CT Scans How They’re Helping Change the Way Industrial Services Work

3d inspection scanner

It’s amazing that technology often designed to help one particular industry often ends up being able to aid many different industries and fields. As our knowledge of technology increases and expands, we find new ways to use our current machines and tools as well as developing new ones. For example, although we may usually associate CT scans with the medical field, CT scans can now help the manufacturing industry and scientific efforts. CT scans can also help with reverse engineering services, giving its users a multi-layered view. Clearly, CT scan technology is helping areas of business and study like reverse engineering services as well as the field it was originally intended for.
What Are CT Scans Anyway?
The CT stands for computerize tomography (CAT scans are computerized axial tomography), which is a type of X-ray procedure. In essence, multiple X-ray images are taken of human or animal structures (and in industrial cases, whatever is being analyzed). These images are then combined into actual pictures using a computer. Tomography is the part where a 2-D image of a slice or section of a 3-D object is formed. It allows the users to see a more intricate and holistic view of the object.
What’s the History of CT Technology?
The process of CT was invented by two men in 1972: a British engineer named Godfrey Hounsfield, working for EMI Laboratories and a South African born physicist named Allan Cormack, working for Tufts University. They later received the Nobel Prize for their invention. Two years later, the first clinical CT scanners started being installed and continued up until 1976. The 1972 CT scans could only image heads, but in 1976, “whole body” scanning was introduced. By 1980, CT scanners were more widely available for use and today there are around 6,000 in the United States. Today’s CT scanners are incredibly fast — they can get 4 slices of data in 350 ms and create a 512 x 512 matrix image from millions of data images in under a second. Compare that to the original CT scanner that took hours to get the raw data for one slice and days to construct an image!
How Are They Proving So Useful To Other Industries?
As mentioned before, CT scanning services have gone way beyond just the medical field. They can help with reverse engineering services, and let customers cut down on new product inspection costs and failure analysis costs. Indeed, those costs can be cut by between 25-75% as compared to other technology. PPAP (production part approval process) requirements can be easily met by using CT scanning’s metrology to analyze multiple predetermined geometric dimensioning and tolerance points. The accuracy of the metrology (largely dependent on how big the parts are and the density) is between 5-200 microns.
And because CT technology is developing so fast in the industrial sector, the door has been opened for many new applications like 3D reverse engineering services, rapid prototyping, 3D metrology, and other uses. It’s now possible to rebuild complete 3D models with billions of voxels in simply seconds, instead of waiting for hours. X-rays are so fast they can take 30 frames a second. This means product inspection and analysis can move at much higher speeds, even if the product is large.
Micro-CT scans can help with product inspection as well — they give their resolutions in microns because the focal spot is only a few microns in size. This type of resolution is 100 times better than the best CAT scan available for use in the medical field. Parts can be as small or as big as necessary as well — they can be as small as .5 mm in length to as big as 660 mm in diameter for digital X-rays. The micron-focus tubes help inspect thin welds and inspection in the semiconductor industry.
As technology like CT scans gets better and better, new possibilities open up for all kinds of fields, not just the ones they were invented for. It’s wonderful and astonishing to see how industries are working together and sharing and developing technology to create a better future for us all.

About: Ed