1 Patent Research
Patent #: US20080031421

Title: Method for displacing a superimposed measuring surface on a sensor surface of an X-
ray detector and X-ray system for implementing said method

Figure 1.1: Method for displacing a superimposed measuring surface

This patent applies to C-type X-ray systems in which the X-ray source and detector face are
mounted on a bracket at a fixed distance and orientation relative to one another and the
bracket is able to move in a 3D space. The publication explains the process of moving the
X-ray recording bracket to examine the same point on a specimen that has been eccentrically
displaced by utilizing a secondary X-ray sub beam, as shown by Item 14 in Figure 2.5, and
comparing parallel distances in order to determine the required displacement to
automatically readjust the system. The concept is useful in repeatedly, consistently finding
the same point on the part. This is desirable in medical equipment and can possibly save
valuable time and effort during surgery procedures. The size and accuracy of the device will
undoubtedly conflict. Unfortunately, there would have to be multiple measuring surfaces,
each calculating the distance to the part, in order to assess the orientation of the part. The
design can reasonably readjust to a point, but doing so for the entire part is impossible.
Patent #: US20080226028

Title: Method and apparatus for automated, digital, radiographic inspection of aerospace

Figure 1.2: Method and apparatus for automated, digital, radiographic inspection of aerospace parts

This patent describes the current system used for X-ray inspection at VJ Technologies. The
c-arm that holds the flat panel X-ray detectors is capable of six independent axes of motion.
The advantages include the range of motion, breadth of measurement, and the ability to
capture images at any given angle. The problem is that the system is limited to the
capabilities of the computer system that controls it. A new system can be designed to read
the part orientation and adjust its orientation automatically with respect to the part. The
operator should only be required to handle the images; there should be no need to control
the arm manually.
Patent #: US20150168316

Title: Adjustable fixture structure for 3-dimensional X-ray computed tomography

Figure 1.3: Adjustable fixture structure for 3-dimensional X-ray computed tomography

This patent introduces a unique design to solve the problem with position. Although the
fixture can be adjusted to compensate for any discrepancies, the range of motion is limited.
Of the six axes of motion, this system can only perform four. The three translational axes of
motion are only capable of reaching small displacements of less than the diameter of the
fixture. Two rotational axes are incapable of motion. The fixture does not seem sturdy.
Depending on the size of the X-ray panels, the material used will need to be reinforced to
satisfy the moments created by the translation. The size and weight of the object of
inspection will be specific to the fixture element and must be able to mate with Item 34 in
Figure 2.7.
Patent #: US005715167

Title: Fixture for calibrated positioning of an object

Figure 1.4: Fixture for calibrated positioning of an object

This patent describes a fixture that is manually adjusted until the desired orientation is
achieved. The major advantages include X-ray transparent material used to create the
fixture as well as accurate coordination of the desired position. The disadvantage is the
time and effort used to secure and fasten the part where we want automation and efficiency.
The patent clearly prioritizes ease of access to the part during or between operations of the
X-ray. The procedure involves drilling the part at known locations on the surface, pinning
the part to the fixture, and measuring the distance between the stops. One stop can be
removed to rotate the part by a measurable angle. This design is clearly meant for thorough
X-ray testing of a part that must be recalibrated at several orientations in space. We are
looking for a more repeatable routine for an assembly line of cast parts.
1.2 User Needs Research
User needs are determined by directly contacting the customer, VJT to ensure Quality
Function Deployment (QFD). The student engineering team sent a set of survey questions via
email to Mr. Vrindesh Shetty, the engineering manager responsible for this project. Mr. Shetty’s
response, as shown in Appendix A, sets a number of performance requirements and design
constraints for the fixture design including required accuracy, casting sizes to be compatible with
the fixture, maximum load, temperature conditions, speed requirements for operation, casting
material, project scope, and budget limitations.
During a visit at the VJ corporate headquarters, the student engineering team was able to
observe the inspection floor and understand the problem in-person. Mr. Samir Anjelly, developer
and engineer from the VJT Mechanical Engineering team, described several products throughout
the tour and displayed cast parts from various automotive companies. We were able to realize the
variance up close and learn about subtleties in the inspection process that ruled out certain
conceptual design ideas. The student engineering team must continue to stay in contact with Mr.
Anjelly to monitor any changes in customer specifications throughout the project cycle.
Product Design Specifications

