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Visit ibg at the Heat Treat Show

November 6-7 is when the Heat Treat Show will be held in Indianapolis, IN and ibg will be there in Booth 2024 displaying some of the many instruments and systems developed for automotive and other suppliers. These will be of particular interest to manufacturers of critical automotive parts for engine, valve, powertrain, braking and suspension systems, and others. Plus components such as bearings, forged and cast parts. Look for us at the show. We'll be there, on the lookout for you.

NDT Talk

by Bill Buschur - General Manager

NDT systems business continues to be strong

In spite of current business conditions in the U.S., ibg's business has continued to grow in 2001. We have added penetration into new areas of industry (for us) this year, with projects involving aerospace and some different automotive components. Meanwhile, the Asia business is rebounding and Europe looks stronger than expect­ed and also is growing in 2001.

You'll find a number of different applications covered in this issue, particularly shaft-related components such as output shafts, axle shafts, drive shafts and steering racks. Plus, there's a description of a new forged parts test system. Also, you'll find a compilation of the videos that are available from our ibg office that depict in motion a variety of actual component test systems.

Finally, I want to remind you of our show participation in the annual Heat Treat Show in Indianapolis. We'll have some interesting tests and systems for you to see at the two-day show, so stop by our booth (No. 2024). In addition, we are giving a technical paper on hardness testing of gears for transmissions. We look forward to answering any questions regarding eddy current components testing. We're the best source I know for answers.

Output shafts automatically tested with eddyliner® P4

Utilizing ibg's eddyliner® P4 tech­nology, a new system provides automatic 100% testing of output shafts at four locations for hardness, case depth and hardness runout. Installed following the induction hardening process, the system is fed by a roller conveyor. In the system, shafts are lifted up and clamped on the centers and test coils move automatically to each test position.

After testing, correctly-hardened parts are forwarded to the next processes, while incorrectly-hard­ened parts are rejected via a gravity chute to a locked container.

Non-destructive testing to verify correct material properties after heat treatment is a common task for ibg systems, including verification of correct hardness, case depth and hardness.

pattern (as in this application), case hardness, retained austenite, decarb, wrong material and other properties.

Automatic 100% testing for material properties is now often a mandatory process for component manufacturers. It often is required to assure zero defects in parts subjected to heat treating and alloying processes.

Shaft is fed into test system (from right) by gravity roller.

Test coils move to four test positions (indicated by arrows) over the shaft length.

Semi-automatic hardness testing on axle shafts performed by new ibg system

This system utilizes ibg's eddyliner® P16 to test at multiple locations over the entire induction-hardened zone for hardness, case depth and hard­ness runout, including case depth at the fillet area and case depth and hardness runout on the spline area. Axles are loaded by hand and

clamped on centers for testing. The test coils move automatically under PLC control to the positions selected for testing. Easily installed change parts mean a wide range of different axle sizes can be conveniently tested on the system.

This system is used on an audit basis and significantly reduces expenses-compared to destructive testing methods-while it increases quality. The machine can 100%-inspect suspect lots, and concept­ually it is easily automated to perform 100% testing of all axles produced.

ibg library includes many videos of component test systems

Available for presentation at your plant by an ibg representative, on request, is an extensive library of videos showing a variety of ibg test systems in operation. Following are examples of subjects in the videos:

  • Crack detection systems on: steering racks in line and in work cell, piston rods and strut rods, ball studs, tie rods, cylinder liner ID bore and faces, wheel hubs, spindles, piston pins, rollers for bearings, planetary pins, needle bearings and others.
  • Hardness and other material properties test systems on: pinion pins, needle bearings, steering racks, ball studs, ball bearings, CV joints, tripots, wheel hubs, spindles, rollers for bearings, piston pins, axle shafts, output shafts and others.

All are actual systems installed on factory floors and were designed for rugged use in three-shift factory-floor operations.

Testing drive shafts for hardness and case depth at up to 16 programmable positions

A semi-automatic system for testing inductively hardened drive shafts has been devised by ibg using an eddyliner® P16 instrument. The shafts are tested for hardness, hardness depth and hardness runout at up to 16 positions.

In this system, the test coil moves automatically to 16 programmable positions and tests each one at eight frequencies according to ibg's PMFT (Preventive Multi-Frequency Testing) protocol. Test parts are loaded manually. Changeover to different part types is accomplished easily using change parts stored in an integral chest of drawers.

The system is compact and movable, allowing usage at different work stationsin the factory Use of this system significantly reduces testing costs because destructive testing and evaluation is greatly reduced. This is especially beneficial with large parts that are expensive to cut, polish, etc. For example, the system tests a part in 12 seconds, so sampling rates can be increased and 100% testing can be done on suspect lots. It is simple for shop floor personnel to operate and maintain.

Forged parts are 100% tested for heat treatment and for wrong material

A semi-automatic structure test on forged parts for correct heat treatment has been developed by ibg using eddyliner® P technology. Included in the system are exchange parts, which provide simple, quick changeovers for the test parts, which vary considerably in size (from approximately 1.5" to 10" in length).

Parts are placed on a gravity chute from which they slide into test position. Then, depending on the sorting decision of the test instrument, each tested part is forwarded to an OK parts chute, via a sorting rocker, or is passed on to a locked container for incorrectly hardened or wrong material parts.

A forged part is about to enter (from right) the test area. Compact system has a very small footprint.

Rotating eddy current scanner inspects steering racks automatically for cracks, replacing magnetic particle inspection

A system for automatic crack inspection of hydro steering racks has been developed by ibg. Utilizing a two-channel eddydector® and rotating scanner (eddyscan H2/25) instrumentation, finish-ground or superfinished steering racks are tested along their entire sealed journal area for cracks and pores.

This photo shows overall system. Parts are fed from the right. The rotating scanner, eddyscan® H2/25, is in the middle. The sorting gate is beyond that. Test instrumentation is in a steel cabinet mounted on the steel frame.

With throughput of 200 mm/sec, the system is faster than the grinders and runs parts at approximately 600/hr. Non-contacting crack inspection is carried out as the racks are fed gently and precisely through the eddyscan® H2/25, which is rotating at approximately 6,000 rpm.

Synchronously driven rollers move racks through rotating test head.

Blanking out of the toothed area and piston location is automatic by means of an adjustable fork-type light barrier. Use of eddyscan® H2/25 with such high rotation (6,000 rpm) means that-even with 200 mm/sec, throughput-the whole surface area is scanned for cracks with high resolution and no skipped surface. For example, it would not be possible to rotate the steering racks at 6,000 rpm!

closeup shows steering rack exiting from rotating head.

Changeover from one part number to another is easily accomplished in under 10 minutes with use of exchange parts and the simple adjustment of test parameters.

These systems replace magnetic particle inspection on the steering racks, providing higher test resolution, much higher reliability (no human inspection) and lower overall