What is the role of the X-ray inspection systems (detectors) in detecting contaminants in food?
Each manufacturer is responsible for the quality of its products, for any contamination that may occur in the production process. The concept of HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points) involves clear control of all the ways in which contaminants could enter the product and thus not affect the end consumer. It thus becomes a mandatory condition for the successful obtaining of standards in the food industry such as IFS, standards required by large retailers as a mandatory condition for the sale of products within their networks.
Which solution is the best for your products?
When we talk about the detection of contaminants in food, 2 solutions appear mainly: metal detectors and X-ray detectors.
If metal detectors, as the name implies, detect ferrous and non-ferrous metals, magnetic and non-magnetic, they have some limitations. Their limitations are related to cases where we are talking for example about other contaminants (glass, ceramics, stones, etc.), the composition of certain products (for example, those with high salt content and high moisture content) and products that are packaged in metallic foils.
WIPOTEC OCS – IMARK SYSTEM PARTNER
Imark Sistem is the only distributor in Romania of Wipotec OCS. WIPOTEC-OCS is an innovative, reliable partner for high-performance inspection solutions, X-ray detection, flow weighing or combined systems. Being a 100% subsidiary of Wipotec, one of the most important companies in the world for dynamic weighing technology and product control, with 30 years of experience on the market, WIPOTEC-OCS offers an exceptional quality of production “Made in Germany”, flexibility and competence in the field.
The advantages of Wipotec’s portfolio of state-of-the-art X-ray detectors:
☑ Their modularity allows the rapid development and integration of solutions
☑ Standard portfolio from entry-level detectors to premium combined systems
☑ Detection technology with high-resolution HD-TDI cameras in compact design
☑ Intelligent software that covers a wide range of applications
MULTIPLE INSPECTION SYSTEMS
In addition, X-ray inspection systems can be used for many other quality assurance tasks. One system performs all inspection tasks simultaneously, which means that there is no need for several systems one after the other (flow weighing, contaminant detection, vision inspection, etc.). Even other inspection systems can be installed in the space of an X-ray inspection system. This gives rise to MULTIPLE INSPECTION SYSTEMS:
☑ Weighing – the installation of one or more weighing cells allows the X-ray inspection system to weigh the products in a calibrated and verifiable manner. This combination reduces the number of different equipment as well as the space required. It also simplifies integration into existing production lines.
☑ Visual inspection – the same benefits are obtained when an X-ray inspection system is combined with visual inspection, vision inspection. It is also possible, for example, to inspect the expiration date print and other properties of the label. The product can be examined both above and below.
☑ Combining all three inspection systems (contaminant detection, weighing and visual inspection) in one unit saves even more space
Examples of applications in the food industry, designed according to product and packaging:
☑ Detection of foreign bodies (ferrous / non-ferrous metals, stones, bones, glass, teflon, ceramics, etc.)
☑ Checking the filling level (for example, for yogurt glasses)
☑ Weight check (in a complete packaging unit or in special areas, multi-compartment yogurt glasses)
☑ Checking completeness by counting (chocolates in a package)
☑ Checking the shape (pizza roundness)
☑ Detection of defects and holes
☑ Automatic determination of maturity (for cheese)
☑ Examination of clamps (for bread or sausages)
Watch details about X-ray detection systems in the movie below:
How does an X-ray contaminant detection system work?
The X-ray inspection system identifies foreign bodies based on the specific absorption of X-ray energy, depending on the density and thickness of each material. Basically, look for differences in X-ray absorption between the actual product and contaminants and signal the difference. When examining foods, which have mainly a density similar to water (1g / cm3), it is relatively easy to identify stainless steel (density of about 8 g / cm3). The higher the density of a material, the darker its representation on the X-ray image and vice versa. The monochrome image generated by the detector is analyzed or evaluated using highly developed image processing algorithms on an image processing computer. Image processing software detects contrast differences in the image, highlights contaminants and emits an appropriate signal.
Download the white paper “X-ray detection systems for the food industry” (Wipotec).
X-rays are generated by an X-ray tube. A high voltage generator supplies the tube. In most systems, these two components are combined into a single device, known as an X-ray tank. Alternatively, there are versions in which both components are arranged separately.
Defective products are separated from the product stream by one or more ejection systems. Pushers are commonly used for heavier products and blower systems for lighter products. In many cases, different sensors are used at the time of ejection to ensure an error-free process.
Other safety features are fill level sensors and lock sensors for collection boxes. Many retailers require suppliers to use inspection systems with such safety features.
X-ray detection systems determine any contaminant that has a different density from the product you are inspecting and that has a density greater than 1 (water density). We can thus speak of a very wide range of contaminants, any type of metal, steel or stainless steel, but also of other types of contaminants such as: glass, stone, sand, bones, lumps of salt, ceramics, etc.
APPLICATIONS for Wipotec X-ray detection systems include:
☑ meat and meat products (sausages, salami, etc.)
☑ cereals, free fall products (rice, sugar, etc.)
☑ bakery products
☑ baby food
☑ canned metal products or products in jars with metal lids (jam, for example)
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR X-RAY DETECTORS FROM WIPOTEC
Are X-rays dangerous to operators or the products they inspect?
It is normal to ask yourself this as long as you are concerned about the quality of the products and the safety of the staff.
X-rays are ionized radiation and like any radiation, their improper use can harm both human operators and products. The installation of X-ray systems and the training of operators is done by specialized personnel, certified for working with X-ray applications. Wipotec’s experience of over 30 years is a guarantee of professionalism and quality of X-ray inspection and detection solutions that this manufacturer proposes them.
Also, Wipotec systems have implemented at the highest level safety systems for both operators and to eliminate the risk of damage to the product.
ABOUT US. With over 15 years of experience on the market, Imark Sistem offers you solutions for automating your technological flow, with quality and efficiency proven over time.
Our specialists will provide you with the necessary technical support to integrate different equipment or solutions on your production lines. With coverage throughout the country, we have a technical team always at your disposal, from installation and then throughout the life of the equipment. We do not only offer you equipment, we offer you a reliable and functional solution, ready to bring productivity increases to your processes.
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