Bolton Works LLC is pitching CAT scan technology for inspecting and analyzing very small injection molded plastic parts and assemblies with complex geometries.
Industrial CAT scanners rotate an object under a stationary X-ray. A detector measures the attenuation of the X-ray beams after they pass through the object. The measurements are reconstructed into a cross-sectional digital image.
There is no need to program a CAT scanner, as opposed to a coordinate-measuring machine. Both the inside and outside of the part is captured, so porosity and other unintended voids show up.
The Vernon, Conn., company presented a case study of a part for Parker Hannifin's Pneutronics division. Parker Hannifin wanted a nondestructive way to analyze a valve, which included a glass-filled-polymer valve housing, a stainless-steel core and actuator and a plunger with a silicone rubber seal.
Bolton Works brings together virtual assembly, using scanned components, and computer-aided-design models to solve design and manufacturing problems at an early stage. A key to the process is PolyWorks software from InnovMetric, which compares dimensions to a CAD model and displays the deviations.
Because the stainless steel, rubber and plastics, and copper wire all have a different density, the CT-scanner had to use different energy levels for each component. So Bolton Works did a “virtual assembly” with PolyWorks to put the components together into a final image.
Tel. (860) 646-3948, fax (860) 646-9006, e-mail [email protected]