How Pipeline X-Ray Systems Benefit the Food Packing Industry

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different kinds of food with the same packaging

Today’s food packaging industry heavily relies on x-ray inspection systems when preparing all kinds of products for distribution. These innovative and non-destructive testing methods can easily detect contaminants, thereby improving quality assurance. One particular system offering groundbreaking results is the pipeline x-ray, which allows manufacturers to put out safer, more reliable products for consumers to enjoy with complete peace of mind.

How does implementing a pipeline x-ray system in the food industry niche ensure optimum safety? Keep reading to find out.

What Is a Pipeline X-Ray?

Before we dive into how these machines are improving the food-packing industry, it’s important to know what a pipeline x-ray is. Firstly, the non-destructive testing equipment allows anyone to perform a thorough material evaluation without causing any damage to the product or packaging. You can check for flaws in certain materials through images captured by digital radiography rather than taking more invasive measures.

This single benefit is one reason that experts across a variety of industries trust x-ray technology. In particular, it proves helpful for those in the following industries:

  • Aviation
  • Construction
  • Automotive

Of course, the food packaging industry also reaps endless benefits from this technology. For example, suppliers can take images of their food products and, thanks to the machine’s defect detection capabilities, discard potentially dangerous items from the production line. It minimizes product loss and liability, which would be a problem if undetected contaminants reached consumers, or warranted a massive product recall.

How Pipeline X-Rays Work To Root Out Contaminants

Pipelines carry pumped products through a system, including liquids and semi-solid foods (like purees or baby food). Pipeline x-ray technology targets these throughways, allowing workers to identify contaminants within the product and quickly remove them to minimize total product loss.

Like any type of x-ray imaging technology, the machine creates digital radiographic images by emitting electromagnetic radiation beams that travel through a product to a target wall. The images depict changes in density. That’s why spotting an area of abnormal density in a food product traveling through the pipeline indicates a problem, such as a contaminant.

Applications of Pipeline X-Rays Within the Food Industry

different food sauce

Like metal detection options, food suppliers often rely on a pipeline inspection to detect issues within a variety of pumped products, including ground meats, poultry, semi-solid foods, and liquids. For instance, it’s not uncommon for any of the following items to go through a pipeline inspection before they reach grocery store shelves:

  • Yogurt
  • Sauces
  • Jams
  • Minced meat
  • Melted chocolate
  • Butter and dairy spreads

Implementing these systems in the early part of the production line can help suppliers monitor their quality control points, and minimize product waste later on. Any issues the machine detects allow the staff to quickly remove the contaminant before the product undergoes any further processing.

Food packaging facilities may also use a pipeline metal detector to inspect liquid or semi-solid items. However, these systems can only detect traces of metal. A pipeline x-ray can identify all sorts of other objects, including plastic, glass, stones, and even bones.

Ensuring Quality and Safety in Food Production

Why do experts recommend suppliers use an x-ray inspection system to make sure every food product they distribute is safe? One reason is that these food x-rays help manufacturers meet all federal regulations regarding food safety and quality control standards.

Let’s say that several consumers find stones within a package of raw meat. The supplier launches a massive product recall, which may cost millions in addition to the loss of customer loyalty. Why not save your company the trouble and safeguard its reputation by implementing x-ray technology to identify dangerous contaminants well before the product goes out to the public?

These machines don’t just keep consumers safer; they also help suppliers meet various quality control points. For example, food x-ray inspection systems can weigh the product to make sure it meets manufacturing standards, as well as verify fill lines. Many machines will also identify any broken or missing components of a package, such as a damaged seal or a missing cap.

Food suppliers who put their products through such high-quality inspections reap the biggest rewards. They consistently put out safe products and build trust in their brand. Products that are consistently free of contamination or package damage also protect a company’s bottom line.

Other Types of X-Ray Machines

food inspector writing the result of inspection

Some of the other types of x-ray systems common throughout the food packaging industry include the following:

  • Single-energy x-ray system: It works similarly to a pipeline system but uses one energy spectrum to pinpoint contaminants and foreign objects with homogeneous densities. It is ideal for detecting contaminants in smooth products, like yogurt or peanut butter.
  • Dual-energy x-ray system: It adds a second energy spectrum, which makes it suitable for identifying abnormalities in products with non-homogeneous densities, such as seeds or nuts.
  • In-line x-ray system: It takes a standard metal detector to the next level, identifying contaminants within food products that have foil packaging or excess salt.
  • Large-format x-ray system: It is best for finding foreign objects within products that exceed the weight limits of other machines, such as huge bags of pet food.

Incorporating any of these machines into the processes at a food supply plant will help you assess problems within the production line and keep consumers safe from contaminated items.

If you’re interested in high-quality inspection systems that can improve your productivity, an x-ray inspection system from TDI Packsys is an excellent solution. Accurate imaging finds problems quickly and helps you invest in food safety and quality across your production line. Call (877) 834-6750 today or visit our site to view a range of products, including pipeline x-rays, which detect contaminants or defects in various food packages!

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