Size, Safety and Software: Driving Innovation in Nondestructive Testing of Electronics

The  future of the automotive industry depends on sustainability and rapidly changing innovation. The availability and adoption of advanced technology solutions is driving the majority of the underlying trends in the marketplace. The demand for electric vehicles, connected cars, mobility fleet sharing, onboard sensors for safety, and always-on connectedness requires new production techniques as well as a reliable method of inspection.
Today’s vehicles could be equipped with anywhere from 60 to 150 sensors to keep everything running the way it should. While automakers continue to adopt smart and autonomous driving technology for the vehicles they manufacture, the total number of sensors as well as their sophistication increases. These sensors, including the electronic and electromechanical components within them, control everything from performance characteristics, temperature inside the vehicle, driver alerts for forward collision warnings to automatic braking, self-parking and so much more.
Due to this rapid sophistication, the numbers of electronic and electromechanical components are not only increasing in number but also in variation. Differing size, complexity of design and weight make each sensor a unique inspection challenge. Each one must pass a failure analysis to ensure the safety and reliability of the part, critical in an industry like automotive where it can be the difference between life and death.
That’s why it’s so important to identify the best inspection technique for the highest quality and reliability. One of the best methods is nondestructive testing (NDT) with computed tomography (CT). In 2020, the automotive industry ushered in a new decade of innovation, and although the year was fraught with challenges due to the pandemic, the industry managed to persevere. The setbacks of 2020 also gave automakers the opportunity to slow down and reposition themselves as they emerge from the crisis on a new path towards electrification and connectivity. Some major areas of focus include safety, energy efficiency, buyers’ expectations and adherence to legislative regulations. This article addresses meeting and exceeding the levels of quality to enable growth in all these areas with a focus on utilizing new X-ray and CT tools for faster and more accurate results; NDT inspection is the key to success.

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Gina Naujokat