X-Ray Vision

Lenze-AC Tech helps Ontario's Jacobsen Real-Time X-Ray Machinery cut inspection time.

Comments Off on X-Ray Vision October 19, 2009

A global provider of custom x-ray inspection equipment, Jacobsen Real-Time X-Ray Machinery, Inc. builds its machines from the ground up. The Orillia, Ont.-based company manufactures manual, semi and fully automatic systems believing the intelligent use of x-ray inspection technology improves the manufacturing casting process and decreases rework and production delays.

The company’s semi-automatic MAXIpart S-XL, for example, requires an operator only at the beginning and end of the inspection process. Initially, the operator transports the inspection sample manually by crane onto the part-rotating table, which moves outside of the x-ray enclosure into part loading position. When part loading is complete, the operator uses a touch-screen interface to initiate the pre-programmed part inspection cycle.

The rotating table with the part on it tilts into the x-ray enclosure and a servo-driven sliding door closes. The machine’s PC-based controls assign the actual part to a pre-programmed type and downloads all part data. The table with the part moves into its inspection position. A C-arm manipulator with image intensifier or flat panel detector and the x-ray tube with shutter, diaphragm and filter move into inspection position. The machine controls all movements of the part as well as other pre-programmed parameters like kV, mA’s, image intensifier input field magnification and image processing parameters. A CCD camera inside the x-ray cabinet is used for visual control of the part movements.

The x-ray images are taken and examined by a human operator according to quality control specifications. When inspection is complete, the operator presses the “ACCEPT” or “REJECT” button on the machine’s HMI console. The sliding door opens automatically and the rotation table tilts outside of the x-ray enclosure to a pre-programmed unloading position. The operator then unloads the part from the radiation enclosure.

When it came time to design a system for use in Germany, Jacobsen required a drive supplier with global reach. Necessary were a drive and motor combination to handle variable axis positioning, PLC feedback and multiple communication protocols. The company turned to Lenze-AC Tech representative, D&O Engineering, to provided technical and integration assistance for Lenze’s PositionServo drive and MCS motor pairings used in the MAXIpart S-XL.

According to Jacobsen, Lenze’s PositionServo was the right choice for this intelligent x-ray inspection system, in part, because it can act as a ‘dummy’ drive or communicate up/downstream. In addition, the PositionServo is compatible with multiple communications protocols (CAN, DeviceNet, EtherNet/IP, Modbus, PROFIBUS), allowing the drive to be used globally on the network of the end-user’s platform.