This device is to be designed for use by VJ Technologies in performing X-ray inspection
on manufactured parts. In order to properly detect imperfections in each casting sample, the part
must be positioned and orientated correctly between an X-ray source and a detector located
vertically above and below the inspection area, respectively, which is known as a C-type system.
While rotation of a sample about this vertical axis will not affect detection of casting defects, out-
of-plane tilting of the sample due to the variability in the processed surface may more frequently
cause problems in the inspection. VJ Technologies currently utilizes a manually-controlled large
robot arm with 6 DOF to reposition the X-ray source and detector relative to the samples, which
lay static on a turn table. The newly proposed design intends to modify the existing system by
introducing a sensing system that measures the degree of out of plane tilting in each sample.
Multiple pressure, laser, or ultrasonic sensors will be used to measure the weight distribution of a
target reference part, and then the robot arm system will match these parameters for any tested
samples of the same geometry. By operating on these principles, the device design should allow
for more accurate X-ray inspection, while placing reduced dependence on the operator.

2.1 Scope
The final design is to be compatible with any part or process per customer requirements, but
consideration will be limited to sand casted aluminum parts in this report. The system is required
to calculate placement misalignment for any geometry the end user seeks to image.

2.2 Assumptions
It is assumed that the device will be introduced to a pre-existing VJT C-type X-ray inspection
system as either a modification of the fixture table or an attachment to the cabinet walls. Therefore,
the sensing device will be designed separately from both the X-ray source and detector. A physical
casting sample or CAD model must also be available to calibrate the reference orientation before
inspecting other pieces.

2.3 Performance
The system shall measure out of plane misalignment of any part of a single geometry to
within 1 degree of the XY-plane.

Inspection zone must be able to fit castings of sizes up to 1200mm x 500mm x 400mm.

Vertical static design load is 3.5G, where the maximum weight is approximated to be
50 lb. This value accounts for shock loading as well.

Lateral static design load is 0.6G.
2.4 Constraints
The following design constraints will limit the design options:
The fixture must be constructed from X-ray compatible materials.

Fixture surfaces must be able to tolerate temperatures ranging from 60-200oF for a
service life of 10 years.

System must have access to 120 V 60 Hz AC power

Motors, motor-control apparatus, and motor branch-circuit conductors shall be
protected against overheating due to motor overloads or failure to start, and against
short-circuits or ground faults.

Wire and cables should not be placed in the paths of moving parts.

A product cost lower than $5000 is desired

2.5 User Interface
The system should have an interface to allow for two modes of operation. The reference
mode will be used to record the initial orientation after the camera has been adjusted to capture the
desired image. Then, the system will be set to a measuring mode, in which a new sample can be
placed on the fixture, then activated to be measure the part for misalignment with respect to the
reference orientation. This interface can be implemented using physical buttons, switches or
operate on a digital display in order to change between the two modes as well as interact within
each individual mode.
Reference Mode

The operator should be able to place the reference casting on the fixture surface and pin
the sample against two contact points. The operator can then use a joystick to position the robot
arm and X-ray path in a desired orientation relative to the placed casting. Another button should
then be pushed to save this reference orientation. After saving the necessary data, the reference
casting can then be safely removed.
Alternatively, it is desirable that the interface also allow for the CAD file of the casting
part to be loaded into the system. A view vector in space can then be defined as the selected camera
angle of the X-ray source and detector path relative to the CAD model part. After selecting this
vector, a button can be pressed to confirm the selection and save the reference orientation to the
Measuring Mode

Upon switching to the measuring mode, the operator must be able to place a new casting
in any position on the fixture surface. Upon activation of another button or switch, the fixture
system should measure relevant data on the new piece, and calculate misalignment relative to the
reference orientation to within 1 degree. The same button or switch can then be activated again to
reset the sensor system while keeping the reference orientation data and allow for a new casting to
be mounted.
2.6 Maintenance
The design should comply with the following:
Sensors should be accessible within five minutes for replacement in the event of defect
that cannot be resolved through simple recalibration.

