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What are the benefits of using x-ray inspection systems for in-line pumped food products?

Physical contamination detection levels are better in the early stages of the production process where unprocessed pumped food product can be presented in a shallow depth. Installing an x-ray system early in the production process allows manufacturers to monitor suppliers' quality control. This can help to save time and money by preventing damage to downstream processing equipment and removing contaminants before further value is added to the product.

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How can a pipeline x-ray inspection system be fitted into an existing production line?

Connecting x-ray inspection equipment to an existing piped production line is straightforward. Standard fittings are used to attach the pipe (through which the pumped food product passes) to the manifold of the x-ray machine.

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How do x-ray systems reject pumped food product from a pipe?

Many reject valve types are available. Making the right choice is dependent on the product application. For slurries and sauces, a three-way diverter valve is usually the most effective reject mechanism. For meat and poultry processing, where solid cuts of meat will be in the product flow, a slicing valve is usually the preferred choice. The selection of valve will also be dependent on the temperature of the product and whether it needs to be a clean-in-place (CIP) or aseptic line.

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Which pumped food applications are suited for pipeline x-ray equipment?

Pumped food products such as meat and poultry, liquids, slurries and pastes tend to be homogeneous which makes them an ideal application for x-ray inspection.

What pipe sizes are available?

3” or 4” (75mm or 100mm) as standard.

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How can the performance of an pipeline x-ray system tested?

For pipeline x-ray equipment containing liquids, slurries and pastes, test samples should ideally be placed independently in the product flow. The reject device should then be observed to successfully reject the test sample. The test sample should be encapsulated in a colored material that is different to the product, making it easily identifiable in the rejected product. To verify that the reject timing is correct, the test piece should be located in the center of the rejected product. The test should be repeated, typically three times.

What throughputs are achievable with pumped applications?

METTLER TOLEDO Safeline X-ray systems for the inspection of pumped products offer high throughputs, automatic calibration and hygienic design. Throughput for slurries, semi-solids and fluids can be up to 18 tonnes per hour. Meat and poultry products can typically be inspected at rates of up to 9 tonnes per hour.

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When is it more effective to use an x-ray system to inspection product? When it's in-process in a pipeline or at the end of the process or production line?

Using the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) process is the surest way to ensure products are free from contaminants. Manufacturers should perform a review of the production process and identify risks to product safety. Where a risk of physical contamination is identified, a Critical Control Point (CCP) should be established. In many cases, this can be early in the production process to identify and remove contaminants before adding value to the product. In other circumstances, it may be more practical to inspect at the end of the process prior to shipping of the product.

What is the hygiene rating for a pipeline x-ray inspection system?

All METTLER TOLEDO Safeline X-ray pipeline systems are designed to IP69 as standard. Slopped and curved edges allow for water to roll off the system whilst the IP69 air conditioner meets the demands of high pressure cleaning in harsh manufacturing environments, avoiding bacterial growth.

Are x-ray systems expensive to service?

Service contracts should form part of any x-ray system purchase. Regular servicing of an x-ray system, including performance verification, will ensure it is operating at the optimum level of performance. This will prevent food safety issues. Preventative maintenance enables manufacturers to avoid downtime issues due to unexpected maintenance work.

All METTLER TOLEDO X3000 x-ray system generators come with a five-year warranty when a service contract is purchased. By protecting the most valuable part of the x-ray machine, manufacturers can have confidence that production uptime is maximized.

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