for high-precision tube ID and OD metrology
Overview of features and benefits
- Easily integrated in lab, shop, or fully-automated inspection setups.
- Reduces inspection cycle time: up to 100,000 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.
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
- Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO)
- Profilometry in hostile environments: radioactive, cryogenic, very hot
Typical measurements on tube ID/OD
- Full 3D 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, pipes, and shafts in the aerospace and automotive industries
- Example from aerospace: jet engine shaft MRO (maintenance, repair and operations)
- Examples from automotive: drive shafts, axles, threads, splines, gears, 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
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.
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
Microcam interferometer models
|Light wavelength||1310 nm, infrared|
|Interferometer enclosure||4U rackable enclosure|
445 (W) x 445 (D) x 178 (H) mm
|Depth of field||depends on selected probe parameters, |
see table "Standard probe characteristics" above
|Scanning depth range options *||3.5 mm||7 mm||5 mm|
|Acquisition (A-scan) rate||2.10 kHz||1.05 kHz||100 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 table "Standard probe characteristics" above
|Standoff distance||1 - 100 mm for standard probes|
up to 1 m for non-standard probes
|Repeatability||< 1 µm|
|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 measurements||glass, polymers, multi-layer films, coatings, plastics, silicone, liquids, specular or non-specular|
|Sample reflectivity||0.1 - 100%|
|*To further increase maximum scanning depth, a mechanical displacement axis is available.|
3) Inspection station
Inspection station configurations are application-dependent and can be supplied by Novacam. Fixturing for the part is not included.
|Lab and shop floor inspection||Automation and inline industrial inspection|
|These inspection stations typically include probe displacement in 2, 3 or 4 axes, and a motorized spinning fixture for the inspected tube. Motion controllers are included. |
Granite tables are optionally available and recommended for some applications.
|The TubeInspect optical probes may be integrated with third-party CMMs (coordinate-measuring machines), CNC (computer numerical control) machines, or any robots (as a robot end-effector) to support high-volume continuous flow manufacturing.|
Two examples of inspection station configurations
4) PC, monitor and joystick
The TubeInspect system comes with a PC (with Novacam acquisition software), a monitor, mouse, and joystick. Polyworks InspectorTM metrology software for full GD&T inspection of parts can be purchased with the system. Custom data processing, reporting and defect detection programs can also be written based on client requirements.See “Software” tab above for more detail.
5) Hardware for multiplexing support (optional)
Optical switches are available for multiplexing up to 8 probes to a single Microcam interferometer.
How long does it take to scan a tube with TubeInspect?
- Scan time depends on the tube size, tube length, what aspects of the tube you need to measure, and the rotational speed of the stage (chuck) holding the tube. The TubeInspect (with Microcam-4D) acquires up to 100,000 measurements per second, which represents roughly 1 million 3D topography points in 33 seconds. Standard speed of part rotation is 2 rotations per second. The speed can be higher depending on the application (e.g., depending on tube size, weight, and related safety factors). The user selects the rotation speed, the probe acquisition speed, and the pitch of the spiral, which together determine the number of points that will be acquired and the time the scan will take. In general, dimensional measurements (for GD&T) require the least amount of points and can be achieved the fastest. Roughness callouts may take 3 to 4 seconds each. Defect detection requires the most amount of points, of course depending on the size of defect you are looking for. For help with estimating the time required to scan your tubes or cylinders, please contact us.
Can TubeInspect measure internal dimensions of cavities that are not tubular in shape?
- Yes, depending on the geometry of the cavity. Note that if the workpiece containing the cavity cannot be rotated (i.e., it needs to remain stationary), you may want to consider using the BoreInspect system, which comes with a rotational scanner, which quickly spins a side-looking optical probe.
Is the TubeInspect system easy to use?
- Yes. The scanning sequence (recipe) can be programmed with a joystick and can be recalled at later times with the push of a button.
Is the system able to work right on production floor?
- Yes. The system is ideally suited to both lab and shop floor inspection. Inline and robot setups are an option. The non-contact probes can even be configured to work in hostile environments such as extremely hot, cryogenic, or radioactive.
Can TubeInspect give us automated measurements and reports?
I noticed the tube spins around the probe. Can any runout of the chuck affect the scan data?
- No, runout is not an issue with TubeInspect. Gauge rings are used to calibrate the system and validate the results. The system provides micron-level diameter measurement repeatability.
Does the TubeInspect probe have to be on the centerline of the tube when measuring the tube ID?
- In most cases, the probe is not positioned at the center of the rotated tube (see top view diagram).
The probe simply needs to be lowered into the tube at a constant distance from the tube’s ID surface.