The umbrella covering operational excellence is widening and encompasses the methodologies of Lean Manufacturing, Total Quality Management, Six Sigma, PDCA and other models to help you with your continuous improvement efforts. While you’re striving to reach your goals through these and other initiatives, optimizing multifunctional x-ray inspection technologies not only find and reject contaminants but offer many other capabilities for improved safety, quality, traceability and productivity to help you meet your targets.
In the broad field of manufacturing, achieving operational excellence is a team effort. Advanced inspection technology is a key player, as manufacturers can take advantage of x-ray systems and accompanying software to find and reject contaminants, perform ongoing quality checks and link information back into their respective quality assurance systems. By taking advantage of the multifunctionality of inline x-ray technologies, you can reduce inefficiencies and tighten up your production lines. X-ray inspection systems can be seamlessly integrated into a range of tools and programs such as Lean Manufacturing, Total Quality Management, PDCA, SPC, and Six Sigma to help you move forward with your continuous improvement efforts.
Installing x-ray systems at various points in the production process, you can enhance your operational excellence by:
• Finding more and smaller contaminants: The latest inspection technologies enable the detection of even the smallest contaminants that can provoke a recall or cause a safety issue. Eagle offers a variety of high-performing x-ray machines, from bulk materials to finished packages.
• Discovering defects: X-ray machines also can conduct important quality checks to determine if products have any defects that may lead to customer dissatisfaction or other issues. For example, if you’re pouring liquid chocolate into molds, you want to make sure there are no foreign bodies but you also want to know if the product is being coated evenly. Or if you are processing meat, you can measure the actual fat content and weight of meat going through the inspection system to ensure that final products are regularly meeting target specifications.
• Increasing productivity and elevating line performance: X-ray systems prevent downtime that can be caused by any number of preventable issues, such as rocks or metal pieces that can move downstream and damage equipment or the need to rework product due to an error or inconsistency. By quickly identifying and removing products with defects or potential safety hazards, lines can run more efficiently. Streamlining labor is possible too. By automating inspection and capturing information and images, a manufacturer can redeploy employees on the line who were previously inspecting products visually.
• Improving and integrating traceability: Integrated inspection technologies with advance software solutions like Eagle’s SimulTask™ PRO and TraceServer™, delivers unmatched performance throughout every phase of the production process. Data captured by the Eagle systems is stored, easily accessed and often available in real-time. Inspection systems with item-level traceability can link inspection data to a unique identifier printed on each item.
• Lowering the total cost of ownership: Operational excellence encompasses systems that can be operated at peak performance with less waste. For example, the new EPX100 is a low energy x-ray environment and minimizes energy use and related cost. To that end, Eagle’s systems offer a lower total cost of ownership thanks to their robust construction that requires less maintenance and offers a longer running life.
Ultimately, we’re here to help you improve your product and run your lines in the most efficient way possible. Operational excellence is a company goal, but it’s an overarching goal across the industry, too. Your game plan should look at improved and advanced technologies that enhance your operations, and keep your products and your brand safe.
Alex Hann, Global Key Accounts Project Manager, Eagle Product Inspection