Automated inspection processes require traceability of the individual parts, which have to be identifiable at all times, since component information is only available in digital systems. This can be achieved by barcodes, DMC codes or by RFID chips. VisiConsult has conducted a study to examine whether X-rays can change the stored information or even damage the chips.

RFID chips are small data carries on which information is stored. In the production of various components in the automotive and aerospace sectors, such as casting, they are used to get a step closer to paperless work. All information about a casting that was previously included as a document can now be stored on RFID chips that are connected to part immediately after casting. This is done either by riveting or by sticking it to the hot material itself. To avoid defects in the castings, these are tested by X-ray technology for inclusions, irregularities or defects. Thus, the RFID chips are inevitably exposed to X-rays. In the series of experiments described below, it is determined whether the data carries are damaged by the X-ray. VisiConsult X-ray systems & Solutions GmbH has carried out test series in cooperation with an aluminum foundry from the automotive sector to determine whether RFID chips are damaged by X-rays.

For the test series, VisiConsult received 6 RFID chips provided by a customer. Data was stored on all chips, which were read out and archived in advance. The consecutively numbered RFIDs were placed in an X-ray system together and taken out one after the other at equal intervals with uniform exposure to radiation. The following conditions were valid for the test: 225 kV, 8 mA, focus-object distance approx. 800 mm, after every 15 minutes removal of a data carrier. This means that chip 1 was in the X-ray system for only 15 minutes, while chip 6 being exposed to X-radiation for 90 minutes. Afterwards, all RFID data carriers were read out again by the customer in order to compare the new ones with the archived data. Usual exposure times in the X-ray inspection are only a few seconds.

The result was that all the data was unchanged as well as completely available and also the change, or rewrite the data was possible without problems. For VisiConsult and the customer this is a very important result: RFID chips are not damaged by X-rays. This ensures a continued usage throughout the whole manufacturing chain and allows further process automation towards industry 4.0.

VisiConsult X-ray Systems & Solutions GmbH is a leading manufacturer of high-quality digital X-ray inspection systems. The family-owned business is known for highest product quality (ISO 9001 certified) and reliable customer service. The company’s main focus is on high-end custom solutions, such as robotic systems, computed tomography and roof mounted Gantry systems. Many of the highly-automated systems are bringing customers closer to NDT 4.0 and the full automation of quality control. In addition, the company is a leader in the field of public safety X-ray equipment, the mobile systems mobile check suspect luggage and defuse bombs worldwide. VisiConsult is proud to be able to contribute to a safe world with its solutions.