Castings Inspection Enters the Digital Realm

Ceramic castings manufacturer makes shift into digital radiography, saving time and cost.

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.

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