GE Launches CT Scanner for Industrial 3D Failure Analysis and Dimensional Production Process Control

  • speed|scan CT 64 allows several hundred times faster CT scans of large light metal castings or aerospace composites than conventional fan beam CT scanner
  • Automatic fast 3D failure analysis and dimensional control function for improved process control and troubleshooting based on statistical 3D data
  • Extremely high throughput rate allows 100% inspection or statistical surveillance of several production lines
  • Builds on four decades of GE Healthcare CT technology

Ahrensburg, Germany – December 19, 2014 – GE’s (NYSE: GE) Measurement & Control business launched the next generation of its speed|scan computed tomography (CT) system. Based on a GE Healthcare CT gantry adopted for high throughput and harsh production environments, the speed|scan CT 64 represents a revolution in industrial CT by offering unique advantages for near-production use when it comes to productivity.

Industrial CT enables the non-destructive and 3D capturing and analysis of the complete geometric structure of the inspected part. This then facilitates processes such as the analysis of faults (air and material inclusions with a min. detectable defect size of >0.5 mm³, material and density analysis or the examination of completeness and dimensional control (coordinate metrology) in 3D. Fast CT helps plants significantly reduce new product ramp up and troubleshooting times to optimize their production parameters, avoid recalls, detect problems early and avoid scrap.

The speed|scan CT 64 system consists of a dust protected radiation protection cabinet with an integrated, rotating ring-shaped scanning device (gantry) and sample transport system for moving components through the scan ring. The system allows complete CT scans of parts of up to 900 mm in length and 500 mm in diameter – large enough for a 3D inspection of automotive cylinder heads or gear cases. The CT datasets are automatically generated in so-called helix scan mode with a high performance rotating anode X-ray tube and a 64 channel multi-line detector rotating around the sample. To combine high scanning speed with high imaging quality, the detector embodies the patented HiLightTM material from GE, a ceramic scintillator specially developed for CT applications. The innovative system design combines an extremely high sample throughput rotating CT gantry with the patented quick-slide|manipulator table and a highly automated, user friendly operation and evaluation procedure.

CT scanning, volume reconstruction and evaluation, documentation, archiving, network transfer and result display can be realized almost simultaneously allowing an overall cycle time of one minute per inspected part and several hundred times faster than conventional industrial fan beam CT systems. The operation concept is suitable for both interactive data analysis and semi-automatic operation in which automatic 3D error detection is realized by the system.

Dr. Oliver Brunke, Senior CT Product Manager at GE Measurement & Control, emphasizes the productivity benefits of applying fast CT in foundries: “With the multiplication of the sample throughput rate compared to conventional industrial fan beam CT solutions, speed|scan allows foundry specialists a much faster realization of process optimization since they are now able to optimize the technological parameters of the casting process immediately after the quality evaluation of an inspected batch of casted parts.”

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