Quadrascan Technologies, LLC, Awarded Patent for its Technology System to Test Effectiveness of a Sealed Compartment

BRENTWOOD, Tenn., March 27, 2006-Scott Farrell, president of QuadraScan Technologies, LLC, recently announced that the firm, headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn., was issued a patent on January 10, 2006, for its technology system to test effectiveness of a sealed compartment-a key component in its QuadraSonic Array, which uses ultrasound to detect water and air leaks.

The patent was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, an agency of the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., for the "System and Method for Automatically Judging the Sealing Effectiveness of a Sealed Compartment."

Myles Izikoff, senior vice president of sales, explains, "This patented system has a broad spectrum of applications to uncover leaks of air water and wind noise intrusion in products in the vehicle and transportation manufacturing industries, aircraft and aerospace industries, tank manufacturing industry, boat and marine industries, and other industries having unpressurized containment products.

"Initially, our QuadraSonic Array system has been tested with amazing results in the automotive industry where 'shower' or 'water booth' tests normally have been used to meet the ISO mandated standards in the production assembly line," emphasizes Farrell. "Traditionally, during the required shower booth tests, a high pressure water spray is directed at the vehicle within a closed booth to see if any leaks are present. After the shower booth, workers visually inspect the vehicle for any water intrusion. Using the QuadraSonic Array prior to, or in place of, these water tests will minimize not only damage to the vehicle that is caused by the water testing, but also locate, within 6-12 inches, the area of intrusion on the vehicle so that repairs can be made to prevent water leaks or wind noise for the eventual owner of the automobile."

Farrell continued, "This technology is also useful in discerning wind noise intrusion that can create a high pitched whistle in the car when all the windows appear to be tightly sealed. Discovering a wind noise intrusion on the production line is even more difficult than a water leak."

The outer shell of the QuadraSonic Array includes a metal assembly line arch housing the initial motion sensors and 18 receiving units to detect the ultrasound waves. On the assembly line, one or more high-output rechargeable transmitters that emit ultrasonic waves are strategically placed into the vehicle.

As the vehicle moves through the Quadra Sonic Array, if an intrusion is detected, the ultrasonic receivers send data back to a computer program that graphically displays the results. The devise uncovers the potential for such conditions as an ajar tailgate, ineffective seals around doors and windows, and open windows, moon or sun roofs. In addition the system is designed to scan vehicle barcodes, with the ability to permanently archive tested vehicle's data. When the process is completed, each vehicle has its own ultrasound fingerprint that can be accessed and utilized in future identification of product failures.

During the process, operator-friendly computer program allows for customized leak detection parameters, along with complete step-by-step process prompts and information. A large flat panel monitor at the operator station has a convenient touch screen. Alert screen­vehicle entry, VIN reading, leak detection and vehicle completion exit information are tracked for the operator. If a leak is detected, the software graphically indicates the problem areas.

When a leak is detected, the system alerts the operator with alarms, both visual and audible, to allow the operator to make a decision about repairs prior to the vehicle entering the shower booth test. Approval screen leak detection results are passed to the operator in the form of vehicle pass/fail information. The operator may then make and document water booth test entry decisions. Whatever decision is made by the operator is captured by the software system, which requires the operator to indicate actions through an "approval screen" process.

Stack lights, a highly visible color-coded visual display of vehicle status, are an integral part of the alert system and highly visible at the station where the operator is using the computer. Green indicator lights indicate readings are normal and no ultrasonic waves have been detected moving through the vehicle by the QuadraSonic Array receivers. Yellow cautions a suspected problem, and red shows a failure, indicating that the ultrasonic waves have entered the vehicle. Indicator lights are also strategically placed on each side of the QuadraSonic Array arch as a visual indication of the leak detection status.

"In a time when customer satisfaction is a priority for the automotive industry, this nondestructive testing technology provides cost savings for the manufacturer, as well as greatly enhancing the ability of the manufacturer to meet the stringent quality standards prescribed to protect the consumer," Brad Bishop, vice president of sales for QuadraScan Technologies, points out. "By applying this technology, the consumer will benefit from more consistent quality in their vehicles."

Research on additional applications is ongoing, according to Farrell. Although the initial focus of the company has been in vehicle assembly facilities, QuadraScan Technologies also has the capability to leak test any type of unpressurized containment, such as fuselages, hulls and welded structures in a variety of industries. The QuadraScan Technologies Research and Development Department has also devised a method of nondestructive leak testing of grommets and rain paper separation, and is validating new types of production parts and methods.

Formed in 2002, QuadraScan Technologies, LLC, has been involved in the development and testing stages of the new technology since its founding. QuadraScan Technologies is dedicated to the development of nondestructive, noninvasive and cost-effective leak detection. QuadraScan Technologies' mission is to bring to the assembly industry a failsafe diagnostic tool to positively impact both production and quality control.

For additional information on the QuadraSonic Array or QuadraScan Technologies, LLC, you may visit the website at www.quadrascantech.com. To contact Myles Izikoff or Brad Bishop for further information, you may reach him at QuadraScan Technologies, 5115 Maryland Way, Suite 209, Brentwood, TN 37027; call (615) 377-0748 or e-mail info@quadrascantech.com.


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