Just as design and production have shifted into the digital realm, so too is quality inspection. Core-Tech, a manufacturer of ceramic cores for use in the investment casting industry, recently invested significant dollars in the installation of a new digital radiography unit into its Mentor, Ohio-based manufacturing facility.
The radiography machine will be used to x-ray and inspect its precision ceramic cores, marking among the first manufacturers in the industry to harness this technology, according to Gregory Castillo, vice president of Core-Tech.
The x-ray unit is capable of generating digital images up to 11-by-17 inches in dimension for viewing on a computer monitor, which can then be transmitted electronically to customers for approval before shipping.
Core-Tech is hoping to capitalize on the time and cost savings that digital radiography has the potential offer. Traditional x-ray, according to Castillo, requires ancillary cost between film, chemicals, waste handling and storage requirements, not to mention the time it takes between when an x-ray is taken and ultimately when the processing of film is completed and sent to a customer.
Because digital radiography is conducted in real-time, inspection cycle time can be cut by more than half. It also can detect defects that would be otherwise invisible through traditional technology.
The conventional x-ray did not pick up the kind of defects that may occur on a given product, says Castillo. The digital radiography just takes it to the next level and allows us to prevent product failures in our customers production lines.
According to a study by the American Society for Testing and Materials, digital radiography has the potential to save a company $2 million over existing x-ray inspection methods.