X-ray inspection is a widely adapted technology for quality control of industrial products in many sectors. In particular, safety relevant parts in the aerospace, automotive, and oil and gas sectors are subject to exhaustive tests. A broad and sometimes confusing palette of international, national, and company specific quality standards and requirements has to be closely followed to pass the demanding audits. Additional uncertainty is evolving from the constant technology shift to digital radiography. The quality and variety of digital detector arrays (DDAs) is increasing at a faster pace than ever, allowing their usage in more and more applications. At the same time as quality requirements increase, companies have to maintain a high cost-efficiency to remain competitive in a globalized world. In many cases the only solution to this dilemma is digitizing and streamlining the inspection process through modern digital radiography technology. Therefore, companies and nondestructive testing (NDT) managers all around the world are analyzing available solutions, which often poses a long-term capital investment. This article gives a brief understanding about the applications, capabilities, certification, and efficiency of complex X-ray systems and applications to inform NDT engineers and managers about the decision process in establishment of new equipment and processes. To address all points, this article will be published in three issues of The NDT Technician. Each part has a distinct focus while building on each other: Part 1: Introduction, technology, and performance metrics. Part 2: Conception, system design, and investment justification. Part 3: Industry characteristics, summary, and practical examples. Please note that the first part is highly focused on the underlying technical principles and commercial aspects.
ASTM, ASTM E 2736, Standard Guide for Digital Detector Array Radiology, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, 2010.
DIN, DIN EN 12543, Non-destructive Testing – Characteristics of Focal Spots in Industrial X-ray Systems for use in Non-destructive Testing, German Institute for Standardization, Berlin, Germany, 2011.
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VisiConsult, “Automated Defect Recognition,” www.visiconsult.de/technology/automated-defect-recognition, VisiConsult X-ray Systems & Solutions, GmbH, 2016a.
VisiConsult, “Computed Tomography,” www.visiconsult.de/technology/computed-tomography, VisiConsult X-ray Systems & Solutions, GmbH, 2016b.
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