EMPIR project enhancing the quality and efficiency of industrial CT measurements

CT scan for diagnosis
CT scan for diagnosis

Improved accuracy for computed tomography scans in factory environments

The project

While traditionally used in hospitals for healthcare purposes, scientists are now beginning to find new uses for computed tomography (CT) scans in factory environments. Due to technological advancements in recent years, CT is now being increasingly utilised to measure product dimensions and surface features. Uniquely, CT can allow for a simultaneous evaluation of both the inner and outer geometry of a sample without inflicting any damage. These qualities mean that CT has the potential to dramatically improve product development and quality control.

However, there is still a need to improve the quality and efficiency of the measurements performed by CT so that the technique can be fully integrated into production lines. Here, the work of completed EMPIR project project Advanced Computed Tomography for dimensional and surface measurements in industry (17IND08, AdvanCT) is playing a vital role.

In order to support future dimensional metrology in advanced manufacturing, this project developed traceable CT measurement techniques for dimensions and surface texture. In addition, current issues regarding traceability, measurement uncertainty, sufficient precision/accuracy, scanning time, multi-material, surface form and roughness, suitable reference standards, and simulation techniques were addressed by this project. Within the framework of the project, significant progress was made in increasing the accuracy and traceability of CT measurements. New fields of application were opened up through the CT measurement of roughness and the reduction of scanning time.

The project improved CT accuracy and produced faster CT methods, supporting the wider uptake of this method in automotive, telecommunication and other advanced manufacturing industries.

Project results presented at X-ray computed tomography conference

The project presented some of their results at the 5th annual Dimensional X-ray Computed Tomography conference in May 2021. The  conference, hosted by UK’s National Physical Laboratory, received significant support from the project consortium, and there is a special issue dedicated to the event in the IOP’s journal, Measurement Science and Technology.

Consisting of 25 high-quality oral presentations and 4 poster presentations, the event was highly successful at bringing together intersections of industry, science, and technology. 231 delegates from 20 nations attended the event. The conference also attracted several key commercial sponsors, including both instrument manufacturers and software companies.

In fact, the conference had a significant level of industry involvement, where staff from manufacturing companies such as AWE and Smith & Nephew were directly involved in organising the event. Tremendous support was additionally received from the Henry Royce Institute for advanced materials research, CCPi Tomographic Imaging, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and the British Standards Institution (BSI). As well as the two-day long conference itself, the pre-conference workshop was also well attended and generated much interest.

Project Coordinator Ulrich Neuschaefer-Rube from PTB said

‘This conference was a very good opportunity to make the results of the project known to users of industrial CT and to establish new contacts.’

This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

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