Robotic X-ray Computed Tomography System for Fast Automated Non Destructive Testing of Joints in Large Assemblies and its Application in Automotive Production

Krumm, Michael; RayScan Technologies GmbH; Germany

Krumm, M.; RayScan Technologies GmbH; Germany
Sauerwein, C.; RayScan Technologies GmbH; Germany
Hämmerle, V.; RayScan Technologies GmbH; Germany
Heile, S.; RayScan Technologies GmbH; Germany

ID: ECNDT-0178-2018
Download: PDF
Session: CT-Applications 1
Room: G3
Date: 2018-06-13
Time: 09:40 - 10:00

Modern automotive and car body design is characterized by a combination of a large number of materials and a wide variety of joining techniques. A car body of current design has 5000 – 6000 joining elements, which have to be fully tested and evaluated along the production process. Recently, mainly destructive methods are used for testing which are characterized by a high workload and the loss of value of already produced parts. Well-established equipment for 3D non-destructive testing are ground based, fixed X-ray computed tomography (XCT) systems. However, with this kind of systems, setting up measurements of large assemblies for automated scanning requires a demanding hardware setup and is quite time consuming. A system which allows flexible positioning and fast non-destructive inspection would be beneficial not only for quality control in automotive production but also for aerospace or energy industry applications.
For that reason, a completely new XCT system has been developed. The most important requirement for the design has been the need for carrying out a local tomography of regions of interest (ROI) of open frame structures. The kinematic process of tomography is implemented by a “U”-shaped XCT unit equipped with an automated rotating arm. For automation, the XCT unit is mounted on an industrial robot. After approaching a predefined position with the robot, the XCT unit will start a scan by rotating the scan arm around 360°. Radiographic projections are measured continuously and reconstructed to a 3D data set within minutes.
Resulting CT-Images measured with the developed XCT system show that it enables non-destructive testing of the complete set of joining elements at any position of a car body. With the system, measurement time per joining element and loss of value are minimized by eliminating the need for sample preparation.