X-Ray VS. Metal Detector
When the food safety standards started to become more common, the metal detectors were the only systems to ensure the products safety for a long period of time. X-ray technology is fairly new compared to metal detectors, and by implementing an X-ray system to your food production line you get more value from its comprehensive quality control.
When comparing X-ray and metal detector, it is evident that X-ray systems offer comprehensive product safety by detecting various other contaminants than just metals, but also bring other valuable functions to inspect the overall quality of the food products.
X-Ray Offers More Efficient Detection Compared to Metal Detector
Metal detector’s technology is based on the disturbance caused by conductive and magnetic properties of metal. Usually the metal detector heads are very compact and can be placed even on top of the production line, but the magnetic field requires several meters of metal-free space around the metal detector. This consumes a lot valuable space from the production line. Metal detectors also might have product counting functions based on e.g. simple photo sensors, that can bring some added value to the food producer.
On the other hand, X-ray technology is based on the inspection of density differentials. This enables the system also to detect other contaminants in addition to metallic ones. Such contaminants might be glass, stones or high-density plastics. Since the detection is based on the density, the X-ray inspection system is able to detect much smaller metallic contaminants than a metal detector, and at the same time detect other types of contaminants.
For example stainless steel (SUS316) has a density of 8,027g/cm3 (i.e. about eight times the density of water) which makes it easy for the X-ray system to detect even small pieces of stainless, ferrous and non-ferrous. In many cases the smallest contaminant that an X-ray is able detect is even smaller than 1mm in size.
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More Value with X-Ray than Metal Detector
As mentioned before, metal detectors do not offer much additional functions other than product counting. With X-ray system you can inspect the overall quality of the products, such as integrity, fill level and presence or lack of presence. These additional functions bring major value to food producers, since they help to decrease the amount of customer complaints, that might be caused by broken products or missing content.
Another valuable feature in X-ray inspection systems is that it takes and saves a picture of each rejection. This enables full traceability for the food producers to see what foreign object they might have. The picture also shows where exactly the foreign object is placed without the need to open the product itself.
Comparison Between X-Ray and Metal Detector
In the past, the main reason for food producers to choose metal detector over an X-ray system was cost-related. For many years the X-ray inspection systems required high amount of investment, a lot space from the production, they were difficult to operate and expensive to maintain as well.
When calculating the total cost of ownership, you need to consider the investment but also the lifetime costs (i.e. maintenance and spare parts). With metal detector these costs are fairly low and with traditional X-ray systems they could be significant.
Mekitec wants to change this division by offering an X-ray system in a reasonable investment cost as well as lifetime cost, making it a true alternative for a better inspection. Our X-ray inspection systems offer the best value to the food producers by keeping the total cost of ownership low but at the same time delivering excellent performance.
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