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2016

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Apr 05, 2016

Shimadzu's New inspeXio SMX-225CT FPD HR Microfocus X-Ray CT System Achieves an Industry Leading Wide Field of View and High Resolution

Shimadzu inspeXio SMX-225CT FPD HR Microfocus X-Ray CT System

Shimadzu Corporation announces today the release of its inspeXio SMX-225CT FPD HR microfocus X-ray CT system. Equipped with a large high-resolution flat panel detector, this system is capable of obtaining 3D images with an industry-leading wide imaging field of view and high resolution.

In a microfocus X-ray CT system, a computer processes X-ray fluoroscopic images of the inspection target (sample), which rotates on the sample stage placed between the microfocus X-ray generator and detector, enabling the internal structure of the sample to be observed in 3D. It is used mainly for research and development, examinations, and failure analysis with respect to automotive parts, electronic equipment, and lithium ion batteries. The Shimadzu inspeXio series had the top share of the Japanese market for these systems in terms of the number of units sold in FY 2014 and FY 2015 (according to an in-house investigation).

This system incorporates a large high-resolution flat panel detector, which achieves a wide field of view with excellent resolution. It also features a new X-ray generator, manufactured in-house and with approximately 3x the X-ray generation efficiency of our other models, as well as new easily configured software. As a result, in addition to internal observations of aluminum die cast parts, the system easily obtains the internal structure and cross-sectional images of composite resin materials, such as previously hard-to-observe glass fiber reinforced plastics (GFRP) and carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP).

Background to the Development

In the automotive industry and the electronics industry, the demand for information communications technologies and information processing as typified by IoT*1 and M2M*2 is increasing. In addition, the miniaturization and high-level integration of various parts and devices is advancing. As a result, needs have expanded with regards to more detailed examinations and failure analysis. In the automotive industry in particular, research and development is advancing regarding new lightweight materials. As a result, there is now a strong need for fast, highly detailed observations, with a single system, regarding samples consisting of a wide range of materials including metals and resins, and a variety of sizes, ranging from electronic parts to engine components.

In addition, Shimadzu microfocus X-ray CT systems have been introduced for applications involving nondestructive observations of minute interior regions of bones and tissues formed from iPS cells. If the development of regenerative medicine and the commercialization of medical 3D printers continues to advance, the introduction of these systems is expected to expand even further.
In response to such diversification of samples, Shimadzu is marketing its flagship model, the inspeXio SMX-225CT FPD HR. With a few simple procedures, this system can easily perform 3D imaging with an industry-leading wide imaging field of view and high resolution.

*1 IoT: Abbreviation for the "Internet of Things." It refers to the technology to connect various objects to the Internet, and this state of connectivity.
*2 M2M: Abbreviation for "Machine to Machine." It refers to the technology to connect machinery via a network, and this state of connectivity.

Features

1. Obtains Highly Detailed, High Contrast Cross-Sectional Images

The inspeXio SMX-225CT FPD HR is equipped with a flat panel detector with approximately 4x the surface area of conventional Shimadzu products, as well as an X-ray generator, manufactured in-house and with approximately 3x the X-ray generation efficiency of our other models. With these features, this system achieves an input resolution equivalent to an industry-leading maximum of 14 million pixels. This input resolution is at least 8x better than Shimadzu's top-ranked models to date. In addition to enabling one-step imaging of large samples, the system realizes highly detailed high-contrast observations of minute regions.

2. Enlarged Maximum Imaging Region and Maximum Sample Size

In comparison with Shimadzu's top-ranked models to date, the maximum imaging region has been enlarged by approximately 60%, enabling imaging directly with a field of view up to 400 mm in diameter. In addition, the maximum sample weight has been increased from 9 kg to 12 kg.

3. Software Operability and Rapidity

The newly developed control software enables quick processing of large quantities of data. The software for this new system can process data at up to 50x faster than our other products, so data can be confirmed rapidly after imaging. In addition, it was conventionally the operator's task to consider the X-ray irradiation conditions, integration time, and number of captured images in accordance with the material of the sample. However, using the newly provided fully automatic CT scanning function, the optimal imaging conditions are set automatically based solely on the selection of sample material and the image quality, further heightening the ease of use.

Image: Sample imaging data (left: aluminum die cast defect analysis; right: GFRP fiber orientation analysis)

Image: Sample imaging data (left: aluminum die cast defect analysis; right: GFRP fiber orientation analysis)

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