French group designs CT scanner for product inspection


Minalogic, a Grenoble-based microelectronics cluster, has said its Delpix project has created an X-ray rapid-tomography system for quality inspection on the production line.

While X-ray computed tomography, or CT scan, has been widely used for years in the medical field, it is still rarely employed in manufacturing because of the slowness of the image-acquisition and reconstruction processes and the low attainable resolution.

This three-year, €8.5m ($11m) project was set up to shorten the time required to inspect products from several minutes to only a few seconds, and so make the CT scan practical for industrial quality control.

“By integrating this technology in industrial processes, the Delpix project developed the only X-ray tomography platform of its kind in France, overcoming the cost and quality issues that have long been barriers to using this modality in manufacturing,” said Jean Chabbal, Minalogic’s chief executive. 

The project developed lower cost X-ray flat-panel detectors and software for faster real-time 3D image reconstruction.

Automated processing of the 3D reconstructed data allowed for detection of defects in the inspected pieces (assembling, setting, material quality inspection, etc.)

Partners in the project include Thales and Trixell along with smaller companies - CyXplus, Digisens and Noesis. The INP Grenoble and INSA Lyon (academy) were also involved in the project.

Tags: manufacturing, research, x-ray

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