects, hard areas in the cork can be detected high a high degree of confidence. It is thus important to confirm that X-ray technology is applicable for cork disc quality inspection and to verify that the defects considered critical can be detected.

Solution

Hence, from the information contained in the X-ray image, one can clearly differentiate a hole, a cavity, a high-density inclusion (a hard area), etc. It is clear from this investigation that X-ray inspection is capable of identifying hard areas and hole cave areas of the cork discs. With image analysis software the decision making can be accomplished automatically and fast.

Shallow cracks and caves as e.g. observed in samples C2 and V2 may need to be treated in a special way if they are considered as defects. This may include setting a different grey level for the threshold. Altogether, image processing techniques must be further developed taking into account specific sorting and classification thresholds. For this, it is important that the user provides the criteria, e.g. concerning the dimensions, the hardness (density) deviations acceptable and the position of defects relative to how critical they may be for the cork disc quality.

The systems offered by InnospeXion for this application are adequate for in-line usage, at production velocities of 30 m/min. With a standard system conveyor width, between 40 and 100 cork discs can be inspected per second. At this velocity, the demands for the timing control are tough, and the soring mechanism must be very well engineered.

The X-ray inspection is deemed important since it can disclose the critical defects that are generally only perceived at the bottling stage, or after long-term storage of expensive wine.

COUNTERFEIT ELECTRONICS

X-ray detection of counterfeit electronic components and boards

Objective

Counterfeit PCB components are of increasing concern to EU electronics’ manufacturers. Counterfeit components are defined as; substitutes or unauthorized copies of a product, a product used in which the materials used or the performance of the product has changed without notice, or a substandard component misrepresented by the supplier. The threat arises from the continual growth of operations where there is minimal cultural concern, and little legislative protection of intellectual property, which encourages the production of counterfeit components.

The detection of counterfeits has become increasingly difficult because the majority of parts have the same or similar markings as their qualified counterfeit. The only way to determine genuine components from a counterfeit version is to X-ray them. X-ray inspection can reveal different sized die (indication of different components, different specifications), different bond wire layout and missing bond wire, different heatsink sizes (effects thermal characteristics of components) and absence of die.

The X-ray inspection technology shall enable to inspect all electronics components at goods inwards automatically and without being destructive to the component or the shipment packaging. The system should work with all component feeding methods including tube, waffle tray and tape & reel (the number of components supplied on tape & reel can be anywhere from 100 to 10,000). The inspection technology will verify and authenticate supply chains and in general, help eradicate the threat of counterfeit electronic components

The InnospeXion “Chipcheck” X-ray system

An automated microfocus (or mini-focus) X-ray inspection system which can accept all component feeding methods including tube, waffle tray and tape & reel (the number of components supplied on tape & reel can be anywhere from 100 to 10,000 parts).

The system is cost-wise optimized towards a high resolution and a moderate resolution version, based on the relevant component selection.

The system features an automatic software which increases the reliability of automated counterfeit component sentencing. The software may be tailored for specific components and specific counterfeit threats.

A secondary function of the system is to provide real-time inspection of single PCB components with a manual manipulator. Providing this together with inspection for counterfeit components, and at low cost, helps SMEs to justify acquisition and utilization of this inspection technology

The ChipCheck system is offered with various options, at a pricing < 100 K€, consistent with the objective of supporting SME’s with a need of a quality system that can offer an inspection with a low cost per component.

EXTRUDED PRODUCTS (ALUMINUM, RUBBER)

Continuous X-ray inspection – extruded products, multiple lanes

Objective

The rubber hose production and the aluminum profile production are examples of extruded products with demanding applications, e.g. for automotive production. The automatic online detection of manufacturing irregularities that may have significant implication for the application of the product is important. For example, internal particles, salt grains and deposits, holes and other defects may cause leakage or blocking the fluid flow in the hose/profile upon installation. The detection and rejecting of product parts with these defects is, therefore, a need towards ensuring the end-user’s acceptance of the product.

