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Nikon Expands X-Ray CT System Range With VOXLS 30 Series

Three new models for nondestructive inspection

Published: Tuesday, November 28, 2023 - 12:00

(Nikon: Brighton, MI) -- Nikon Metrology-Americas has launched three new models in its VOXLS range of X-ray CT (computed tomography) systems for nondestructive inspection. The introduction of the 30 Series fills a specific need in the industry for users looking for an automation-ready system with the versatility to meet a wide range of industrial applications.

The high-performance VOXLS 30 C 225, 30 C 320, and 30 C 450 models now available to order have maximum source energies of 225 kV, 320 kV, and 450 kV, respectively, for examining parts of various densities and sizes. They also have a more compact footprint than Nikon’s 40 Series while maintaining advanced features traditionally exclusive to larger, more expensive solutions.

The systems are designed for automated operations across the production sector, especially for quality control in factories producing lithium-ion batteries or additively manufactured components. The automotive, aerospace, medical, and pharmaceutical industries are additional target markets, and many applications will also be found in materials science, natural sciences, and academia.

At the core of this series is a metrology-grade, granite-based manipulator coupled with rigid steel towers, which provides a thermally stable and solid construction. High-precision motors, ballscrew drives, and encoders ensure precise positioning and accurate movement of all axes, including the synchronous vertical motion of the X-ray sources and detectors.

The 30 Series complements Nikon’s flagship VOXLS 40 C 450, a larger-capacity model launched in early 2023. Both 40 Series and 30 Series systems have industry-leading design. Operation is further enhanced by the manufacturer’s extensive CT acquisition technologies and reconstruction algorithms, including X.Tend Helical CT, Offset.CT, Panel Shift, Pixel Split CT, Half.Turn CT, and Tilted CT.

Andrew Mathers, Nikon’s X-ray and CT product manager, says, “Automation at multiple levels is a major focus of the new 30 Series, from Batch CT providing efficiency gains for technicians to full factory integration with robotic handling and automated inspection via Nikon’s OPC UA interface.”

To further facilitate automation, the systems feature motorized bi-parting radiation doors that open and close in less than 5 seconds, behind which the cabinet interior can accommodate items up to 1,000 mm in diameter by 1,370 mm tall. The 30 Series’ 225kV model offers an industry-leading scan volume within its size class, while all models offer impressive maximum scanning volumes of more than 600 mm diameter by more than one meter high. The systems are powered by Nikon’s proprietary X-ray source technology, including its unique 225kV Rotating.Target 2.0 and 450kV reflection target.

Mathers says, “Nikon’s Rotating.Target technology provides continuous operation even at 450 W, three times greater power density than conventional reflection targets, and significantly higher X-ray photon flux. All these factors add up to dramatically faster scan times and better signal-to-noise ratio without loss of resolution.”

The 30 Series cabinets use a manipulator-interlocked, glass outer door to give the operator unrivaled visibility into the enclosure when the inner radiation safety doors are open. This design enables confident positioning of the scan object, minimizing the risk of collision with the X-ray source and detector while at the same time providing a physical safety barrier between the operator and the moving manipulator. Multiple internal high-resolution video cameras provide an excellent view, even with the inner radiation safety doors shut and X-rays on.

Mathers says, “As manufacturing requirements become ever more stringent, the capabilities and throughput of inspection solutions must continue to rise to meet the demand and help manufacturers realize the ultimate goal of zero-defect parts. The VOXLS 30 Series range not only enables companies to meet their current inspection needs but will also drive the design and development of higher-quality products.”

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