Delphi Precision Imaging owner Blake Chenevert displays a 3-D X-ray on the screen of a pressure transducer that he’s holding. The Redmond company has been in existence for five months. Samantha Pak

Delphi Precision Imaging owner Blake Chenevert displays a 3-D X-ray on the screen of a pressure transducer that he’s holding. The Redmond company has been in existence for five months. Samantha Pak

Delphi Precision Imaging zooms in on 3-D X-ray technology

When treating an ill or injured patient, doctors will sometimes call for a CT scan to get a better look at the injury or affected area.

When treating an ill or injured patient, doctors will sometimes call for a CT scan to get a better look at the injury or affected area.

But it is not only humans who can benefit from CT technology. When a piece of machinery fails or malfunctions, manufacturers also need a way to examine the part in question, to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it.

Since it opened its doors five months ago, Delphi Precision Imaging (DPI) at 8445 154th Ave. N.E. in Redmond has been providing industrial CT scanning services to multiple companies. Industrial CT scanning has been in the mainstream of the aerospace industry for about 20 years, but DPI is the first business of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.

Owner Blake Chenevert said through CT scanning, DPI can provide manufacturers with a 3-D X-ray image of a damaged part. The technology allows them to virtually slice the piece of equipment to look inside, all while keeping it intact.

“There’s no disassembling,” Chenevert said.

DPI business manager Jean Chenevert, who is also Blake’s wife, described this as non-destructive testing (NDT), as they are able to evaluate a part or component without damaging it.

With this ability, in addition to the ability to zoom in, manufacturers and engineers are able to see a very detailed picture of what’s going on inside their piece of equipment. DPI’s technology also allows them to add different colored layers so customers can see the different layers and densities of parts more easily.

Jean said this amount of detail can be useful when working with precision parts and micro parts.

While CT scanning has been mainly used in the aerospace industry and makes up a lot of DPI’s business, Blake said they have also been doing business with casting houses as well as medical device manufacturers, adding that their machinery can see through both metal and plastic.

Jean said CT scanning can also be used in the automobile industry.

In the five months that DPI has been operating, Blake said things have been going well and they have been receiving business through word of mouth. He said of the companies that have come in to take tours of their office, about half have ended up doing business with them.

Blake said some of the applications CT scanning could be used for include failure investigations for when a part doesn’t work right, a first article inspection to ensure a product is perfect before a company continues with production and more.

Blake said their services can be used for authentication by museums. This could also be useful with electronics.

Before founding DPI — which is a startup — Blake worked in the aerospace industry. He even worked on space shuttle main engines in the 1980s. This was initially in southern California. Blake moved to the Puget Sound area about 30 years ago.

In addition to Blake and Jean, DPI’s other team member is technician Derrek Shamulus, who studied NDT. He previously has worked for Honeywell in Arizona, where the company had a similar machine as what DPI has, and became an expert.

Blake said during his time in the aerospace industry, he has used CT scanning for failure investigations as well as quality assurance, so he is familiar with the need for such a service.

This being said, Blake noted that he and his colleagues at the time were sending their parts to companies out of state, which would cost them time and money. So he started DPI knowing there was a demand for the services locally as area companies would be able to get what they need for cheaper and faster. They would just need to drive out to the DPI office rather than shipping their parts to someone out of state.

In addition to the convenience, Blake said having a local office gives engineers the opportunity to watch their parts being scanned.

Jean said while there are a lot of labs that provide the same service as DPI on the East Coast and in the Midwest, outside of the aerospace industry, CT scanning is still fairly new to this part of the country. She said most industrial X-rays are done by film, which takes a lot of time and material.

“This replaces film with digital,” Blake said.

He said their goal is to replace film locally and help companies with image quality, which isn’t always the best on film.

Jean added that by offering their services to all companies, they can also save their customers the capital of having to purchase the technology themselves.

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