Combining speed, automation and precision, Teratonics Stripp Control is exploiting, for the first time, the advantages of Terahertz 3D pulsed imaging on production lines.
Seeing through matter... This is the solution proposed by Teratonics to the industry for the reduction of its non-quality costs and for the optimization of its manufacturing processes. Teratonics Stripp Control can be directly deployed on a production line to perform 3D measurements and detect defects in 100% of production, in a fully automated way, in support of Industry 4.0.
It reveals the invisible inside many electrically non-conductive materials, such as plastics, ceramics, paper or semiconductors... Components can be controlled in their pure form, but also in a heterogeneous state, such as a plastic foam or a composite. Assemblies in which at least one of the components is non-conductive can be analyzed, in particular at the assembly interface (bonding, welding, etc.) or in the volume of non-conductive materials. In addition, the powerful depth resolution gives access to the thickness with micrometric precision, which is perfectly suited for the analysis of many coatings, with the possibility of solving individual thicknesses in multilayer coatings.
Thanks to the very immediate feedback on production, bad parts can be sorted to be discarded or reworked. Often, the production process itself can be optimized to avoid the manufacture of bad parts and reduce the consumption of raw materials, energy and time. All this helps to reduce overall costs.
This transformation of quality assurance and quality control is made possible by Teratonics' internationally patented technology. It uses the Terahertz frequency range (THz) – the last part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is exploited in industry – and therefore allows flexible non-contact analysis, safe for health, without the need for radiation protection. Its ultra-fast detection, unique on the market, reduces the measurement time of a pulse by a factor of about 10,000,000 compared to the state of the art of pulsed THz. 3D imaging of internal structures, also allowing accurate measurement of thicknesses and a high probability of defect detection, becomes possible in the production cycle time of many industries. This breakthrough THz system is complemented by proprietary software that drives the automated scanning movement and data processing.
As recently demonstrated publicly at the industrial site of Teratonics partner Wirth Werkzeugbau GmbH, the system enables rapid robotic scanning of complex 3D objects from their CAD files, with a scanning speed of around 1000 cm²/min and more. According to Teratonics, it is the fastest pulsed THz imaging solution on the market and the only one that allows online control providing imaging with deep resolution on large parts. For many applications, this imaging capability is a unique feature not only in the THz market but also in the NDT market in general. This measurement method is insensitive to ambient conditions such as temperature, light or vibration, and the speed of moving parts. Data processing makes it possible to generate images and automatically detect defects such as, for example, thickness variations and bubbles.
Currently, with a device working in pairs with a robot and automated data analysis – without an active operator – a holistic and therefore economical solution is proposed to support the transformation of quality control demanded by industry and society. Its impact can go far beyond reducing the direct costs of quality and can have positive effects on the environment. The use cases are varied and come from sectors such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, medical devices, luxury goods... Reducing raw materials such as plastics, paints and solvents through process control is of course advantageous from an industrial point of view, because costs are reduced, but also because less material has to be moved and recycled. This is particularly interesting in the transport industries where energy can be saved. Other examples may affect the health, safety and environment of the company: automated control on a production line can replace visual / manual control by an operator, which is a very monotonous and tiring job, and a source of human error. It can also speed up production or maintenance and repair operations in industries like aerospace, where the inevitable stage of control is sometimes the bottleneck of cycle time. In addition, used as a laboratory device, this technology opens the door to innovative scientific and technological developments offering a new way of analyzing samples, without prior cutting or preparation of samples, also on large parts with three-dimensional geometry.
Teratonics' pulsed THz approach provides quick access to the 3D structure of objects, with accurate thickness measurement and a high probability of defect detection. 3D imaging of internal structures thus becomes possible in the production cycle time of many industries.
Teratonics participates in "Control – International Trade Fair for Quality Assurance", from 3 to 6 May 2022, in Stuttgart (stand 3413).
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Photo: Teratonics Stripp Control system implemented on an injection molding machine for the control of plastic parts, immediately after their manufacture.