Dimensional Analysis – A CT Scanning Application

What is Dimensional Analysis?

At Nel Pretech, we are flipping the value proposition for CT Scanning on its head utilizing Dimensional Analysis. When you think of CT Scanning, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Our best guess is that you have heard of CT Scanning in the medical setting. At Nel Pretech, we have harnessed that same technology that doctors use to see into the human body, to see the through and measure your manufactured parts. Believe it or not, CT Scanning has several other applications. For example, TSA is beginning to test it in airports to get more accurate and precise scans of baggage going through security. How great will that be to speed up security lines in the airports? Well, you will be able to thank CT Scanning for that. Our goal is to not just educate manufacturers, but also the public in that CT Scanning is a widely accepted and encouraged practice in the manufacturing industry.

In article 2 of 4, we took a closer look of what it meant to have part flaw. Part flaws are incredibly common, as no manufactured part is perfect, especially with the first prototype and our goal is to help you save money and time by identifying those flaws before you ever bring those parts to the market. Utilizing CT Scanning, part flows are identified by comparing the CT data to the nominal CAD object and overlaying the two via color map, to visualize and quantify where and by how much your part differs from the intended part. So where are we headed today? Dimensional analysis of course!

Print Datums to align to the CAD model


Introduction to Dimensional Analysis using CT Scanning Technology

At Nel Pretech, when it comes to CT Scanning we have many tools available to inspect your parts. CT Scanning offers some unique benefits, one being the speed at which we can acquire data. Once we have scanned your part and one of the engineers has written a dimensional analysis program, we can rapidly acquire the data necessary for further analysis. This is at a rate that is far faster than a CMM or Vision system, which is the technology traditionally used. Just to put it in perspective, if we were to measure this same exact part with CMM or a Vision system, this particular part (with the need for multiple setups, sectioning, and multiple programs) would take at least an hour to complete, per part. With the power of CT Scanning, we can run this entire part’s 75 dimensions in just a couple of minutes. So why is this so important? If you are ever in a situation where you need your data as quickly as possible (i.e. trying to beat a competitor to get your product or part to market), instead of waiting several days or even weeks, you can have a report in hand in a days.

Dimensional AnalysisThis segues perfectly into one of the other benefits of CT Scanning, which is that data is available to the customer before the dimensional results are even published! How great is that? This data usually comes in the form of a color map (which we showed you in the last article), so that your engineers can start to digest the current state of you part, as well as how it was manufactured, well before seeing the numerical results. Another great benefit is that data from CT Scanning lives on forever. For example, say you come back to us in 6 months saying you are having problems with this particular part that was measured last time and requested us to measure it again, looking at some trouble areas. We still will have the data and the measurement program and all we have to do is add a dimension onto that program. So for that same part we previously CT Scanned for you, we can take measurements on the problematic dimension without the need for another setup or a need for another CT Scan. In the time it took you to read this article, that is how long it takes to run the dimensional analysis program.