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Business Drivers for X-ray Inspection – Part 4

Food & Beverage

X-ray Balances Product Inspection Needs with Space and Line Speed Limitations

Do you have limited line space to accommodate all the necessary product inspection equipment needed in order to stay compliant with food safety regulations? Eagle experts understand that running your production line efficiently at maximum speeds is as important as producing safe high quality food products.

In part four of five of this blog series, “5 Reasons to Invest in X-ray Inspection for Quality Assurance“, we explore how x-ray technology can eliminate the need for multiple product inspection machines on one production line by performing a range of quality food checks simultaneously, in addition to contaminant detection.To support this blog, you can also download our white papers, Why Using X-ray Systems for Checkweighing is a Smart Choice and X-ray More Than Just Contamination Detection.

Checkweighers and Vision Systems

As well as detecting foreign matter contamination, x-ray systems can help to increase productivity by carrying out tasks commonly associated with checkweighers and vision systems, eliminating the need for multiple product inspection systems. Depending on the individual product, some x-ray software can also provide more accurate results through the use of advanced technology and special algorithms.

X-ray technology can help manufacturers exert better quality control by measuring overall mass and zoned mass. X-ray mass measurement is particularly effective for food inspection on high-speed lines where traditional in-line weighing systems may not be practical or offer the same level of accuracy. It’s also useful when space limitations mean manufacturers can’t accommodate separate contaminant detection, checkweighing and vision devices.

X-ray Technology Accuracy

Despite this, however, there remains a common misperception that conventional checkweighers are always more accurate and a better choice than x-ray systems. This is simply untrue. Using an x-ray inspection system (which ensures the correct amount of mass and thereby weight via x-ray absorption) has numerous advantages over a conventional checkweigher which uses gravitational pull to measure weight.

These advantages can be summarized as follows:

  • X-ray can see inside a pack to discern the weight and is not deceived by high weight versus low count.
  • X-ray uses dynamic calibration and is not affected by conveyor vibration or air movement.
  • X-ray can weigh at high speed and requires only a 50 mm gap between products.
  • X-ray can give selected area weight and imaging identifies non-conformance easily and quickly for Quality Assurance (QA) investigation.

Missing Items

Like vision systems, x-ray systems are also capable of detecting missing or broken food items, as well as inspecting product seals. X-ray inspection systems can look inside final sealed packaging to check that all components are present. They can count products and components that can’t be seen or counted by cameras or human eyesight. X-ray machines for food inspection will reject products that fall outside the set inspection parameters ensuring they do not reach your customer.

Product Integrity

The integrity of air-tight seals is a vital quality control issue for food manufacturers. The freshness of food products depends on the seals, but they’re easily compromised by stray particles of product, physical contaminants, or misplaced products. X-ray inspection systems are capable of identifying these items that get trapped in the seal areas during the packaging process.

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