Revealing Invisible Things: Fully Automatic X-Ray-Based Food Inspection System from Bizerba

Balingen, 25-Jul-2016 | Bizerba introduces the fully automatic XRE_2 130/240 x-ray system designed for food-package inspection. In addition to foreign metal or glass objects, the system also detects some plastic objects and other unintended product effects including the filling level. Furthermore, packages are checked for overweight and underweight. In case of a product change, the x-ray source automatically adapts to the new pre-trained product.

Food contaminated with plastic or metal objects or insufficiently filled packages result in high costs for food producers because of recall campaigns or compensations. Nonetheless, such contaminated products quite often reach the market, as exemplified by pasta sauces and baby food in 2015. Bizerba’s XRE_2 130/240 x-ray system is specifically suitable for the inspection of narrow packages with a height of 50 to 240 millimeters and a maximum width of 130 mm. Adjustable guide rails lead the package to the right place within the detector where it is inspected by the x-ray device. Maximum throughput is 800 packages per minute. If a foreign object is detected, the respective package is ejected by an integrated pusher.

 

The XRE_2 130/240 adapts to the product height entered by operators at the user interface. During the x-ray inspection process, the detector checks articles for abnormal densities of metal objects, plastics including PVC and rubber. Furthermore, additional product features including the filling level, overweight and underweight are checked as well. At an ambient temperature of 0 - 32°C, the XRE_2 130/240 system checks packages with temperatures of -20 - 80°C, enabling its use in many different sectors of the food industry.

 

Safe and Protected

Contrary to other x-ray devices, the XRE_2 130/240 does not need any protective curtains because radiation protection is achieved by its sophisticated product conveyor system. Furthermore, a light indicates the status of the detector. While a red light indicates that an x-ray inspection is in process, a green light indicates normal operation. Any faults are indicated by a yellow light. As the XRE_2 130/240’s conveyor and drum motor meet the IP66 protection class, they can be operated in harsh environments and at air humidity levels between 20 and 90 percent.

 

The XRE_2 130/240 system’s state-of-the-art vision software is based on a real-time operating system. Operators can use the password-protected software to continuously monitor the internal processes. All relevant data including throughput, images of faulty products and the ejection statistics are stored by the system. Training new products for detection is done automatically.