QMT Features: October 2017
Clear view for X-ray accuracy
IBEX innovations is using a CNC vision system for precision measurement of medical components

Bowers Group has supplied IBEX Innovations with a Baty VuMaster CNC Vision System to ensure the accuracy of key components used in ground breaking X-Ray detector technology.

IBEX has developed and commercialised technology that can generate high sensitivity materials information from standard X-ray detectors. This means that in medical applications additional information can be obtained without subjecting the patient to a further dose of X-rays. Applications include bone mineral density measurements to better diagnose osteoporosis and it may potentially halve the X-ray dose used in the routine screening of women for breast cancer, potentially enabling the early detection of cancer cells.

The patented IBEX technology adds a precise three-dimensional structure, the IBEX Multi Absorption Plate (MAP), in front of an existing detector to modulate the X-ray beam in a predictable way over the area of a few pixels. This needs to be highly accurate, hence the need for a high precision measurement solution such as the Baty VuMaster CNC Vision System.

This encompasses a floating measuring camera that moves anywhere in the measuring range. The camera moves and the part stays still, so the set-up time and expense of work-holding devices are avoided.

IBEX Innovations’ Grants and Project Delivery Manager Kurt Scott said: “We are very pleased with the performance of the VuMaster. Although it has mainly been used for research and development so far, it’s a valuable piece of inspection kit. The features of the VuMaster are a perfect fit for our application, and the automated measurement process means that our lab technicians are free to get on with their work. The measurement process is fast and accurate, it really works for us.”

Using the The VuMaster, IBEX is able to ensure the accurate measurement of the MAPs, which are thoroughly inspected to ensure all dimensions are consistent and within the required tolerances.

The VuMaster can be operated manually or programmed to carry out inspection routines that can be recorded and stored. When played back, these ‘programs’ give a fully automatic (CNC) process, recreating the same lighting conditions and using ‘Video Edge Detection’ to automatically ’capture’ feature data. The result is fast, accurate, ‘non-contact’ measurement over a large measuring range, including automatically generated reports in the form of a fully dimensioned drawing of the measured part, and more detailed tabulated data report in pdf or xls format. SPC data analysis is also included in Fusion software, these reports can be stored locally or to the company network.

Kurt Scott continued: “We will make use of all of the features of the VuMaster, including the output reports, which are really useful for us to be able to prove the accuracy of the MAPs and meet the relevant ISO quality standards.”

Once the IBEX MAP is fitted in front of an existing X ray detector, advanced software algorithms then deconstruct the effect of the MAP to determine pixel by pixel spectral content. Using the additional spectral information returned by IBEX equipped detectors, the IBEX Software Toolkit independently classifies the material type and thickness of features.

By recovering spectral information normally lost in single images from indirect silicon line and area sensors, IBEX-equipped X-Ray detectors can effectively classify both materials and thickness changes in a sample.
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