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Automated full matrix capture for industrial processes

Brown, Roy H. and Pierce, S. Gareth and Collison, Ian and Dutton, Ben and Dziewierz, Jerzy and Jackson, Joseph and Lardner, Timothy and MacLeod, Charles and Morozov, Maxim (2015) Automated full matrix capture for industrial processes. In: 41st Annual Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation. AIP Conference Proceedings, pp. 1967-1976. ISBN 978-0-7354-1292-7

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Abstract

Full matrix capture (FMC) ultrasound can be used to generate a permanent re-focusable record of data describing the geometry of a part; a valuable asset for an inspection process. FMC is a desirable acquisition mode for automated scanning of complex geometries, as it allows compensation for surface shape in post processing and application of the total focusing method. However, automating the delivery of such FMC inspection remains a significant challenge for real industrial processes due to the high data overhead associated with the ultrasonic acquisition. The benefits of NDE delivery using six-axis industrial robots are well versed when considering complex inspection geometries, but such an approach brings additional challenges to scanning speed and positional accuracy when combined with FMC inspection. This study outlines steps taken to optimize the scanning speed and data management of a process to scan the diffusion bonded membrane of a titanium test plate. A system combining a KUKA robotic arm and a reconfigurable FMC phased array controller is presented. The speed and data implications of different scanning methods are compared, and the impacts on data visualization quality are discussed with reference to this study. For the 0.5 m2 sample considered, typical acquisitions of 18 TB/m2 were measured for a triple back wall FMC acquisition, illustrating the challenge of combining high data throughput with acceptable scanning speeds.