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The Importance of Designing X-ray Product Inspection Equipment from the Ground Up

Food & Beverage

When evaluating potential new x-ray product inspection equipment, it’s important to be aware that many system suppliers will try to adapt designs that are used in general packaging for use in hostile and harsh environments. Although such ‘off-the-shelf’ systems may initially appear cheaper, choosing an x-ray product inspection equipment supplier that designs systems from the ground up will ensure they’ve analyzed the pain points within a specific industry and responded with an advanced solution to meet those challenges.

From sanitary construction to advanced x-ray inspection technology, an x-ray system that’s been specifically designed from the ground up to suit a particular application and environment will ensure it matches your production needs entirely, while helping to facilitate compliance with global food safety and retailer standards.

Hygienic Design

When it comes to safety, the food industry is under constant scrutiny. Pressure from consumers, governing bodies and retailers is mounting for more stringent measures to be taken in the production process, which has led to a greater emphasis on the hygienic design of product inspection equipment.

To reduce the risk of microbiological contamination outbreaks, ease of access for cleaning is paramount in x-ray inspection systems, as is eliminating areas that could harbor and promote the growth of bacteria. Both these challenges should be addressed at the initial design stage. Part of the process for sanitary and hygienic design is ensuring product inspection equipment is easy to inspect once cleaned to ensure the process has been adequately carried out. The latest x-ray inspection systems on the market enable line of sight inspections to be conducted quickly, minimizing downtime and reducing operating costs.

IP69 and Hygienic Design Are Different – Fact!

Hygienic design is often confused with IP69, but they are not the same thing. An IP69 rating doesn’t mean a system’s hygienic. IP69 is an ingress protection rating which ensures that cabinets and enclosures won’t leak when washed down. It has nothing to do with the sanitation of the system and how well it’s been designed in terms of hygiene. In fact, systems are available which are IP69-rated but not hygienically designed. Watch our webinar “Sanitary Design is More than Just a Rating” for more information.

Designing from the Ground Up for the Red Meat and Poultry Industry

Hygienic design applications are most common in the meat and poultry industry as a large percentage of meat and poultry products are provided to consumers in the raw state. However, a growing number of manufacturers outside this industry are turning to hygienically-designed product inspection equipment to provide an extra layer of protection against product recalls.

Systems built to North American Meat Institute (NAMI) standards are designed so that there are no harborage areas where product can accumulate and create a microbiological risk, but the design is also very operations-centric.

A system designed from the ground up for the meat and poultry industry will have a far more attractive total cost of ownership (TCO), a longer life, and will deliver a far bigger incremental value to a customer.

It’s often assumed that product inspection technologies need a ‘hall pass’ when it comes to hygienic design and that a compromise is needed to achieve the desired inspection results to the detriment of the hygienic element. However, that’s a myth. Providing a system is designed from the ground up,  to suit an specific industry and application, all the necessary boxes can be ticked along the way.

KYLE THOMAS, STRATEGIC BUSINESS UNIT (SBU) MANAGER AT EAGLE PRODUCT INSPECTION

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