Solution

The low X-ray energy gives a very high contrast for even small manufacturing irregularities. At the same time, the high imaging resolution implies that a defect is represented by many pixels. This highly improves the software recognition of a defect.

When a defect is detected, a signal is sent from a PLC to a reject arrangement, one signal for each line (maximum 4 lines per X-ray system). Different settings can be applied to obtain a sorting of products into different categories of product. The accurate location of defects can be transferred to a marking or cutting arrangement. Special imaging technologies are implemented in order to accommodate the high manufacturing speed – up to 200 m/min.

For rubber hoses, the typical performance is the detection of particles down to 0.5 mm in diameter in hoses with wall thickness of up to 1.5 mm, at line-speed of 30 m/min. At the same conditions, holes are detected with diameters from 0.6 mm. Typical false reject rate is less than 1 per cent, or less than 0.5 meter false reject for 100 meter hose. Larger wall thickness and faster speed have an impact of the probability of detection, which is gradually lowered. In aluminum profile production, holes are detected down to 0.3 mm, and false reject rate is considerably lower (due to less product variation).

The detection technology requires that the product is free of water and other external (or internal) (allowed) “contamination”. It is also important that the product is guided through the X-ray system without severe vibration or other high frequency movement. For multiple lane systems, maximum product diameter (width) is around 20-50 mm, product dependent.

Basic specifications

  • Two module systems with control compartment separate from inspection compartment
  • Ultra compact: inspection compartment approx. 500 (L) x 600 (H) x 400 (W)
  • Ultrafast inspection capability: Line speed up to 180-200 m/min
  • Fast signaling cycle: Less than 15 ms
  • High precision in marking of defect – better than 0.08 s precision (depending on local layout of network and control/handshake)
  • Robust, proven technology
  • Detection capability 0.3 – 0.8 mm, speed and defect-type dependent
  • Ultra high sensitivity – high contrast images
  • Suitable for multiple products in one system (multiple lines per system) (total width < 150 mm)
  • System product coverage 150 mm in width
  • Optional 450 mm detection width – however lower maximum speed capability (< 30 or <60 m/min)
  • Weight < 80 kg for inspection compartment
  • 2 m distance (cable connection) between control compartment and inspection compartment
  • Tailored to suit application

FUR QUALITY SORTING

Fur quality control parameters non-destructively assessed by X-ray imaging and quantification

Objective

The X-ray technology can add measurement of skin length and hair length directly to one automated process. Furthermore the X-ray systems are able to measure the density of wool in the skins and these automated processes means, that sorting in big, uniformed lots of mink-skins – will be much improved.

The technology increases the stability in the measurements, providing an objective assessment of the sorting, which means a better capability of controlling the quality over time.

The technology can additionally reveal flaws, defects and deposits of fat in the skins, so that poorly scraped skins can be removed from the sorting before they are sold and maybe returned with complaints because of fallen off hairs.

The X-ray images also provide the quality-department with the opportunity to track and analyze flaws in large quantities of skin in the chain of production. This way it will be easy to establish, if a certain type of flaw recurs in one particular breeder or pelting center. The X-ray images will furthermore be capable of revealing skins that have been stretched unnaturally much.

Solution

The technology in question is a highly developed X-ray technology – the so-called low-energy X-ray imaging – that uses less energy than the X-ray systems in e.g. hospitals to take a picture. Due to the lower X-ray energy, even small details create a contrast, and the optimized system creates complete images of the skins, where the structure including possible flaws is obvious.

The system can handle 1 fur in 3-6 seconds, or even faster, depending on the resolution and accuracy necessary. The fur details such as skin length, hair length, wool density, defects and others, are measured and quantified in real time. The complete data set for each mink is linked with its tracing number and stored by a central computer. In addition, a compressed image is formed which can be retrieved for subsequent validation relative to its sorting.

