A Guide To X-Ray Inspection And Its Benefits For Businesses

Published November 23, 2023

As a business, it’s so important that every product you sell is of the highest standard in order to ensure your customers are happy and they keep coming back. Part of this process is quality control and carefully inspecting every individual product during the manufacturing stage.

Of course, this is a very time-consuming task, and as products and devices get even smaller, businesses must find new ways to check their goods. Not only that, but if you’re producing goods with serval internal parts, it’s important to find a way to check the parts that you can’t see.

What’s more, the increased density of these goods and complex placement of circuit boards and other electric devices means traditional methods are no longer enough to ensure top-quality products.

That’s where X-ray inspection comes in and in this guide, we’re going to take a look at how this is used and how this can benefit your business.

Where did X-ray technology come from?

Believe it or not, the X-ray has been around since 1895 and was invented by German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. Well, we say invented by it was actually discovered by accident in the first instance.

Since then, it has become an integral part of many industries from healthcare to the food and beverage industry, and within those, it has a wide range of applications. In particular, it became popular in the electronics and manufacturing industry when the ball grid array (BGA) was invented.

In order to understand why X-ray is becoming the preferred method of inspection for so many, it’s important to get a better understanding of how it works.

How does X-ray inspection work?

All X-ray inspection devices will share three of the same basic characteristics: the X-ray tube, the detector and the platform.

The X-ray tube produces photons and these pass through the product being scanned and are collected on the other side by the detector. This captures and collects the X-ray photons and converts them into an image.

The final element is the platform. This will move the product in several directions, allowing it to be inspected from different angles and magnitudes to ensure a thorough check.

The weight, density and thickness of a product will impact how the X-ray photons pass through them. As a result, heavier items can accumulate more photons and are, therefore, easier to capture on image. On the other hand, lighter items are more transparent and harder to X-ray.

What industries use X-rays?

As we’ve said, this technique is used across a range of industries and we’re going to share just a few examples of some of the most common ways X-ray inspection is used.

For one thing, this is used a lot in the manufacturing industry, in particular, in the electronics sector. It can also be used for industrial radiography to check and test items like oil pipelines, boilers and vehicle parts.

Another important use for X-ray inspection is in the food and beverage industry. As food and drink is manufactured, these inspection systems can help to maintain strict quality control standards. The items will be scanned to look for harmful foreign objects, such as plastic and metal.

Why is X-ray beneficial for businesses?

There is a reason (well, several actually) why so many businesses choose X-ray inspection as a way of ensuring top-quality goods. In this final section, we’re going to share five ways that businesses can benefit from inspecting their products in this way.

  1. It’s a form of non-destructive testing (NDT)

One of the top reasons that so many favour X-ray inspection is that it is a non-destructive testing (NDT) method.

Because the X-rays can penetrate the products without having to cause physical damage, this means that each item that is tested is still usable and able to be sold. It would be no good to damage products in order to test whether they’re good quality or not.

It also means that the products are not at risk of being damaged in any way as the X-rays simply pass through them. This stops any items from becoming weaker or inaccurate during the testing process, ensuring everything can still be sold.

  1. It makes mass production possible

Imagine a world where every product you made had to be individually assessed by hand. It would take a lot longer to get your goods on the shelves, plus you run the risk of human error.

Whereas, X-ray inspection makes it possible for goods to be tested on a larger scale, ensuring reliable and accurate results without the need for too much human intervention. That way, businesses can fulfil bigger orders in a shorter time frame.

  1. This information can be shared

For those selling their goods to clients or larger organisations, they can provide more in-depth insights about the goods they are selling. For example, being able to share images of inconsistencies, as well as details of fixes or the number of faulty products.

Having access to this information can actually help to increase sales, showcasing the quality of your products where required.

  1. Increase performance ratios

Poor or incorrect products will have a shorter lifecycle and could even lead to more of these goods being thrown away or returned by customers. This can be very costly to a business both financially and to its reputation.

Not only that, but failure to meet industrial standards and quality requirements can land a business in hot water with regulatory bodies.

But, when using X-ray inspection, businesses can get more feedback early on to detect and fix any issues that become apparent.

This ensures that no materials or products are damaged or wasted. It also means that all standards will be met, increasing performance ratios and increasing profits as a result.

  1. You can ensure top-quality products

Last but certainly not least, as we’ve covered on multiple occasions, using X-ray inspection ensures that you only sell the highest quality products. Something which is crucial for both businesses and their customers alike.

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