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Bar Inspection Systems

SDI-5270 Automated Ultrasonic Heavy Duty Bar Inspection System

SDI-5270 System Overview

This specification is for an automatic, single or multi channel, high-resolution ultrasonic test system for heavy bar inspection. The equipment components include a heavy duty precision bridge mounted on a stainless steel immersion tank fitted with the SDI-1335 or 1336 rotator and search tube equipped with the selected gimbal assembly.

The equipment is designed to operate with any system level ultrasonic instrumentation. It is designed to achieve the accuracy and resolution required at high throughput speeds in a harsh operating environment.

SDI have supplied systems of this type for testing product with diameters ranging from 2 in (75mm) to 16 in (355 mm). with lengths up to 35ft. (8m)

Note: This specification is for the standard SDI-5270 Bar Inspection System and is for information only. The details may differ significantly from those proposed for specific customer requirements. The specification provided in the Statement of Compliance and formal quotation supersede this document.

Mechanical Configuration

The system consists of floor mounted heavy gauge stainless steel tank with a re-enforced base suitable for supporting rotators up to 35ft (10m) long. A variety of transducer holders and bar followers are available.

These range from a single channel dual axis motorized gimbal to a multi-channel bar follower where the transducers are mounted in-line in a housing which rides in contact with the bar. The bar to be tested is loaded onto the rollers and the transducer/follower assembly positioned above it.

As the bar is rotated, the transducer assembly traverses the entire length of the bar. All test parameters, including rotator speed, helix pitch etc are controlled by the SDI-1830-UTB system controller. The time to test a bar is dependent on the test standard defect size and determined by the bar diameter.

The 1335 and 1336 series rotators consist of separate drive and idler units providing, in most cases, two point support for the bar under test. This provides greater tolerance to slightly bent bars than the multiple roller designs.

The drives are installed in oil filled underwater housings. Both the drive and idler stations can be relocated to any point along tracks mounted to the support frame in the bottom of the tank. The modular design allows rapid reconfiguration of the system to accommodate different lengths and diameters of bar.

The 1335 is the heavy duty unit for bars weighing up to 16000#. The 1336 is for bars up to 8000# and has adjustable idler height for accommodating bars with varying diameter.

Electrical Configuration

The electrical configuration describes the components and interconnections for the motion control, drive, instrumentation and data acquisition sub systems. The majority of the components are housed in the system console. All system components meet applicable US and International safety codes. Apart from the very low current ultrasonic signals, no voltages greater than 70 volts are present anywhere on the system outside the control console. The electrical layout is shown below:


SDI has installed heavy duty bar systems with instrumentation from numerous sources. Multi-zone systems have been installed with proprietary GE multi-channel flaw detectors. Other systems have Krautkramer USPC 2100 instrumentation. The recommended instrumentation is the SDI-2460 flaw detector.

This high speed, high-resolution instrument is designed for industrial on-line applications where features such as the interface gate synchronization eliminate variations due to surface conditions and bar flutter.

The unit can have up to eight sequenced channels each consisting of a pulser/receiver module. Each channel will accommodate four gate modules with rear panel outputs and front panel LED displays indicating the gate condition.

For each channel a flaw gate LED will be illuminated if an echo appears in the gate above the pre-set thresholds. Thickness modules are available if required.

System Control

All system functions will be controlled and monitored by the SDI-1830-UTB system control module. This is an integrated suite of software modules running on a rack mount industrial P.C. with an optional touch screen display.

There are four main functions: - 1) Instrument set-up and display, 2) System control, 3) Operator input, and 4) Data logging. The screens can be custom designed for particular applications. Typical screens for each of these functions are shown below. These could be reconfigured as required.

This screen allows each instrument channel to be set up and directs the video and gate outputs from the selected channel to the display scope. At any time the operator can view the A-scan display of any channel by touching that channel number on the screen. All set-ups can be stored and recalled with a file name. Other functions controlled include:

  • Instrument set-up; gain, gate position and gate threshold.
  • Instrument response monitoring - either the alarm condition, the signal amplitude or the time of flight.
  • Multi-channel sequencing to prevent cross talk by sequencing pulsing, gate position and gate width on each pulse.
  • Transducer manipulation where motorized transducer positioners are used the positions of each transducer for each material, type and size can be stored as part of the test parameter set-up. (option)

This is the main screen for controlling system configuration parameters and defect location markers when supplied. The inspection helix pitch is controlled as determined by the required defect detection level. The system controller controls the drive speed and helix angle of the system. For more automated systems this module receives input from various sensors on the system and instrumentation and determines a sequence of events based on these inputs. The precise sensor input is determined by the type of test being performed and the options installed. Custom inputs can be accommodated for special functions.

For the variable input levels, both digital and analog, internal comparator logic allows the operator to set high and low thresholds for the quantity being measured. When these thresholds are exceeded the required response can be programmed. An example of this device would be the marking of regions where different types of defect occur.

Other parameters monitored are rotational speed and linear velocity of the bridge. Part diameter can be entered manually or automatically measured.

There are a wide range of programmable controller responses, examples of these are 1) delayed response, for the action of down stream devices, such as paint markers or sorting stations, and 2) defect indication suppression. This is required at or near the end of a bar. It also provides direct operator jog control allowing the system to be reversed to investigate defect indications.

System Control

The system is supplied with the latest SDI-WinScan multi-tasking acquisition and analysis package designed for high throughput production applications. A technical description of the features and benefits of this high performance industrial package is attached. Some of the key features are:

  • High-speed pan and zoom through entire data file.
  • High speed, high quality 1:1 plotting of all or selected areas of the data file.
  • Scan comments stored with the data file
  • Multi-channel operation
  • True multi-tasking to allow scanning, plotting and viewing of stored files to be performed simultaneously without a reduction in speed
  • Numerous analysis features such as histograms, in dB and linear scales, cluster analysis providing automatic defect identification, image smoothing and filtering with operator defined kernels

Another time saving feature of the fully integrated motion control and data acquisition package is the ability to perform mini-scans. Areas of interest can be tagged on the data file and the system will automatically drive back to them and re-scan the area using selected defect evaluation scan parameters such as full waveform capture.


The system will be fully assembled and made operational at the SDI facility in Camarillo for customer buy off. The Acceptance Test Procedure (ATP) will be carried out using the test samples supplied by the customer. SDI will address any items requiring rectification prior to authorization for shipment by the customer representative. Upon receiving approval, SDI will dismantle, crate and ship the system. SDI will carry out site preparation prior to the arrival of the system. The system will then be assembled and made operational on site. The ATP will then be repeated. The system timeline is attached.


SDI provide a comprehensive training program including 5 days training of personnel in the operation and routine maintenance of this equipment. This training will take place either at the SDI facility or at the customer site after installation.

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