Due to the very low X-ray energy, no shielding is necessary. This greatly helps the measurement process as any mechanical contact with the mink may cause undesired electrostatic charges that may affect the measurement accuracy.

The technology is adequate for daisy-chaining (parallel inspection) relative to large sorting stations.

GARBAGE SORTING

Household garbage sorting: Multi-spectral X-Ray technology to distinguish organic and inorganic waste materials in bulk

Objective

Household waste contains a relatively large amount of different materials, organic and inorganic. Recovery of various materials is needed to reduce the amount of waste and minimize unnecessary burning. The sorting is a, however, a challenge, and primary sorting by households has varying success. Sorting stations based on human sorting are vulnerable to workers health issues, and sorting based on machine vision is challenging, due to the fact that machine vision systems only are based on a surface scanning.

Machine vision combined with X-ray scanning may enable an improved sorting capability. But the fundamental problem of sorting materials based on their composition remains unsolved.

Solution

InnospeXion has developed an on-line X-ray inspection technology that offers discrimination of constituents of a mixture based on the assessment of the atomic composition variation within the scanned volume.

The technology is based on using novel multiple energy scanning detectors, where each pixel provides information on the wavelength distribution of the radiation hitting that specific pixel. In layman’s word, this means that the X-ray image represents a distribution of the composition differences in the scanned volume of a mixture.

For garbage sorting, this implies that the multiple energy X-ray scan enables a quantification of the atomic composition of the mixture, and therefore an ability to sort the mixture into different categories, consistent with the compositional difference of the mixed garbage.

The sorting may be e.g. into fractions of organic (dry and wet) waste, plastics, metals, other materials, etc.

The technology is based on the garbage being scanned at a speed up to 40 m/min, while passing into an X-ray system integrated to the garbage handling line, at a width of e.g. 1 m. The system provides output to robots or sorting devices in real-time. Estimated sorting capability is up to 10 kg/s.

LAMP INSPECTION

Lamp inspection by X-ray imaging

 

Objective

Modern lamp production requires careful control of the filaments and internal components in order to ascertain a long lifetime for the lamp. Low-quality lamps may find use in household applications, however, long lifetime is a requirement for lamps used in difficult accessible installations, or for high-performance usage. X-ray inspection at high resolution, high contrast and high speed is an obvious solution to ensure a long lifetime of the product.

Solution

The InnospeXion X-ray systems for lamp inspection enables the assessment of the electrode/filament position as well as the overall integrity within (non-)transparent lamps. The system can be either manually operated or entirely automatic, with automatic measurement of the critical tolerances, in real-time.

The systems are designed as compact as possible, and tailored to the production line, and are configured for inspection of regular lamps, or of special, complex shaped lamps. The advantage of X-rays is their ability to image beyond non-transparent coatings. With modern X-ray technology, imaging at plus 300 frames per second is feasible. Automatic on-line detection is reliable, cost-effective, and precise.

The InnospeXion Lamp Inspection System is based on a low kV mini- or microfocus X-ray source that emits radiation, which is attenuated by the lamp. The thin glass wall is relatively transparent to the low energy X-rays, whereas the electrodes/filaments are almost opaque. The X-ray image is detected by an area- or line imaging X-ray detector, acquired in a tailored PC. The PC also accomplishes the image processing and derivation of relevant measures. A PLC secures the communication to the production line control and correct rejection of faulty products.

