September 26, 2011

MDX and SimulTask™ image analysis technologies enable advanced product inspection

 September 26, 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA – Material Discrimination X-ray (MDX) and SimulTask™ image analysis technologies from Eagle (formerly Smiths Detection Product Inspection) boost product inspection capabilities on food manufacturing lines through enhanced contaminant detection and ease of use.  The EAGLE™ Tall PRO XS x-ray system uses SimulTask™, whilst the EAGLE™ Pack 430 PRO x-ray inspection systems uses both MDX and SimulTask™ technologies to allow food manufacturers to inspect products with complex density levels and in innovative pack styles with the high degree of reliability and flexibility required. The technologies will be showcased at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011 (September 26-28, 2011) in Eagle’s booth C-549.

MDX technology enhances traditional x-ray inspection to allow detection of materials previously unseen by x-ray or other conventional inspection means. Based on technology developed by Eagle for the security sector, MDX discriminates materials by their chemical compositions (atomic number).  This allows detection and rejection of historically undetectable inorganic contaminants such as glass shards, rocks, rubber, and plastic.

Additionally, MDX allows detection of contaminants in increasingly popular packaging designs such as fold-out cardboard sandwich packaging and corrugated card encasements that plague traditional inspection tools. It not only has the ability to detect alien materials in multi-textured foods with many density levels such as mixed salad leaves, but can also quickly and effectively inspect blind spots in odd-shaped containers.

Eagle’s SimulTask™ image analysis software is the basis for the company’s “set and forget” line of operator-friendly x-ray inspection systems. The intuitive user interface simplifies product set-up to facilitate changeover, reduce downtime and impart flexibility on the product inspection process. With a fully customized interface including various operator log-in levels, the systems allows access rights only to designated users to prevent operator error and enhance security.

With SimulTask™, managers can easily access statistics and reports on inspected products while its verification tools assist in compliance with Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) guidelines and other regulations. Its full multi-lane and multi-view capability allows multiple products to be inspected at a time for efficiency benefits.

X-ray inspection systems equipped with MDX or SimulTask™ help manufacturers optimize their lines by performing functions other than contaminant detection, reducing maintenance and operating costs by reducing equipment requirements.  MDX enables completeness checking, such as ensuring promotions or inserts are included in packaged goods, for example, toys in cereal boxes. The SimulTask™ tool, available on every Eagle machine, also provides on-screen self diagnostics for ease of maintenance and rigorous quality control.

“Looking at the supermarket shelf, it is quite apparent that the consumer food landscape has changed and is continuing to change quite dramatically and rapidly.  Gone are the days of producing one or two varieties of a single product in a neat, easy-to-inspect package,” said Terry Woolford, General Manager, Eagle.  “Our advanced image analysis tools for x-ray inspection systems enable food manufacturers to make their wildest marketing and pack style ideas a commercial reality by enabling quality control to be performed at the levels required by regulatory bodies and consumers.”