Quality Control Efficiency in measurement: New innovations in target bases and tomographic scanning

Source: Karl Holzer, Dipl.-Ing. (FH)* Reading Time: 4 min

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New methods for attaching reference points and improving the efficiency of tomographic scanning: DK Fixiersystem offers solutions in the form of Target Bases that eliminate the need for adhesive dots on the specimen, reducing effort and waste while providing accurate, repeatable measurements.

Target bases: Multidirectionally aligned support elements for the reference marks in process-specific sizes.
Target bases: Multidirectionally aligned support elements for the reference marks in process-specific sizes.
(Source: DK Fixiersysteme)

Reference points, dot marks, targets, measurement marks or adhesive marks — the names for measuring points for referencing in the various scanning measurement technologies are very different. However, the problem is always the same: these self-adhesive points cause a lot of effort if they are directly glued to the test specimen and have to be removed again.

The ideal conception of many metrology engineers can be described as follows: the measuring points are not glued directly onto the component, but onto special elements that can be positioned as desired in 3D space to suit the test specimen and the measuring task. And especially when it comes to measuring the same components in series production, the repeatably fast fixing of the test specimen within an optimally placed arrangement of measuring reference points marks the pinnacle of process efficiency. From many discussions with competent scanning users, DK as a specialist for clamping systems has defined several objectives for ideal measurement applications.

Gallery with 5 images

The company offers multi-directionally aligning support elements for the measurement points, which it refers to as Target Bases. To meet the different sizes of the measuring fields, these target bases are available in different dimensions of S, M and L, depending on the focus of the scanner. To avoid problems caused with glue, DK uses mechanical bases with M2.5 and M6 threads or magnetic mounting options for these support elements. Another important feature are base, structure and clamping elements for the test specimen. The system consists mainly of standard elements of the DK module kits supplemented by compatible scanning-specific new developments. For instance, the company has relaunched its Octofix program as an ideal carrier for small test specimens and simultaneous placement of target bases as satellites around the component to be scanned. Turn Stop articulated arms ensure maximum-fixed 3D clamping joints for any fixed-variable positioning of target bases in 3D space. With the DK clamping programs SWA39, Spannfix Pro and ECO, Quaderfix, Octofix and the DK joint systems there are almost infinite possibilities to fix and align these target bases in 3D space available.

These solutions result in various advantages for the users.

  • No adhesive dots on the test specimen and therefore no time needed for gluing, peeling or cleaning
  • No waste of glue dots, as they remain on the target base and can be used continuously.
  • No permanent contamination or damage to the test specimen
  • Perfect fixing systems for every type and size of component available as a modular system because they have been tried and tested over decades
  • The modular systems already include flexible fixings for the target bases as standard
  • Target bases can be perfectly positioned to the test specimen
  • The system is therefore perfect, especially for series measurement, as several test specimens can be fixed one after the other with repeatable accuracy and the separately fixed measuring marks are always in the right place
  • Multiple fixtures can also be constructed in an ideal way

CT Multi Tower

After the successful positioning of the SWA 39 CT module system for the quick and easy fixing of test specimens with X-ray transparent modules, the challenge is — apart from the rapid development of industrial computer tomographs — to scan as many test specimens as possible at once. The ideal solution is to use the potential of the Z-axis to position several batches of test specimens on top of each other so that they can be scanned - overnight, for example - in one test programme

The second goal is to increase productive machine time by setting up outside the machine. There are then three possibilities for exchanging the fully loaded tower in the CT in a matter of seconds:

  • a) without interface, the CT tower stands quickly and securely on the turntable due to the solid base plate
  • b) with the SWA39 interface, the CT tower can be quickly exchanged and securely and precisely centred.
  • c) with the self-centring cone holder, the change is not only quick, safe and centred, but can also be carried out automatically by a robot.

The fourth variant of the quick change of test part carriers is the exchange of individual equipped levels of the CT Multi-Tower, which can be fixed and released very easily.

In an effort to optimise tomographic scanning processes, a new multi-level workpiece carrier system has been introduced. This system aims to increase the filling capacity of the tomograph, accommodate parts of varying sizes, and minimise loading and unloading times. The new carrier features a tower of several levels with infinitely variable heights, which are scanned sequentially under program sequence control. Adjustments to individual levels or the entire tower can be made quickly and without tools, thanks to a simple clamp connection and an advanced SWA39 quick-change interface, which is also compatible with robotic automation. The implementation of these features is expected to result in reduced CT scan process times, maximized filling capacity, and increased productive machine time, ultimately leading to faster processes at lower operational costs.

* Karl Holzer, Dipl.-Ing. (FH) is Managing Director of DK Fixiersysteme.


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