TubeInspect

for high-precision tube ID and OD metrology

Novacam TubeInspect system with a 4-axis inspection station

Novacam TubeInspect with a 4-axis inspection station

TubeInspect is a modular, non-contact optical measurement system that provides micron-precision 3D measurements of tube or cylinder interiors and exteriors. Its small-diameter side-looking probe reaches inside tubes to acquire their complete inside geometry. The TubeInspect

  • Can measure every dimensional detail of tube ID and OD, including undercuts, chamfers, threads, rifling, o-ring grooves, splines, lands, edge breaks
  • Enables fully configurable automated digital inspection
  • Can detects micron-size dimensional or surface defects such as porosities, cracks, and scratches
  • Is able to measure surface roughness as well as thickness of semi-transparent coatings.

 

Video

TubeInspect in action

In this video, the TubeInspect scans both the inside and the outside of a metal barrel that is fixed on a spinning chuck.

Note: If the tube/cylinder/bore you need to inspect cannot be spun as in this video, no problem – simply check out Novacam’s BoreInspect system that features our rotational scanner.

Overview

Measurements

  • Optical, non-contact, non-destructive
  • 2D and 3D surface and subsurface characterization; diameter, circularity, cylindricity, runout, taper, distortion, straightness
  • High-aspect-ratio features: undercuts, threads, grooves, cross-holes
  • Sub-micron resolution and excellent sensitivity and measurement repeatability

Imaging options

  • Line profiles
  • 3D images of internal and external surfaces
  • Height and intensity images of “unfolded” surfaces
  • Cross-sections of semi-transparent materials
  • Deviation maps

Detail of the inner surface of a rifle barrel

3D image of tube inner surface

Benefits

  • Easily integrated in lab, shop, or fully-automated inspection setups. 
  • Reduces inspection cycle time: up to 30,000 measurements per second are obtained, each representing a 3D topographic point
  • Flexible options for evaluating inspected parts: measured features can be compared to CAD drawings or to a user-defined set of locations, nominals, and tolerances
  • Simple scan definition and execution: The scanning sequence is defined once by teaching the system with a joystick. The scanning sequence can later be executed with the push of a button.
  • Time-saving automated reporting: Following a scan, go-no-go reports can be produced, and results logged in a manner compatible with industry-standard mechanisms
  • Easy part handling: The part fixture is selected to make handling easy and to ensure good repeatability
  • Adaptable to harsh environments
  • No consumables are needed: Optical probes do not come in contact with the measured samples, and therefore do not wear out like contact probes. Accidental damage is rare−probes are designed to be rugged.

 

Applications

3D metrology and imaging of tubes for industry and R&D

  • Quality control
  • Automated 3D production inspection, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T)
  • Statistical process control (SPC)
  • Research and development (R&D) inspection
  • Reverse engineering and part-to-CAD
  • Profilometry in hostile environments: radioactive, cryogenic, very hot

Typical measurements on tube ID/OD

  • Full geometry, diameter, circularity, cylindricity, taper, runout, etc.
  • Deviation from CAD model, GD&T
  • High-aspect-ratio features: undercuts, steps, O-ring grooves, threads, channels, sharp edges, steep slopes, and cross-holes
  • Volume loss: surface wear or other damage
  • Defects: corrosion, pitting, cracking, denting, scratching, porosity
  • Surface roughness: linear or area roughness
  • Thickness of semi-transparent coating: single-layer or multilayer films

Examples of tube inspection applications

Measurement, visualization, and inspection of ID and OD surfaces of:

  • Various tubes and pipes in the aerospace and automotive industries
  • Examples from automotive: drive shafts, axles, threads, splines, drive teeth
  • Vials, cylindrical containers in the biomedical and chemical sectors
  • Cylindrical devices in the medical sector
  • Rifle bores and rifle chambers
  • Tubular parts in high-precision machining, drilling, injection molding, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, casting, extrusion dies
  • Composite tubes and rods

Gallery

Gallery

Metal tube (rifle barrel) being installed in a chuck. The TubeInspect small-diameter probe is visible next to the operator's shoulder.

