BROOKFIELD, WI — Exact Metrology Co-Founder Dean Solberg is always looking for that next “silver bullet,” he says, to help solve manufacturer’s quality needs. The newest bullet in the company’s arsenal is industrial computed tomography—high-powered x-ray scanners that can measure and analyze both the outside of a part and the inside, discovering mechanical voids, cracks or other imperfections. A popular demo shows a grain of salt, scanned and rendered as large as a softball on the display, with its otherwise imperceptible internal pockets of air highlighted and measured by volume. A tiny grain of salt is an excellent visual demonstration of a CT scanner’s capabilities, but it doesn’t reveal the greatest benefits, namely the ability to inspect the inside of a complex assembly and find flaws, without destroying or altering its construction.
During a tour of Exact Metrology’s Brookfield, WI facility, a twin location to its Cincinnati shop, Solberg and his staff showed Quality the range of cutting-edge tools available to metrologists today, ranging from the microscopic capabilities of the CT scanner, to a recent scan of the inside of a nuclear power plant. Between the two extremes, Solberg also extolled recent scanners from Surphaser that meet in the middle, as well as other technology like its new EnvisionTEC 3D printer.