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Carl Zeiss introduces computer tomograph

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article image METROTOM computer tomograph

Carl Zeiss  Industrial Metrology has introduced METROTOM, a powerful computer tomograph for industrial quality assurance.

The new computer tomograph makes visible the interior of a workpiece normally inaccessible to probing or optical sensors. It is used to inspect the structure of material and also measures external features. METROTOM permits the generation of CAD models.

The principle behind metrotomography:

With this symbiotic combination of computed tomography and traditional metrology, Carl Zeiss has begun a new chapter in metrology - metrotomography.

During this process, a computer tomograph uses x-rays to non-destructively measure the interior and exterior of complex and small work pieces and then accurately display the results as a 3D image.

The procedure is similar to the x-ray technology used in medicine. X-rays penetrate an object and display it on a suitable detector. The details of the object appear as a 2D image in varying intensity depending on the geometry and absorption properties.

The 3D image is created by rotating the object 360 degrees along its axis on a rotary table and then converting this data to a 3D volume model.

Carl Zeiss has offered computer tomographic measurements and workpiece inspection for three years. The extensive experience gained during this time has been integrated into the new METROTOM computer tomographs.

Metrotomography computer tomographic workpiece inspection:

Metrotomography can be used for assembly checks and damage analyses, material inspections, and porosity and defect analyses.

Parts up to 350 mm can be inspected depending on the material – steel, alloys, ceramic and plastic, for example.

The computer tomographic inspection of work pieces is fast. Completely new advantages of the technology are now available with the measuring software, such as Calypso.

Calypso supports comparisons to nominal geometries where only visual inspections were possible in the past. Continuous monitoring of development up to the prototype is possible using the measuring results from Calypso.

Work pieces, casting and assembly procedures can be modified during the development phase. The added benefit is the process start-up time is reduced and development costs lowered.

Metrologists directly benefit as they can operate in a familiar evaluation environment when using METROTOM and Calypso.

Automatic, objective evaluation methods are now available in areas where previously only manual, subjective evaluations were possible.

Metrotomographic generation of CAD models:

CAD models have become an absolutely indispensable tool in metrology today.

Using HOLOS, the METROTOM computer tomograph can generate a complete CAD data set of each metrotomographed workpiece.

This can then be displayed in all standard formats, enabling generation of fast, highly accurate data during the development of the design essentially providing the ability to create entire CAD data sets of complex interior structures that cannot be digitised or measured using traditional methods.

Precise linear axes with CAA (Computer Aided Accuracy) correction of guide way error, as well as a rotary table with air bearings and direct drive, provide the foundation for accurate capture of the workpiece. This rotary table has a resolution of 0.036 arc seconds and can accept work pieces up to a weight of 800 Newtons.

Optimally adjusted CT components supplement the mechanical modules, thus contributing ideally to the entire METROTOM system.

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