Digital Radiographic Technologies for Structural Automotive Components 2000-01-1328
As aluminum automotive component suppliers continue to gain market share, they are doing so in areas that have been traditional holdouts for iron and steel components. Structural and safety critical components require a fluoroscopic (x–ray) inspection to verify part quality. This inspection process has traditionally been a labor and capital–intensive process utilizing an operator inspecting an x–ray image on a monitor. Multiple manned inspection units are often required due to the high volume, high throughput nature of the industry and the relative slow speed of a human inspector. With the advent of digital imaging techniques and image recognition algorithms, it is now feasible to remove the human from the inspection process. This enables companies to reduce manpower and improve the consistency of quality reaching the consumer.
This paper analyzes the existing state of automatic digital radiography available to the automotive supplier industry. Four different technologies will be compared as well as the functionality and benefits of Automatic Defect Recognition (ADR), a software methodology that allows computer–based decision making of part quality. This paper will show that digital radiographic imaging is a quantum leap forward for the industry and that part quality can be determined automatically with high levels of capability and reliability.
Casting Technology Company (CTC), a joint venture of Amcast Industrial Corporation and Izumi Industries, has supplied aluminum structural components to customers in North America since 1995.