Four New Inspection Tools for Enhanced Efficiency

To conduct inspections, professionals rely on a variety of tools that allow them to assess the quality of a component and its suitability for an intended application.

AWS Publications | March 29, 2021 | Inspection
Welding Digest ►  Four New Inspection Tools for Enhanced Efficiency

To conduct inspections, professionals rely on a variety of tools that allow them to assess the quality of a component and its suitability for an intended application.

As with any other field, those who stay up to date on the latest advancements have the greatest chance of remaining in high demand. Additionally, utilizing the newest technologies, such as the following four products, can also help an inspector perform his or her job more efficiently and with less effort.


Large-Format Detector Handles a Range of Part Sizes


Developed by Carestream Health, the HPX-DR 4336 large-format digital radiography detector (Fig. 1) performs nondestructive examination (NDE) of a broader size of parts with one shot. It also offers a 100-micron resolution to enhance the customer’s ability to detect defects in quality-control inspections for demanding industries. The resolution further reduces exposure time for higher throughput and enhanced efficiency. The detector’s other features include a lightweight, slim profile; a protective waterproof enclosure for use in harsh environments; wireless connectivity for faster image transfer and analysis; and the INDUSTREX digital viewing software, which enables image analysis, file sharing, and storage management.

Fig.1-1Fig. 1 — The HPX-DR 4336 large-format digital radiography detector by Carestream Health.


Updated Inspection System Utilizes a Class 2 Laser


Made by Xiris Automation, the WI-2000 weld inspection system (Fig. 2) for tube and pipe manufacturing incorporates a Class 2 laser. With an optical output power less than 1 mW, and operating only in the visible range, Class 2 lasers are considered safe for normal operation and do not require a laser safety officer for installation. The inspection system delivers a constant laser output and provides the user with the ability to adjust the camera exposure to control the brightness of the laser line in the acquired image. This approach provides more linear control over the laser line for better inspection of the weld. The weld inspection system is suited for steel, stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, and coated materials. It can be integrated on most tube mills that employ open-arc welding (i.e., laser, gas tungsten arc, and plasma welding power sources) as well as on resistance welding mills.

Fig.2Fig. 2 — The WI-2000 weld inspection system by Xiris Automation.


Long Videoscope Performs Inspection of Complex Pipes


Created by Olympus Corp., the IPLEX™ GAir long videoscope (Fig. 3) enables wide-view images over long distances for fast and efficient inspection of complex or hazardous pipe systems. To reach the inspection target, the videoscope’s guide head easily slides through the pipe joints while its pneumatic articulation provides fine control, even when the 30-m (98-ft) insertion tube is fully extended. The gravity sensor automatically rotates the onscreen image regardless of the scope’s orientation, and the insertion length indicator tracks how far the videoscope has been extended. Its advanced image sensor, ultra-bright LED illumination, and image-processing software achieve clear images that allow users to see more in a single view. The optional 220-deg fisheye optical tip adaptor can be added to show both forward and side-wall views at the same time. For hazardous inspections, such as inside nuclear power plants, users can set up and control the videoscope from a safer location up to 100 m (328 ft) away, and the touch screen can be detached from the main unit and positioned up to 5 m (16 ft) away.

Fig.3Fig. 3 — The IPLEX GAir long videoscope by Olympus Corp.


Surround 3D Scanners Remain Motionless during Inspection


Produced by Exact Metrology, the line of PolyScan™ XL surround 3D scanners (Fig. 4) are motionless by design, eliminating the need for data alignment or sticker targets during inspection. The XL6 model measures parts up to 1600 mm, combining 12 cameras and 12 projectors to provide 210 effective scanning units. It is ideal for medium-to-large aerospace castings or automotive sheet metal components and can complete parts inspection in 6 min. The scanner’s surround design and simplicity of automation allows it to be easily integrated into a production line. The larger XL8 model measures parts up to 2000 mm, combining 16 cameras and 16 projectors to provide 376 effective scanning units. Both models allow for data to be quickly captured from every angle. Easy to use, they do not require for the inspection trajectory to be programmed. Additionally, the scanners do not pose a risk of collision with an operator, thus eliminating the need for enclosures and safety systems.

Fig.4Fig. 4 — The PolyScan XL scanner by Exact Metrology.


This article was written by Katie Pacheco (associate editor of the Welding Journal) for the American Welding Society.