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MAXIpart™ – Universal Inspection Systems

MAXIpart™ Universal is a highly versatile radioscopic inspection system for spot tests and inspection of small series of a variety of test samples, including light metal castings, steel components, plastics, ceramics and special alloys.

The design of the system allows great flexibility in applications like production, incoming inspection, failure analysis or research and development.

MAXIpart™ Universal is available in either manual or semiautomatic configurations.

Jacobsen Röntgentechnik GmbH, Germany, a manufacturer of custom x-ray inspection equipment, designed and built a new x-ray machine for large alloy castings for a German customer. The flexibility of the MAXIpart™ Universal system in accommodating small alloy castings (30mm (d) x 100 mm (h)) to very large alloy castings (1000mm (d) x 2300mm (h)) makes it a one of a kind on the market today. With Jacobsen’s x-ray machines, customers get the competitive edge and state of the art x-ray machine that can cut 30% off of their inspection time.

A global provider of custom x-ray inspection equipment, Jacobsen builds each machine for a specific application. Jacobsen manufactures manual, semi and fully automatic x-ray inspection systems. Jacobsen believes that the intelligent use of x-ray inspection technology improves the quality of castings and decreases the amount of rework and production delays. The customer’s cost in terms of time and material is dramatically reduced when x-ray inspection equipment is part of the production line. The designed-to-order systems are built for heavy duty 24/7 x-ray applications with a 99% uptime and provide years of trouble-free operation.

The MAXIpart™ Universal machine is comprised of a C-arm equipped with four axes servo, a part-rotating table with three or four axes servo and a servo-driven sliding door. Accurate servo positioning with high resolution Lenze drives facilitates detailed inspection of complex part geometries.
The semi-automatic MAXIpart™ Universal machine allows the operator to place an inspection sample, i.e. aluminum-alloy high-speed train gearbox housing, manually by crane onto the part-rotating table which moves outside of the x-ray enclosure into part loading position. The part-rotating table is belt driven to overcome large inertial forces and is equipped with interchangeable x-ray transparent plates that hold the part in position from the top and/or from the bottom. Available table and fixture kits allow x-rays to pass through the testing sample without creating shadows that disturb the inspection.

When part loading is complete, the operator uses a touch-screen interface to initiate the pre-programmed part inspection cycle. The rotating table with the part on it tilts into the x-ray enclosure and the servo-driven sliding door closes. The machine’s PC-based controls assign the actual part to a pre-programmed type and downloads all part data. The table with the part moves into its inspection position. The C-arm manipulator with image intensifier or flat panel detector and the x-ray tube with shutter, diaphragm and filter move into inspection position. The machine controls all movements of the part as well as other pre-programmed parameters like kV, mA’s, image intensifier input field magnification and image processing parameters. A CCD camera inside the x-ray cabinet is used for visual control of the part movements.

The x-ray images are captured and examined by an operator on a high resolution medical screen, according to quality control specifications. In the case that a pre-programmed position presents an x-ray picture that requires more investigation the operator can skip to “MANUAL INSPECTION” and move the part using joysticks. After proper investigation the operator can exit “MANUAL INSPECTION” and return to semi-automated mode. When inspection is complete, the operator presses the “ACCEPT” or “REJECT” button on the ergonomic HMI console. The sliding door opens automatically and the rotation table swings outside of the x-ray enclosure to a pre-programmed unloading position. The operator then unloads the part from the table.

The semi-automated MAXIpart™ Universal system can be upgraded to MAXIpart™ Universal ADR, a fully automatic x-ray inspection system. Instead of an operator handling the part, a robot automatically loads/unloads the part from the conveyor. A machine vision system (Automatic Part Identification System) identifies the part.  The machine controls the download of all part data including the quality control specifications. In the inspection area, programmed test positions are passed through and the radioscopic X-ray images are stored on the high-speed PC work station. A separate file is created for each part while the radioscopy X-ray images of each part are saved. The saved digital x-ray images are evaluated by PARTinspector™ automatic defect recognition software and compared to the customer’s specification. If the part passes, “ACCEPT” is then stamped with the serial number received from the factory main server. If the part fails, “REJECT” is then spray-painted in red. The robot takes the part from the table places it on the “ACCEPT” or “REJECT” conveyor. Using MAXIpart™ Universal ADR, the totally unattended 24/7 x-ray inspection of large parts is possible.

Given that both inspection speed and versatility are necessary, the MAXIpart™ Universal ADR machine incorporates five inspection modes: manual, teach-in, semi-automated, fully automated and set-up. These operation modes are password protected for operator safety and test integrity.

Safety of the operator is of highest priority for Jacobsen machinery. MAXIpart™ Universal uses a Pilz PNOZmulti modular safety system to monitor all safety functions of the x-ray equipment.  The highest level of safety is accomplished with dedicated safety processor approved by BG (Berufsgenossenschaft) German safety certification agency.

Jacobsen design and manufactures x-ray systems that inspect light-alloy wheels, knuckles, steering housings, engine blocks, pistons, engine covers, exhaust manifolds, transmission housings, tires, airbag sensors, micro switches, honeycomb panels, turbine blades, spiral and length welded steel pipes, nuclear fuel elements (rods), food glass jars, etc.

Specialized attachments are available in addition to the standard rotation table.  These part related attachments allow precise inspection of specific parts, such as wheels.