SDI-5530 Vertical Flat Through Transmission Inspection System


This specification details the SDI-5530 through transmission system suitable for a variety of high performance C-scan applications. The system is designed for the production inspection of advanced composite and metal bonded components.

The system employs modules used throughout SDI’s product range. It incorporates the MasterScan motion control and WinScan data acquisition packages, which are among the most powerful in the industry, together with SDI’s ultra low noise servo drive components.

All modules used in the system are designed and manufactured in-house by SDI in their facility in Camarillo, CA.

The design features a rigid aluminum heavy box section bridge, supported by a static gantry. The bridge carries the X axis carriage with a Motorized Z axis yoke and transducer squirter assembly.

Drive components are housed in a standalone control console, together with the motion control and acquisition computer.

Apart from the extremely low current ultrasonic signals, only low voltage drive voltages are present on the bridge and gantry making the system design extremely safe.

The axes of motion provided on the system are shown in the table below:

The system is available with a multi-channel option providing up to four squirters on both arms. The optional multichannel SDI acquisition software uses data swathing to combine the data from multiple transducers into a single file.

The system can be made to automatically perform a defect evaluation mini-scan, with full waveform capture for every indication meeting the defect criteria used in the automatic cluster analysis.


The major mechanical components of the SDI-5530 are the gantry, upper bridge, vertical yoke and squirter housing. The squirter housing is fitted with a manually adjustable gimbal for transducer alignment. The system is also equipped with a sump and recirculation system.



The support gantry is fabricated from heavy steel box section calculated to provide the required rigidity and stability for the large accelerating mass of the yoke. The gantry is fitted with leveling jack screws and guide bars. Mounted to the tracks are the linear ways and heavy duty belt drive components to provide precise positioning and encoder feedback.

All drives are closed loop d.c. servos with encoders/resolvers. Parts are supported in the system by a parts fixture with vertical wire grid. The small diameter wires used are tensioned and will support components with loads up to 20 lbs. For heavier components, custom supports can be manufactured.



The Z axis yoke is fabricated from aluminum tube mouted to extruded aluminum vertical member with precision ways. The design incorporates methods of adjusting the orthogonality and alignment of the X, and Z axes.



The manual gimbals provide 10 degrees of adjustment in both the A and B axes. There is also lateral adjustment provided for precise alignment. The transducers are attached to the gimbals by a UHF mount.


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 mobile control console can be positioned anywhere within reasonable distance from the system. Current SDI systems have similar remote consoles up to 80 ft. from the scanner. It is fitted with a 19 inch monitor. Additional monitors can be linked in the Windows operating environment to allow windows to be dragged from one screen to the next, or expanded over two screens.

The console requires a single 110V 60 Amp single phase supply. The console houses all the computing, drive and instrumentation components required to operate the system. The enclosure can be fitted with an optional filtration and refrigeration unit.

The electrical layout is shown below. The multi-channel option is shown to identify the additional components required for multi-channel operation.



All SDI systems are able to operate with a variety of flaw detectors. Systems have been installed using instruments supplied by all major instrument manufacturers. In addition, SDI manufactures their own range of high performance flaw detectors designed specifically for systems applications.

A wide range of auxiliary instrumentation is also available. This includes pre-amplifiers, log amplifiers, tone burst pulsers, high frequency pulser/receivers and others.


The motion control is provided by the SDI-1830 MasterScan advanced controller. Designed specifically for ultrasonic applications, it features ultrasonic functional axes and scripted scan plans. This means that complex motion control and acquisition activities unique to ultrasonic inspection techniques are available to the operator through simple commands using ultrasonic terminology. The operator can construct complex scans by chaining together individual motion commands, scan plans and instrument set-ups. Full details of MasterScan are given in the data sheet. Some of the key features applicable to this system are:

  • Import/Export of scan plans to CAD programs
  • Integrated instrument control coordinated with the motion along a scan trajectory
  • Scripted scan plans
  • Chained scans
  • Stop on defect
  • Return to defect
  • Display of scan progress and time to finish
  • VData swathing to create a single file from multiple transducers


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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