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Traceability and Reliability with X-Ray Inspection

Traceability and HACCP Compliance with Food X-Ray Inspection

In addition to the quality inspection functions (such as content, filling, form and integrity check) which we have talked about earlier on our blog, there are two features that are beneficial and bring additional value for all food producers; Reporting and Performance Testing features.

Together with saving all of the X-ray images of the food production, these two features can guarantee a full traceability and HACCP compliance. This means that the food producer can show the exact images of a production batch, together with a report showing the production efficiency (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and that their Critical Control Point has been monitored according to the set principles.

REPORTING

As you know, traceability has always been important in food production. Its importance has increased rapidly over the last years. It serves great value to any producer to be able to reliably show exact data regarding their out-going products. Reporting your production by using automatic production reports makes it more transparent, reliable and traceable.

X-ray inspection is non-destructive (meaning that the package and product itself remain intact), and by saving all the product images, food producers can also record and prove the quality of their complete production. Even the possible rejections and reasons behind them can easily be seen from the saved images. This makes it easier to point out possible lacks or flaws in the production process.

Of course, saving every X-ray image of the thousands or even tens of thousands of products requires a lot of space. There are multiple ways of overcoming this issue. One option is to connect the CCPs to a factory network using e.g. Ethernet connection making it possible to get all the data available, or you can retrieve the images/reports with an external USB or add an SSD drive to increase the memory of the system. Also, the X-ray system can be set to automatically clean the image archive after a certain time, e.g. based on the product shelf life or any fixed time.

PERFORMANCE TESTING

The feature automatically reminds the operator when it’s time to test the detection performance of the Critical Control Point according to the HACCP plan. This test should be performed with the certified foreign object samples and sizes that are stated in the plan.

With the help of this feature, food plants are able to handle the tests and reports digitally and get rid of the paper documents that can be found lying around the control point. The foreign object performance testing is not taken into the production report, but instead the report still shows that the detection accuracy was tested. Often the quality control plan, such as HACCP, demands operators to perform the detection accuracy test in the beginning and at the end of each production shift.

With the Performance Testing feature, you can also set the testing to be based on a product counter. Meaning that a reminder pops up after a certain number of products have passed through the system and its especially beneficial when running long production shifts. Sometimes your quality control plan might require performance testing to be done e.g. every hour during the long shifts.

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