Metal tube (rifle barrel) being installed in a chuck. In this setup, the non-contact optical probe (visible next to the operator’s shoulder), moves vertically along the z-axis.

Descending probe acquiring the ID of the spinning tube (rifle barrel)

Descending probe acquiring the ID of the spinning tube

Descending probe acquiring the OD of the spinning tube (rifle barrel)

Descending probe acquiring the OD of the spinning tube

Detail on the inside surface of a rifle barrel and chamber

Detail view of the inside surface of a rifle barrel and chamber

Tube inspection - porosities on the inside of a rifle barrel

The user can zoom in to inspect porosities on the inside surface

The data acquired by TubeInspect can be viewed and analyzed using any GD&T software (like PolyWorks) or any integrated 3rd party CAD software package.

The measurement data acquired can be viewed and analyzed using any GD&T software (like PolyWorks) or any integrated 3rd party CAD software package.

Analysis results: the user defines the measurement data to be collected – roughness, groove depth/width, pitch, straightness, thread characteristics, etc.

Three-dimensional surface analysis can include 3D deviation maps

Three-dimensional surface analysis can include 3D deviation maps

A 3D deviation map showing rifling inside a rifle barrel

A 3D deviation map showing the rifling inside a rifle barrel

Diameter deviation map for a rifle barrel (5.8-mm-diameter)

Diameter deviation map for a rifle barrel (5.8-mm-diameter)

The TubeInspect can also capture the "unfolded" tube ID surface as a height image (top) and/or an intensity image (bottom). For this 5.8-mm-diameter 148-cm-long tube, the proportions of the inner surface were adjusted for easier viewing.

The TubeInspect can also capture the “unfolded” tube ID surface as a height image (top) and/or an intensity image (bottom). For this 5.8-mm-diameter 148-cm-long tube, the proportions of the inner surface were adjusted for easier viewing.

Software

Metrology Software

Data acquisition

The TubeInspect system comes with Novacam high-performance data acquisition software, which is

  • PC, Windows®-based
  • User-friendly for scan programming and visualization

An application programming interface (API) is available for system integrators and OEMs. With the API, a wide variety of online and offline applications can be accommodated.

Novacam data acquisition software

 

Data analysis and 3D imaging

The following options are available for data analysis and 3D imaging:

  • Data output options: 3D point cloud, height image, intensity image, roughness, diameter, STL file format
  • Integrated turnkey solution with PolyWorks InspectorTM
  • Output is exportable to turnkey integrated 3rd party CAD packages selected by the client:
    • CAD/CAM software: PolyWorks, Geomagic, SolidWorks, Creo Elements/Pro (Pro/ENGINEER), etc.
    • Imaging, visualization and numerical analysis software: ImageJ, Octave, MatLab, Mathematica, IDL, IGOR Pro
    • Surface and roughness analysis software
  • Exported data can be integrated with data loggers and SPC software

Deviation map of the inside surface of a rifle barrel acquired with TubeInspect

Deviation map of the inside surface of a tube

Option: Novacam volume loss application

Novacam Volume Loss application processes the acquired surface dimensional data to determine volume loss from abrasion and wear:

  • with micron precision
  • on samples and components of various shapes and sizes, including inner and outer surfaces of tubes

Novacam Volume Loss Calculation Application

Novacam Volume Loss Application – click for closeup

Novacam Volume Loss Application: scan control user interface

Novacam Volume Loss Application – click for closeup

Components

Fiber-based optical probes

Standard probes

Standard fiber-optic probes for TubeInspect come in the following sizes:

  • Standard 18-mm-diameter side-looking (90º)
  • Standard small-diameter side-looking (90º) with the following diameters:
    • 4.6 mm
    • 3.05 mm
    • 2.4 mm
    • 1.05 mm

Custom probes

Novacam designs and builds custom probes upon request. Custom probes for the TubeInspect can be:

  • Extra-small, with diameters as small as 0.9 mm
  • Extra-long to reach deeper into long tubes and deep bores
  • Extra-rugged for high temperatures and extreme environments

Standard small-diameter side-looking probe with a 4.6-mm diameter

Standard small-diameter side-looking probe with a 4.6-mm diameter

Lab inspection stations

For lab and QA applications, lab inspection stations typically include:

  • An inspection station with probe displacement in 2, 3 or 4 axes
  • Motorized spinning fixture to hold the inspected tube.

