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Is Your Sum Meeting the Whole of the Parts?

Food & Beverage, Red Meat

The quality of multi-compartment packaged products can be enhanced with the use of multi-functional inspection systems that deliver accurate, reliable overall mass measurements for total package weight as well as the weight of each component or zone in a package. Eagle x-ray inspection systems are capable of inline checkweighing for packaged products, including packages with separate zones and compartments. Individual checkweighers, on the other hand, only measure gross package weight. 

Why Inline Checkweighing with X-Ray Equipment Is Invaluable for Multi-Compartment Packages

Everything has its place, and that’s truer than ever when it comes to packaging. From ready meals to snacks to produce, multi-compartment packages meet consumers’ ever-growing need for convenience and variety, but can pose challenges to manufacturers as they seek to ensure consistency and quality.

Think about a basic ready meal, for example. In addition to an attractive presentation, there must be the promised weight, the specified number or amount of protein pieces, a properly filled area for gravy or sauce and an exact portion of vegetables. Anything less than an eye-pleasing appearance and the promised ingredients can lead to an unsatisfying experience for the consumer, and an almost surefire way for a shopper to pass over that product the next time they are making a purchase. That doesn’t even count possible penalties for producing regularly underweight products, under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act regulated by the FDA and FTC.

Inline x-ray inspection systems offer benefits for multiple compartment packaging, including x-ray detection of contaminants and built-in checkweighing for quality assurance. These systems use sophisticated software to determine mass of the inspected items, which creates a greyscale image that allows the machine to provide  an accurate weight value. Eagle’s inspection systems with checkweighing capabilities can provide results for each individual zone or compartment, making sure that everything is in its place and at the correct amount or level. SimulTask™ PRO advanced imaging software drives those accurate results with precision.

The ability to weigh separate zones of a package can be done for virtually any kind of consumer product, including ready meals, ready-to-cook meal kits with meat and poultry and other ingredients, snacks, dessert packages and other items packaged in multi-compartment formats. If some parts of the package seem to be regularly overweight or underweight or have missing counts, the system will quickly alert operators to such irregularities, so they can address the issue and prevent loss. Hence, manufacturers can keep their line continuously running without stops or unnecessary product throwaway. Watch this short video to see how easily it’s done.

Simultaneously, Eagle’s x-ray machines can perform component counts, identify damaged or missing items and inspect for product contaminants, which can help assure a safe, high quality finished product.

By comparison, traditional single checkweighers only weigh the entire package. Such checkweighers use gravitational pull to measure weight, and are thereby limited in checking for other measurements or product attributes. A checkweigher can accept a product for weight, but miss an anomaly in a compartment that an x-ray system could detect and reject the flagged product from production.

Download this white paper to learn more about how x-ray systems for checkweighing are a smart choice when it comes to overall quality assurance and brand loyalty.

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