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Our more than 25 years of experience working in the area of industrial computed tomography and 3D imaging technologies have given our consultants insightful expertise you can rely on. Volume Graphics Technical Consulting can help you use CT hardware and Volume Graphics software to answer your specific questions in a way that's ideally tailored to your particular needs.
We evaluate the specific requirements for your applications, create the optimal Volume Graphics software configuration and general CT hardware specification, and even offer complete evaluations as a contract service.
If you don't have a CT system yet, we work with you to evaluate whether your task can be solved with CT and, if so, how. We translate your needs into reliable technical specifications taking feasibility, budget, material to be inspected, required resolution, location (close to production or laboratory), and other relevant requirements into account.
For more complex questions, e.g., for the extension of existing systems or new purchases, we prepare a feasibility study and check how realistic the customer's idea is and how it can best be implemented using our software.
Our consulting team analyzes your CT data according to your requirements. If it's necessary, we can refer you to a scanning service provider.
Especially in the automation of inspection procedures, we support you by providing the necessary technological know-how. Together, we provide the basis you need to best solve your inspection tasks with maximum efficiency.
If you're working with us on a larger automation project using VGinLINE, we can create the inspection plan according to your requirements. In cooperation with VG Academy, we can also train you in the everyday use of VGinLINE. And all of this in addition to guiding you throughout the process of purchasing your VGinLINE system.
Should your requirements exceed the functionality of our standard products, we can offer custom development services for voxel data processing on a project basis.
A selection of successfully implemented solutions:
Mr. Gondrom-Linke, in 2019, Volume Graphics expanded and strengthened its consulting division. What were the reasons for this?
Sven Gondrom-Linke: When we founded the Technical Consulting team in 2013, we wanted to help our OEM partners—that is, the system manufacturers—build expertise in the field of 3D X-ray testing. A few had only worked with 2D test systems before and just wanted to make use of the opportunities offered by our software to be able to provide computed tomography (CT) systems as well. But even in our first year, it became clear that the focus of consulting shifted to end users who were using Volume Graphics software. The demand for consulting here has sharply increased in recent years, especially in areas of automation and quick, production-related inspections. We took this demand into account by creating a complete consulting team.
What is the team like now?
Sven Gondrom-Linke: We have Markus Woyde, a longtime colleague at Volume Graphics who had previously worked as a support specialist and trainer. Markus is very experienced and has worked in the software, application, and analysis sectors, and he knows our software like the back of his hand. Jean-Franҫois Métayer is also onboard. He completed his Ph.D. in computed tomography and knows the ins and outs of the systems and hardware from his previous experience as an application engineer. Jasmina Jukic is our team mathematician, and she is well versed in all the analyses. For example, she performs evaluations of CT data and handles service inquiries.
Dr. Sven Gondrom-Linke, Team Leader of Technical Consulting
And you, of course!
Sven Gondrom-Linke: Yes, I lead our strong and dedicated team. I’ve been working intensively with computed tomography for 23 years. I did my Ph.D. in industrial computed tomography at the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP in Saarbrücken. Then, the Development Center X-ray Technology in Fürth was founded through a cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS. I was the deputy team leader there for a number of years before I switched to the industry, to a manufacturer of X-ray test systems. After a few stops at other companies, I finally ended up at Volume Graphics in 2013.
You mentioned an increasing demand for consulting—can you still handle that with such a small team?
Sven Gondrom-Linke: Yes, we can. Of course, we get loads of support from our in-house specialists, and our bosses pitch in whenever necessary. And we are planning to expand the team even more if we need to.
What is a typical consulting client like?
Sven Gondrom-Linke: It’s hard to generalize. There are customers who run CT systems themselves and perform analyses on a regular basis. So they use our range of services to mitigate their workload. But then we have others who want to automize the evaluations they’d been doing manually until now, and they need support. And one of our customers wants to install a real inline solution for component testing, so directly in the production line. And the last two customer groups I’ve mentioned need intensive consulting.
And how do you convince potential customers to contact Volume Graphics directly with their consulting inquiries?
Sven Gondrom-Linke: First, we respond to each individual customer and look into his or her consulting needs. We don’t really offer one-size-fits-all services. Second, we consult clients regardless of their manufacturer: we show them what possibilities they have to fulfill their requirements in view of the overall market situation. And third: our clients receive competent, all-round support from us.
What, specifically, do your clients get from you?
Sven Gondrom-Linke: We offer consulting in finding optimal solutions to testing, measuring, and inspection tasks via X-ray computed tomography. We conduct feasibility studies in which we develop reliable and viable specifications together with our clients. Our consultants also advise customers in implementing their inspection plans using Volume Graphics software. If requested, we also draw up these plans as part of our services so our customers do not have to do it themselves. Additionally, we offer paid evaluation services. And: we offer trainings at the company or on-site that go beyond the scope of VG Academy’s course offering, and they are usually responsible for trainings.
Can you give us a few examples?
Sven Gondrom-Linke: Of course. We have a lot of customers in the automotive industry, both in Germany and abroad. These companies use inline computed tomography to test aluminum light metal casting or plastic molding. We show our customers a wide range of testing possibilities and assess them.
A completely different example is the fully automated development of digital dental impressions for dental reconstructions, like for braces. Normally, dental impressions are poured and scanned. This is really time-consuming. But when these impressions are created in a fully automated process via CT, a lot of time and money can be saved. We’ve successfully completed a consulting project in this area.
And a third example is a company that had only been using 2D systems and wanted to develop them into real 3D systems. As part of our consulting, we informed the client what was physically and technically possible—and of course, impossible. Based on that, the customer could think about which solution to aim for and which exact features he needed. And of course, what our software could contribute.
Through consulting, Volume Graphics works closely with end customers while keeping an ear close to the ground for the latest market trends. What trends are you observing in industrial CT?
Sven Gondrom-Linke: I can name a few. For one, computed tomography is becoming more standard in labs, both for non-destructive testing and metrology. For another, if we look ahead to the future, we can see that CT is just about to take the next step from the lab to production. And the potential of CT across all industries and sectors is huge there. This is especially true for inline systems used for automated testing via CT in production. For that, you need highly flexible and fully automated CT systems in production. And these systems provide ideal conditions to getting involved in interconnected and digitized production—all within the scope of Industry 4.0.
And what can CT contribute to Industry 4.0?
Sven Gondrom-Linke: CT can play a critical role in Industry 4.0. What else can provide data on the complete part, if not CT? We can look at interior structures, perform measurements, identify components, and give informed statements on their condition and quality based on the digitized part. That’s why Volume Graphics is really active in Industry 4.0—for example, in the corresponding technical committees of the German Society for Non-Destructive Testing. There, we are at the forefront.
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