Granite tables are optionally available and recommended for some applications.

Lab inspection stations are configured to suit the tube inspection application. Notably, the TubeInspect is available in both a top-probe and a bottom-probe configuration.
Top-probe configuration:

Novacam TubeInspect setup with top probe: probe enters the tube from above

Probe enters the spinning tube from above

Bottom-probe configuration:

Novacam TubeInspect setup with bottom probe: probe enters the spinning tube from below

Probe enters the spinning tube from below(click to expand)

Automation and inline industrial inspection

Probes may be integrated with 3rd party CMMs (coordinate-measuring machines), CNC (computer numerical control) machines, or any robots.

Optical switches for use with multiple probes

Optical switches are available for multiplexing up to 8 probes to a single Microcam interferometer.

Specifications

System specifications

The TubeInspect is a modular system. Its inspection capabilities are determined jointly by the underlying profilometer (either Microcam-3D or Microcam-4D interferometer) and the selected optical probe(s).

1) Microcam models

Microcam-3D

    provides the greatest imaging depth with excellent sensitivity at affordable price.

Microcam-4D

    provides the highest acquisition rate and very high sensitivity.

Custom solutions are also available.

ModelMicrocam-3DMicrocam-4D
Technologylow-coherence interferometry
Light wavelength1310 nm, infrared
Non-contact measurements
Depth of fielddepends on selected probe parameters,
see Parameter selection for standard probes table below
Scanning depth range options*3.5 mm7 mm5 mm
Acquisition (A-scan) rate2.10 kHz1.05 kHz30 kHz
Axial (Z-axis) resolution< 0.5 µm
Light spot size (Lateral [XY-axis] resolution)4.1 - 146 µm, depends on selected probe parameters,
see Parameter selection for standard probes table below
Standoff distance1 - 100 mm for standard probes
up to 1 m for non-standard probes
Repeatability< 1 µm
Thickness measurements
Thickness measurement range (in Air, IR = 1.0)10 µm - 3.5 mm 10 µm - 7 mm 20 µm - 5 mm
Typical materials for thickness measurementsglass, polymers, multi-layer films, coatings, plastics, silicone, liquids, specular or non-specular
Sample reflectivity0.1 - 100%
* To further increase maximum scanning depth, a mechanical displacement axis is available.

 

2) Standard probe characteristics

Parameter Selection for Standard Probes
 Focal length (mm)
 12.719.030.050.075.0
Aperture (mm)1 mmLight spot size (µm)24.737.058.497.4146.0
Depth of field (µm)739165441241145525773
2.4 mmLight spot size (µm)8.813.120.734.551.7
Depth of field (µm)9320751714373233
4 mmLight spot size (µm)6.49.515.025.137.6
Depth of field (µm)491102747601710
7.6 mmLight spot size (µm)-4.16.510.916.3
Depth of field (µm)-2152143322
* Non-standard probes can be designed and built upon request.

Standard system configuration

A standard configuration of the TubeInspect includes:

  • Microcam-3D interferometer
  • 1 standard 4.6 mm-diameter side-looking probe (for inspection of bores up to 660 mm (26″) deep)
  • 3-axis inspection station and 3-axis motion controller
  • 1 chuck with motor and motion controller for rotating the inspected tube
  • PC with Novacam acquisition software
  • 1 year warranty

Instrument safety

  • Microcam systems feature an in-probe red laser pointer (650 nm wavelength) for alignment purposes.
  • Microcam systems are Class 1M Laser products, with < 20 mW of infrared and < 5 mW of in-probe laser pointer.
MicroCam non-contact profilometers are Class 1M laser products

 

  • For any questions or for assistance with configuring your optimal TubeInspect system, please Contact us.