Ball screws or any other mechanism used to achieve motion should be accessible within
one minute when light lubrication is required.

2.7 Deleted or Changed Requirements

Table 2.1: Changes to Requirements
Req. # Requirement Comments Priority
3.3.1 The system share orientate any Deleted: System only 1 10/26/16
parts of a single geometry such needs to handle the
that all images captured by the X- measurement of
ray system should appear as if the misalignment due to tilting.
object is placed repeatedly and Customer has stated that
accurately in the same 3D space re-orientating of a part is no
to within 1 degree of the XY-plane longer required.
3.3.2 Total throughput including Deleted: Customer has 2 10/26/16
orientating and imaging per part stated that total throughput
must not exceed 20 seconds of time will not be required for
original placement of part. the measurement proof of

2.8 Standards Compliance

The design must comply with the following standards and regulations:
ISO 3057:1998 Non-destructive testing – Metallographic replica techniques of surface

ISO 3059:2012 Non-destructive testing – Viewing conditions

CFR Title 21 Sec. 1020.40 Cabinet X-ray systems

OSHA 1910.305 Wiring methods, components, and equipment for general use

OSHA 1910.219 Mechanical power-transmission apparatus – Machinery and Machine

Furthermore, the following patents, summarized in Appendix B, shall not be breached:
S20080031421 Method for Displacing a Superimposed Measuring Surface on a Sensor
Surface of an X-ray Detector and X-ray System for Implementing Said Method

US20080226028 Method and Apparatus for Automated, Digital, Radiographic
Inspection of Aerospace Parts

US20150168316 Adjustable Fixture Structure for 3-Dimensional X-ray Computed

US005715167 Fixture for Calibrated Positioning of an Object
The goal of the senior design course is to prepare you for engineering practice through a major
design experience based on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier course and incorporating
appropriate engineering standards and multiple realistic constraints. At the end of this chapter,
please complete the following table.

Table 2.2: Design Experience Information
Project Title & Area Fixture for Orientating Sand Cast
Parts for X-ray Inspection
Thermal Systems?
Mechanical System? X
Economic X
Manufacturability X
Health and Safety X
Other X
Concept Design

3.1 Overview
The Product Design Specification dictates the concept design process. The concept design starts
with a number of initial ideas. These ideas are evaluated and then narrowed down to the concept
that will perform best for the customer. The iterative process contains many loops as concepts are
generated and evaluated using the PDS criteria. The position-sensing apparatus for VJ
Technologies has strict evaluation criteria, which allows the reduction process to select the best
concept design from the generated ideas. The accuracy and speed of the final product is the most
important performance criteria for the customer so the evaluation must focus on these metrics.

3.2 Concept Generation
Critical Product Design Specifications

3.3.1 The system shall measure out of plane misalignment of any part of a single geometry
to within 1 degree of the XY-plane.

3.3.2 Total throughput including measuring misalignment and calculating orientation each
part must not exceed 20 seconds of original placement of part.

3.4.1 The fixture must be constructed from X-ray compatible materials.

3.4.2 Fixture surfaces must be able to tolerate temperatures ranging from 60-200oF for a
service life of 10 years.

3.4.6 A product cost lower than $5000 is desired.

3.5 Ease of use and user interface.
Concept 1: Kinect Image Processor on Vertical Mount

Leonardo Rubio has proposed this idea.
Utilizing a Kinect camera fixed above the part in question in order to determine its
orientation. This method requires Kinect image processing software in order to determine
the orientation of the part in 3D space. Through program calculation, the part’s orientation
can be determined and fed back to the robot controller to adjust the X-ray head position.
This system does not require the operator to move the Kinect camera, nor is there room for
a misalignment in the positioning of the fixture. The camera can get the entire part view
from its fixed spot. The major drawback to utilizing the Kinect camera involves the
software development. It poses a challenge in this respect and therefore has an increased
level of difficulty. In addition, the accuracy of the Kinect camera may not be sufficient for
this application.

