THIS WEEK IN QUALITY: 4 Non-Destructive Testing Tools

New products from Airbus, Nikon, X-Rite and ZEISS.

A Non-Destructive Testing Tool from Airbus?

The Line Tool inspection unit. (Image courtesy of Airbus.)

The Line Tool inspection unit. (Image courtesy of Airbus.)

Airbus’ Line Tool is an ultrasound system used to inspect an A350 jetliner in the event of impact shocks.

These can occur at airports if, for example, catering trucks, baggage loaders or other vehicles make hard contact with an aircraft.

The Line Tool is designed to offer a simple and cost-effective solution for on-site inspections and can be utilized by airline personnel who are not experts in composite materials.

In addition, it employs the non-destructive testing (NDT) principle that allows damage assessments to be made without affecting the fuselage or wing area that is examined.

“The Line Tool delivers an automatic diagnosis, which means that airlines can carry out their own tests straight away,” explained Patrick Métayer, the head of non-destructive testing at Airbus.

TESTIA—the Airbus Group’s non-destructive testing and training subsidiary—has been involved in the product’s industrialization for Airbus Customer Services.

To further pursue non-destructive inspection concepts for airlines, Airbus is developing a similar solution for metallic airframes. Called the Clad Tool, this follow-on device already is applied internally in Airbus final assembly line applications and will be offered to customers beginning this summer.

For more information, visit the Airbus website.

Nikon Ceramic Bridge Coordinate Measuring Machines

The ALTERA 7.5.5 and the ALTERA+ 10.10.8 CMMs. (Image courtesy of Nikon Metrology.)

The ALTERA 7.5.5 and the ALTERA+ 10.10.8 CMMs. (Image courtesy of Nikon Metrology.)

Nikon Metrology has extended its ceramic bridge coordinate measuring machine (CMM) range with the ALTERA+ and larger size ALTERA models.

ALTERA is designed to provide superior accuracy across a wide range of metrology applications. Probing support is extended with REVO 5-axis scanning technology to improve CMM productivity for complex tactile inspection applications.

ALTERA’s ceramic bridge, with greater resistance to temperature shifts, makes it suitable for metrology applications in a host of manufacturing and shop floor environments.

The stress-free horizontal ceramic beam and advanced multi-point bearings are designed to counter any negative effect on accuracy when using long probes.

ALTERA CMMs support a variety of tactile and non-contact probing and software options.

Multi-sensor technology extends the ALTERA capability to measuring parts which are large or small, 2D or 3D, hard or soft and prismatic or free-form. With almost 30 different models and 7 bridge sizes, the ALTERA offers solutions for an array of applications and requirements.

The extended sizes range from the smallest measuring volume (7.7.5) to the largest (60.20.15), of the standard sizes available.

Software options consist of CAMIO and CMM-Manager as well as MODUS to operate the Renishaw REVO-2 probe head.

Other notable features of the ALTERA include:

  • Folding guideway covers to protect the air bearing guideways from airborne contaminates such as dust and oil
  • Pneumatic, self-levelling vibration isolators for optimum performance in areas subject to high levels of low frequency vibration
  • Automation capability for manual or fully automated FMS production cells can integrate machine tools, transfer systems and material handling

The ALTERA’s accuracy is fully ISO 10360 compliant and comes with Nikon Metrology’s 10-year original accuracy guarantee.

For more information, visit the Nikon Metrology website.


X-Rite Non-Contact Spectrophotometer

The X-Rite VS450. (Image courtesy of X-Rite.)

The X-Rite VS450. (Image courtesy of X-Rite.)

The X-Rite VS450 is a 45°/0° non-contact benchtop spectrophotometer designed for color and gloss measurement on wet and dry samples, such as paints, plastics and powders.

It features an integrated gloss sensor for relative gloss measurements. When used with X-Rite’s iMatch formulation software, the VS450 also provides wet to dry correlation to improve quality control and formulation throughput.

Other notable features of the VS450 include:

  • Line of Site enables technicians to quickly and easily position the sample for measurement
  • Active Visual Targeting projects a prominent illuminated target ring onto the sample for improved accuracy and precision
  • Dual measurement spot sizes, 6 mm (¼”) and 12 mm (½”)
  • Integrated gloss sensor for gloss measurements
  • Improved measurement capabilities on odd shaped and bulky samples

X-Rite will be featuring the VS450 at the American Coatings Show, April 12-14 in Indianapolis, IN.

For more information, visit the X-Rite website.

ZEISS Compact 3D Sensor



ZEISS has introduced the newest member of its compact 3D sensor family: the ZEISS COMET L3D 2.

With a range of working distances from 45-500 mm, the ZEISS COMET L3D 2 sensor can operate even in cramped conditions. It has a fast warm-up mode, allowing the operator to concentrate fully on the measuring task.

The COMET L3D 2 also offers several options for creating an integrated measurement system, including rotary tables and tripods. 

The compact and lightweight sensor system can be transported between application sites without difficulty. Moreover, on-site calibration enables changing the measuring field by swapping the lenses.

Applications for the ZEISS COMET L3D 2 include inspection, tool manufacture and mold making, design, rapid manufacturing, reverse engineering as well as archeology and 3D capturing of historical objects.

With high light intensity and a 2448×2050 pixel array, the ZEISS COMET L3D 2 allows significant flexibility when it comes to the application site.

“Even in difficult ambient conditions, the ZEISS COMET L3D 2 delivers precise 3D data [and] automatically recognizes changes in vibration and exposure,” explained Marcus Steinbichler, CEO of Carl Zeiss Optotechnik GmbH. “Moreover, the enormous light yield and the distinctively high measuring speed ensure reliable data capture on extremely different object surfaces.”

COMET models with 1M, 2M, 5M, 8M and 16M pixel arrays are immediately available through ZEISS direct sales and authorized business partners.

For more information, visit the ZEISS Metrology website.

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