Innovation is at the heart of the American tradition and work ethic, so it’s no surprise that today’s business owners and manufacturers are constantly coming up with advanced technology and new ways to use already existing technology. An industrial CT scan is one example of how already existing technology is being modified for an entirely different purpose. A CT part calibration scan, X-ray inspection services, and an industrial X-ray are becoming useful tools for the manufacturing industry, letting them do their jobs quickly, more efficiently, and with reduced costs. Sometimes innovation isn’t creating more, it’s knowing how to use the tools around you. You might also be amazed at how CT scan technology has developed from its humble beginnings in 1972 and how its reach has expanded far outside just the realm of the hospital.
What is Computerized Tomography?
The “CT” in “CT scan” is short for computerized tomography and CAT scan stands for “computerized axial tomography.” Both processes use a computer that synthesizes data from multiple X-ray images of whatever organism (human, animal, or other object) that it scanned and turns them into pictures on a computer monitor. Essentially, a 2-D image is created from a slice or section of a 3-D object. In medicine, doing a CT scan can help quickly locate tears and organ injury, diagnose cancer, find brain injury, inform the doctor as to vascular flow, or any swelling or injury in the patient’s body. On the manufacturing side, CT scans are using methods like a CT part calibration scan to help find flaws in their products by using them during the inspection process and has opened up new doors in the 3D reverse engineering field as well.
What’s the History Behind CT Scans?
The process of computerized tomography was actually jointly invented by a British engineer and South African-born physicist in 1972. Godfrey Hounsfield of EMI Laboratories in England and Allan Cormack of Tufts University, Massachusetts, later received the Nobel Peace Prize for their work in the efforts of advancing medicine and science. The very first CT scanners were installed in a two year span, between 1974 and 1976 and focused only on head imaging at first. Later, “whole body” systems that had larger openings for patients to pass through were instituted in 1976. By 1980, CT scanners were widely available everywhere. Today, there are around 6,000 CT scanners in use in the United States and about 30,000 CT scanners worldwide.
It’s amazing how things have advanced in just forty years. When Hounsfield first developed his CT scanner at EMI, it took up to several hours to get the data for just one “slice” or scan and a few days to make one image from this data. Today, the most recent multi-slice CT systems are capable of collecting and processing up to 4 slices of data in 350 ms and creating a 512 x 512 matrix image from the millions of data points collected in under a second!
How Are They Proving Helpful In Today’s Manufacturing World?
Using industrial CT scanning processes, such as a CT part calibration scan, lets customers cut down on their new production inspection costs and failure analysis costs from anywhere between 25-75% as compared to other available technology. Multiple already determined GDandT (geometric dimensioning and tolerance) points are able to be analyzed at once to meeting PPAP (production part approval process) with industrial CT scanning. One of the best parts of this new technology is that part size isn’t really a factor — parts ranging from .5 mm in length to 660 mm in diameter and x1m in length can be X-rayed digitally. Industrial CT technology is also opening new doors to advances in 3D reverse engineering, rapid prototyping, 3D metrology, and many more, thanks to its rapid improvements. Today, you can make complete 3D models with billions of voxels in mere seconds.
Using methods like CT part calibration scan with the new CT scanning technology is changing lives in more ways than one. American innovation continues to break new ground and improve the quality of life for everyone.
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