Figure 3.1: Hand sketch of the Kinect system mounted above X-ray compatible table holding fixed
Concept 2: Ultrasonic Sensor on XY Table

Jonathon Chu has proposed this idea.
Utilizing an ultrasonic sensor fixed to an XY table above the X-ray table. Stepper
motors will jog the ultrasonic sensor in the X and Y-directions in the plane parallel
to the X-ray table. By manually setting positions of the datum points on the part, the
sensor will feed back distances for at least three datum points in order to calculate the
plane angle of the part. This data is sent back to the robot controller to adjust the X-
ray head position. This system is versatile in the sense that the XY jogging can
accurately position the sensor above the datum points. This requires predetermination
of these locations either manually or by utilizing 3D/2D CAD modeling software.
The ultrasonic sensor may also not have a high enough resolution depending on how
far above the part the sensor is required to be.

Figure 3.2: Hand sketch of the ultrasonic sensor housings on an XY table above X-ray compatible
table holding fixed part.
Concept 3: Pressure Sensors on Four Corners of Bed

Tony Chen has proposed this idea.
By utilizing pressure sensors in the corners of the X-ray table, the orientation of the
part can be determined. Depending on the way the part is oriented on the table, the four
sensors will feed back data relating to the slope of the table. This data, combined with
information obtained through a CAD software, can be used to determine the orientation of
the part on the table. This data will be sent to the robot controller in order to adjust the X-
ray head position. This system requires little hardware and therefore would be an
inexpensive design alternative. The major drawback is that the accuracy of this method is
very low. The center of gravity of the part will determine the values read by each of the
pressure sensors; however, these four values alone may not be enough to determine the
orientation of the part accurately.

Figure 3.3: Hand sketch of the X-ray compatible bed with pressure sensors at each corner.
Concept 4: Laser Sensor Mounted to Sweeping Servo

Dylan Magee has proposed this idea.
By utilizing a laser sensor, distances to the datum surface on the part are determined.
The laser is to be mounted to a fixture, which can jog in the X-direction. Also mounted to
the laser housing will be a servo motor, which can allow the laser to sweep back and forth
by an angle Φ, eliminating the need for jogging in the Y-direction. A cosine-corrector will
provide the vertical distances when the laser has been swept. Datum locations will be
manually set and the fixture will move the laser sensor into place to determine the distance
to at least three datum points. These distances determine a plane angle, which is sent back to
the robot controller to adjust the X-ray head. This system is most accurate with the laser
sensor. The downsides are that it requires a lot of hardware to build the supporting frame and
fixture, and the sweep angle from the servo motor may not be able to provide an effective
vantage to the datum locations.

Figure 3.4: Hand sketch of laser sensor mounted to servo motor above X-ray compatible table holding
fixed part.
Concept 5: Laser Sensor on XY Table

Full group collaborated to propose this idea.
Similar in application to Concept 4 except instead of a sweeping servo, the fixture
can translate in the Y-direction. Datum locations will be manually set and the fixture will
move the laser sensor into place to determine the distance to at least three datum points.
These distances determine a plane angle, which is sent back to the robot controller to adjust
the X-ray head. This system is most accurate with the laser sensor. The main drawback is
that it requires a lot of hardware to build the XY table.

Figure 3.5: CAD model of the laser sensor mounted to an XY table above X-ray compatible table
holding fixed part.
Concept 7: Laser Shadow Technique

Idea was suggested by Professor Jon Longtin
A shadow cast by an object that obstructs light from a laser can produce incredibly
accurate outlines that can be projected onto a screen with little to no diffraction. The shape
of this outline may therefore offer useful information regarding the orientation of the part
relative to the laser source. One factor that make the group hesitant in choosing this concept
is that it is difficult to set up a test

Figure 3.6: Laser Shadow Technique