Since writing my last note for October, I have been traveling yet again, to Spain, Morocco and, of course, the Midwest. I flew into Detroit three times since writing that column, attending the MS&T show at the end of September, a Powertrain Engineering and Manufacturing Alliance (PEMA) press conference in October, and finished the year with a computed tomography lab open house in December.
Eddy current inspection is a versatile nondestructive testing technique. It allows accurate measurement and evaluation of the conductivity and, therefore, the chemistry, hardness and geometry of any electrically conductive material that is brought into the proximity of a coil of wire.
Maximizing product output and production efficiency without compromising quality is a cornerstone for any successful manufacturing company. A company’s reputation and brand perception in part rests on its ability to produce a quality product consistently and efficiently over time. Remington Arms, founded in 1816 in upstate New York, is one of the nation’s oldest continuously operating manufacturers of firearms as well as one of the largest rifle and shotgun makers in the world. As such, there is a lot riding on the company’s reputation.
Ultrasonic nondestructive testing (NDT) is a versatile technique that can be applied to a variety of material analysis applications. While ultrasonic NDT is perhaps better known in its more common applications for thickness gaging, flaw detection and acoustic imaging, high frequency sound waves also can be used to discriminate and quantify some basic mechanical, structural or compositional properties of solids and liquids.
Computed tomography systems for industrial applications, such as R&D, production and quality, can see inside parts and quantify characteristics normally inaccessible to probing or optical sensors. The same dataset can be used to inspect the structure of material, such as porosity or wall thickness; measure external features; and generate fully surfaced or solid computer-aided design (CAD) models.
Turnkey inspection systems are designed and built to meet the customer’s specific inspection application, for parts as small as bolts and nuts or as large as I beams or engine blocks. These systems are often designed around eddy current-based inspection products, but also can include magnetic flux leakage technology, ultrasonic technology or vision systems, all operating together to perform a fully automated inspection process. The systems can be integrated into any manufacturing operation so there is minimum information lag between when a defect occurs and when it is detected.
The Targa III Dynamic Runout instrument measures runout on high-speed spindles at speeds up to 300,000 RPM. The new instrument has a noncontact capacitive sensor and a digital display with multiple measurement modes. The dynamic runout mode (DRO) presents a continuously updating TIR measurement that does not require manual reset when the TIR decreases. This feature allows measurement of DRO across a range of spindle speeds. Results of this test indicate the optimal speed for production operation of the spindle.
The MSV-300 Series microspectroscopy system provides transmittance/reflectance measurements of microscopic sample sites for a range of wavelengths, from the ultraviolet to the near infrared. Conventional measurements require samples with dimensions comparable to a millimeter-sized optical beam. The series can measure color, film thickness and other spectral properties of a microscopic area for either large or small samples with a minimum spatial resolution of 30 microns. The optional automated X-Y-Z stage provides multi-point or mapping measurements for surface analysis of samples. The series has a spectral measurement range that offers continuous measurements between 250 and 2,000 nanometers (MSV-370). An integrated CCD camera allows verification of the analysis site and sample position while defining the sample aperture on the software system. All microscope operations are PC-controlled through the Spectra Manager software interface.
The Glider is a manual 2-axis encoding scanner designed primarily for the inspection of composite and aluminum aircraft parts such as fuselages. The instrument has a cost-efficient design, multi-technology capability and lightweight but rugged construction. It is compatible with phased array (PA) or conventional ultrasonic (UT) probes, as well as conventional eddy current (EC) and eddy current array (ECA) probes. Both axes offer a free-running, incremental or lock mode. The standard, pivot-equipped suction cup pods enable contour following on curved surfaces while the optional magnetic mounting pods extend the versatility of this scanner to corrosion-mapping applications involving ferromagnetic materials. With a light, aluminum frame and removable index arm, the instrument can be transported or reassembled for use on multiple parts. It is available in three sizes, providing scan areas of 46 by 46 centimeters, 61 by 61 centimeters, and 91 by 91 centimeters. It will interface with the OmniScan modular flaw detector or any other data acquisition system.
The C-Arm Inspection System is for quality control imaging in the areas of casting process verification and product analysis for automotive component manufacturers. The system has an image intensifier coupled to a high-resolution high-bit-depth digital camera for real-time viewing and a programmable computer numerical controller (CNC) to manage part positioning. The system, which allows a full 30-degree angle of detection (tilt), handles scanning at obtuse angles. The system integrates into the production process and can be directly interfaced in a robotic manufacturing cell. Additional features include: image intensifier, amorphous silicon panel or LDA configuration; energy sources of 160 kilovolts, 225 kilovolts and 320 kilovolts; static or dynamic image viewing; image enhancement and archival system; a part envelope of 610 millimeters by 610 millimeters and 50-kilogram capacity; 30-degree (+ or -) tilt, 914 millimeters up/down motion; programmable or manual operation; US 21CFR1020.40, UVV, DIN54113, VDE-0-100, CE, EUATOM 96/29 and IEC 529 compliance.