The hazards presented by the potential presence of foreign body materials in liquid foods – notably metal and glass – that can inadvertently enter a production line is a danger that is encouraging increasing numbers of companies to employ x-ray systems; technology that also has the advantage of being able to accurately measure fill and weight levels. But availability and costly maintenance downtime has often proved to be a challenge and disincentive for processors.
However, the addition of Novus X-Ray – a company which has been at the forefront of x-ray technology for food inspection for over a decade – to the JBT family some 12 months ago looks likely to deliver a real breakthrough for the technology.
As Dino Carbone, product line manager for JBT Novus X-Ray explains, the Xvision™ product line boasts a modular design – unique in the industry – that has the advantages of significantly improving the availability of the technology while also delivering a low cost of ownership compared with competitor units.
The other major advantage of the system is that its smart software allows it to learn from its mistakes, i.e. false rejections.
“We have really simplified the operation of the equipment by having smart software which allows the unit to be trained on the product its running and the images it takes,” says Carbone.
“This allows for simple unit training and more accurate detection performance leading to extremely low rejection rates. This is unique because most other companies rely on the operator to adjust the unit. We have developed the unit to be smart, so it can adjust itself when it makes a mistake.”
As well as being used to detect any foreign body material that might end up in the product chain, the Xvision range can also be used effectively for check fill and check weight. “In liquid foods processing, you don’t want anything in your product that shouldn’t be there and you also don’t want a jar or plastic container that is not filled the whole way – we can make sure that everything is as it should be with the check weight and check fill,” adds Carbone.
To best meet the needs of the liquid foods sector, JBT Novus X-Ray has introduced the Xvision CCPX-Tall X-ray system; technology which has been specifically designed for the rapid, automatic inspection of jars, bottles and other tall products.
A revolutionary improvement to x-ray technology availability, the CCPX allows customers to service any aspect of the machine with minimal training by grouping all components into five modules which plug-and-play. “Most other companies might have to call a technician when something in the unit breaks – by having a modular design, we give the power to the customer to make those repairs on-site really quickly,” explains Carbone.
“It enables our machine to be placed at a critical control point upstream and not just at the end of line. Our unit can be placed anywhere in the production line without fear that if that if there is an issue, your line is going to go down because we can get the unit up and running so quickly.”