Versatile X-ray technology

  • Suitable for all non-transparent and transparent lamps, up to 200 mm in diameter
  • Measurement time to less than 0.05 second
  • Robust and reliable technique, with very good repeatability
  • Optional automatic operation – no operator needed
  • Reliable technology – measures “what is” not “what was”
  • Modular design of hard- and software
  • Remote monitoring as part of extended warranty
  • Cost effective, long lifetime, little maintenance required
  • CE marked, proven and safe technology
  • “Plug-and-play” – no installations required
  • Fast delivery
  • Competitively priced

PEARL QUALITY INSPECTION

X-ray inspection of pearls

 

Objective

The quality of pearls depends among others on the integrity and thickness of the nacreous layer. X-ray imaging at high contrast and high resolution is a valuable tool to disclose the quality of each pearl. The challenges are: (1) to achieve the sought X-ray quality relative to resolution and contrast; (2) to have means of automatically measuring the nacreous layer; (3) to have a mechanism for automatic positioning and X-ray imaging of each individual pearl, with a short cycle time.

Solution

For many years, InnospeXion has worked with on- and off-line inspection of miniature dosage devices in the pharmaceutical industry.

Based on the experiences gained in this area, we have established a technology that can satisfy the demands imposed for an automatic pearl inspection system.

The system is based on a microfocus X-ray source and a high resolution, high contrast flat panel detector (area imaging). A special feeding mechanism will hold a large number of pearls, which are inspected and measured/ characterized one by one for the integrity and thickness of the nacreous layer at pre-defined positions. In addition, the system will measure the diameter, roundness, defects, and other quality parameters. After inspection, pearls may be sorted depending on quality into separate outfeed lanes. Pearls are identified by system entering time and dimensions.

The systems offered by InnospeXion for this application are adequate for in-line usage, at production rates of about 1 pearl per 2 seconds. Faster inspection is possible using one-sided nacreous layer thickness determination.

PIPES & COATINGS

Pipe inspection: defect detection, corrosion detection, conformity assessment by X-ray imaging and quantification

 

On- and offline pipe inspection: InnospeXion offers systems targeted for on-line inspection of pipe structural conformity and systems for non-destructive inspection and maintenance. We offer systems capable of measuring dimensions of different layers and systems for corrosion assessment under insulation, including systems for production control of e.g. flexible risers, for reinforced polymer pipes, for carbon fiber reinforced polyester structures, and many others.

Objective

External corrosion on isolated steel pipes makes a potential cause of leak that can have severe economic and environmental consequences. Isolated steel pipes are used in very big parts of the industrial sector, and preventive inspection of the pipes is an important and expensive maintenance activity. The inspection is today performed by removing the outer shield, removing insulation, and visual inspection. This method is extremely time-consuming, destructive and expensive.

Recent X-ray technology development has led to new detectors, with high spatial resolution, ultra-high sensitivity, low weight, and an ultra-compact design. The detectors can be used for online, fast, effective, safe and affordable inspection. Of special interest for the pipe corrosion inspection is the new CdTe-CMOS technology. With this, the high sensitivity results in the possibility for a very fast scanning process, at low X-ray energy. This implies highly limited radiation protection precautions.

This new technology has applications for online application in polymer manufacturing, as well as maintenance and inspection operations.

Solution

The equipment for corrosion depth measurement is intended for continuous, remote-controlled operation on isolated pipes. The equipment is based on the tangential imaging method, where the arrangement is able to rotate continuously or gradually around the pipe, simultaneously with a scanning in the longitudinal direction of the pipe. The X-ray source is mounted on the one side of the pipe, and the detector on the other. The equipment is placed on a robot, either a dedicated pipe crawler or a more simple C-curved based solution. Because the detector allows real-time imaging, a dynamic imaging process can be achieved if the X-ray source-detector arrangement is moved relative to the surface of the pipe, either by a linear scanning or rotation. The image detector takes images for every step-interval that matches a distance of 50 mm. The time for moving and image gathering is about 2 seconds. It means that a scanning of a pipe with for example 4 profile lines (90 degrees between) can be made in 1-3 minutes per meter of pipe, for a skilled operator. Compared to earlier, this gives a time saving of a factor 10-30.

For production control, InnospeXion provides systems for e.g. polymer thickness measurement of flexible risers, operating at up to 10 m/min, with a scanning resolution down to 25 microns. The same technology finds applications e.g. for polymeric pipe manufacturing.

