X-Ray Inspection

X-ray inspection encompasses all automated methods used to inspect a test item’s internal features. There are a multitude of inspection and non-destructive testing applications and their requirements differ widely. Some examples include:

  • Finding foreign bodies or flaws in food
  • Finding defects in electronic circuitry
  • Identifying the location of bones in meat and fish products to facilitate automatic processing
  • Sorting mineral ore according to valuable content, e.g. diamonds
  • Finding foreign bodies in pharmaceutical products
  • Locating defects in automotive or aerospace parts

A common thread runs through all these applications: items must be X-rayed and real-time decisions must be made based on the results. Inspection machines typically operate around the clock. Downtime is unacceptable. As a result, X-ray detectors must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Cost-effectiveness: not just the detector’s price, but the overall cost of operation during its life cycle should be considered.
  • High-quality images to reliably detect flaws, while not rejecting good products
  • Detectors need speeds that match high-throughput production lines
  • Detector response should be stable to enable long-term operation

Hybrid photon counting (HPC) detectors, with their new spectral photon counting technology, address all these challenges. These detectors incorporate the following:

  • Multiple energy thresholds for material discrimination methods to increase contrast between weakly absorbing materials
  • Noise-free readout for high-quality images at low X-ray dose
  • Extremely stable detector response
  • Radiation-hardened design for long detector life time
  • Readout rate up to kHz and unparalleled signal/noise ratio for high-speed inspection methods

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