Does X-ray ADR lead to Higher Efficiency and Reliability in Inspection?

October 09, 2015

When computers take over for humans in most futuristic science fiction movies, the outcomes are usually bad for people. However, when it comes to automated defect recognition (ADR) in real world non-destructive testing, it can be a life saver.

According to the USA's Bureau of Labor Statistics employment of "quality control inspectors is projected to grow 6 percent from 2012 to 2022," which is much slower than the 11% projected for all occupations over the same period in the United States. This estimate accounts for a continuing need to have quality assurance testing across many industries, especially in pharmaceuticals and medical equipment and supplies, an aging workforce entering retirement, and technological advancements that reduce dependence on human evaluation.

This last trend is key: What kinds of benefits can be gained by operations that add X-ray ADR to their non-destructive test inspection process? First, a definition:

Automated defect recognition software augments standard inspection systems by processing manufactured part images and indicating potential defects based on predefined characterizations, measurements, and/or defect definition. Good software can then refer flagged images to an inspector who uses this information to make the final decision. ADR-enabled systems can also function successfully without inspector intervention.

There are three main reasons why automated defect recognition leads to higher efficiency and safety:

  • Provides more consistent and reliable evaluations by removing human variability
  • Reduces inspection time by replacing manual inspections with automatic or assisted evaluations; reduces cost per part
  • Helps inspectors to concentrate on the essential, thus reducing workload

This is an image of ADR with a filter applied. The filter was designed to find large flaws:

So, just how much benefit can be derived by incorporating ADR? What level of automation is possible? These systems can make an “accept” or “reject” decision based on the parameters supplied by a quality engineer, and are designed to enable repeatable, reliable, documented results independent of human inspection error. Getting to that point does take time. Even with a predictable ramp-up, cost saving can be significant. In some cases, organizations use a remotely stationed inspector who reviews all suspect images at a networked PC. This is especially cost-effective if the inspector is running several systems simultaneously. 

With the technology existing today, many businesses are demonstrating that ADR is not only here, but it can be realized in many more applications than ever before. X-ray ADR solutions are already available for multiple industry segments – automotive, aerospace, electronics, medical, food production, and more.

To learn more about ADR download our free guide, "How Automatic Defect Recognition Increases Reliability in X-ray Inspection." Click here:

Download the ADR Guide

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