ULTRAFAST X-RAY SHUTTERS

Shutter assemblies and complete shutter solutions for fast and accurate radiation blockage

 

Objective

InnospeXion has developed, produced and installed a number of shutter systems for X-ray beam closure, since 2002. In 2014, a very fast shutter with opening or closing time less than 10 ms was developed. In 2017, this was followed by the ultrafast (1 ms) shutter. Shutters are available up to 300 kVp X-ray radiation. Neutron shutters can be developed relative to specifications (tailored versions).

The need for these shutter systems is typically for quality control of the response time of radiation detectors and other conformity parameters in the manufacturing of X-ray imaging or measurement detectors.

InnospeXion has provided the shutter systems integrated with X-ray cabinet, X-ray source, and mechanics for the positioning of detector boards for measurement, as well as a PLC-based control system and user interfaces.

Solution

The shutter is driven by a dedicated servo motor and moves a lead disc (optionally a Boron containing disc for neutron usage) with a mass of 800 g to open/close a window of 6 x 9 cm. The shutter is fitted with numerous laser sensors to enable that access door can be opened with the beam on. The shutter is entirely controlled from the PLC. The PLC may be externally controlled from a PC or other control hardware. The shutter is designed for mounting close to the X-ray source window but can be configured for use in e.g. a neutron or other X-ray source beam configuration. The electromechanical assembly is made of aluminum, and measures approximately 300 x 300 x 200 mm.

The shutter speed has been validated during the design phase and confirmed by positioning of fast read out radiation sensitive area detectors in the beam. By profiling, the shutter movement can be traced, which has confirmed an opening or closing speed of less than 1 ms. Opening time may be as long as requested.

WOOD QUALITY SORTING

Self-adaptive cutting of wood for furniture production based on online low-E X-ray characterization

 

Objective

The idea of developing a resource-saving and quality-optimizing cutting system for wood suppliers to the furniture industry stems from a concrete problem of the furniture producers. They have to achieve a cost-effective production while balancing between proud craftsman traditions, and the need for automation. However, automation is difficult, due to the raw material heterogeneity and that minimal quality deviance are essential parameters. Losses of valuable furniture wood as a result hereof have presently not been solved with automation, robot- or other modern production technology.

The objective is to combine high resolution, high contrast X-ray image information, that reflects the three-dimensional (3-D) internal structure, with profound knowledge of the importance for the production of critical defects.

The result is a self-adapting cutting system. This system provides the solution for the user as well as the supplier of the wood.

Solution

The X-ray technological development is based on the worldwide unique low-energy X-ray technology that provides unrivaled contrast and resolution. Application-targeted development, involving multiple X-ray sources and detectors, were previously supplied by InnospeXion to other sectors, one of which was nominated for the Innovation award in 2010.

The X-ray technological basis of the system particularly concerns:

  1. The design, implementation, and testing of a novel geometric imaging method that – together with the positioning and speed (timing) information within the various images – can be used to characterize the spatial extent and location of irregularities in the plank.
  2. The optimization of the imaging speed with data collection at a rate of 1-3 ms pr. image, with GPU (Graphic Processor Unit) solutions.

The tree plank inspection system is hence a high-speed, ultra-high image quality X-ray solution, which identifies defects (typically knots) in the product, and identifies the optimal cutting pattern for a given plank.

The value is the minimization of waste, the focus on defect-free products, and the reduction on using expensive process and machining time on products (plank cut-outs) that have internal defects that prohibits their use for a given furniture part.

Typical resolution is 1-2 mm, with scan speed around 1 to 5 minutes per plank.

CASE STORY

The ability to detect internal particles, inclusions, and holes in rubber hoses adds substantial value when the final product is free from risks of leakage or other defects. Read how our X-ray inspection method benefits the rubber hose production.