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Inline checking of internal component alignment using fast X-ray inspection

28 September 2006

Line, from 3DX-Ray, is an automated 3 dimensional in-line x-ray inspection, measurement and QC system that can measure and check the alignment of components, even when they are inside other components and assemblies. X-Line takes a precise series of 3D measurements that allow it to check the size, volume, angle and exact alignment of a product’s internal components. The system offers an accuracy approaching the thickness of a human hair, even when components are flowing past at speed on a conveyor belt.

As well as checking alignments of movable parts such as cogs and gears, it can also check needle alignments, and can even ensure that the subtle change in angle on a blade or “sharp” is positioned correctly.

The system can easily inspect units in under a second. What’s more, the company’s patented technology even allows it to measure plastic (or other) components when they are inside containers that are also made from plastic (or metal). The system is powerful enough to see through 20 cm of steel but sensitive enough to determine if a leaflet has been inserted into a pack alongside the regular contents.

Industry and consumers expect products to be fault free. Functional testing can show if there is an obvious fault, but passes over latent faults such as the minor mis-alignments that can quickly lead to product failure and recall.

X-Line is built around the company’s 3D x-ray camera plus a suite of highly automated x-ray vision, image processing and control software. It can apply highly sophisticated decision-based criteria to the images that can result in an accept-reject decision. .

Unlike traditional 2D x-ray devices currently on the market, X-Line provides detailed three dimensional data as well as structural information on concealed objects. It achieves this in a fraction of the time, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional CAT scans.

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