3 Questions to Ask When Making Your Food Production Line Greener

Christy Draus, Marketing Manager, Eagle Product Inspection

20 March 2020

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword: it’s an expectation. Environmentally-friendly practices and systems are spotlighted during Earth Month in April and are increasingly deployed as a way to boost efficiency and reduce a company’s carbon footprint. Eagle offers several inspection technologies for green-minded manufacturers, including energy-efficient x-ray machines, x-ray inspection for eco-friendly packaging, and robust equipment that offers a lower total cost of ownership and easy, reliable maintenance. 

It’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this month, a time when businesses and individuals focus on ways to go green for the betterment of the planet. While consumers are trying to do their part, they also are looking to companies to improve their sustainability efforts all year long: one survey by Nielsen found that 81% of consumers believe that companies should help improve the environment.

Indeed, many businesses are taking sustainability into account at different levels in their operations. According to a study from Centrica Business Solutions, being “socially and environmentally responsible” went from sixth to third place in priorities for companies between the years 2017 and 2019. Spurred by consumer expectations and their own desire to produce goods in a more efficient, eco-friendlier way, companies are seeking solutions that enable them to reduce their carbon footprint at many points in their operation.

At the point of x-ray inspection in the food industry, manufacturers can use x-ray machines that allow them to improve the sustainability of their process. Here are three questions to ask as you’re thinking of ways to make your production practices greener.

Are you using energy efficiently in your food production line?

This is a question to be addressed throughout a manufacturing facility, from lighting and ventilation, to refrigeration or heating, and cooling units. When it comes to the use of x-ray machines for food inspection, look for energy efficient features like low power generators, high gain detection systems and smart designs that eliminate the need for lead shielding curtains.  An environmentally friendly x-ray inspection system can lower operation costs and offer superior contaminant detection.

Are you addressing all aspects of sustainable packaging initiatives?

As the push for more sustainable packaging continues, manufacturers are looking at new materials, such as compostable, recyclable or biodegradable materials, or returning to paper-based and glass containers in the wake of efforts to reduce plastics. If you’re changing packaging, you need to know that your inspection technologies should be able to find and reject contaminants in all of your materials and still perform important quality checks like fill level, weight, missing items and package integrity. Eagle’s x-ray systems are versatile and can be used to inspect a broad range of package types, from traditional to new forms. 

Are you optimizing inspection machinery to the best of its efficiency?

When investing in a new inspection system, choose a machine that performs many functions for a variety of products. To best utilize resources involved in production, perform routine maintenance for optimal performance. Take advantage of professional installation and ongoing compliance conducted by trained technicians to extend the life of the machine, which boosts efficiencies all around. 

Eagle offers a range of machines to help manufacturers run in a more “lean and green” way.

  • The EPX100-S system features a 20-watt low power generator that uses less power reducing the cost of operation. It was designed to be compliant with radiation safety standards without the use of lead curtains, making x-ray inspection even more environmentally friendly. The system can be used in a broad range of packaging, including cartons, pouches, items wrapped in foil and newer types of sustainable packaging materials.
  • The Eagle Pack 400 HC is designed with an integrated water-cooled heat exchanger that reduces energy consumption and offers a smaller footprint. Designed for packaged meat, poultry and dairy products, the system provides superior contaminant detection and performs inline quality checks for mass measurement and component count
  • The Eagle QuadView inspects tall rigid containers, including glass, metal and ceramic containers. The machine provides superior glass-in-glass detection with four-view detection coverage.