X-ray inspection devices are an indispensable technology for the global food industry, helping to ensure the quality and safety of food products. But while the functional principles of x-ray detection are always the same (a beam passes through the product, creating a layer-by-layer image for a computer to evaluate as either safe or faulty), x-ray detection systems are not all equal. Different x-ray systems can display considerable differences in performance that can in turn have a significant impact on food safety.
To help food manufacturing and processing businesses better evaluate the wide range of x-ray inspection devices on the market and choose the optimal system for their production process, the food safety experts at Sesotec have developed a simple six-point framework.
The 6P-Concept encompasses six priorities that food processors can evaluate to
determine if an x-ray inspection system will optimally serve their overarching
food safety goals.
The system should make it possible to comply with all necessary food safety standards and regulations.
inspection devices are a tool for avoiding the physical contamination of food
products. In order to assist manufacturers in upholding legal requirements and
third-party standards for food safety, x-ray detection devices must be
integrated at identified critical
control points and
consistently perform at detection accuracy levels appropriate for the present risk.
The system reliably protects employees, products, the brand, and data.
Beyond protecting consumers from contamination hazards, x-ray inspection machines should also serve to protect the company who uses it in a number of ways.
For one thing, the consistent detection of physical contaminants in products is crucial to preventing product recalls. This in turn protects the brand from financial and reputational damage. And in order to ensure food traceability, data processed by x-ray inspection devices must also be stored securely in such a way that it can be quickly recalled and referenced.
Additionally, x-ray systems must be built to minimize exposure to radiation for both employees and products.
The system should be simple and intuitive to operate so as to reduce the risk of human error.
initial set-up of a new x-ray inspection device is always a complex process
that must be performed by an experienced specialist. However, once in
operation, an x-ray food scanner should include an electronic interface that is
intuitive enough that all relevant employees, regardless of experience level,
can feel confident using it. Clear and simple functionality and navigation
helps to prevent errors and reduce time and resources spent training staff.
The system is designed according to the best practices of hygienic design and offers easy cleaning and maintenance.
Like any equipment used in a facility that processes food, x-ray inspection devices should be designed to minimize the risk that the device itself becomes a factor for cross-contamination. An x-ray inspection device built according to hygienic design best practices should be easy to clean, resistant to wear, and free of areas where moisture can accumulate, among other things.
The system should increase output and reduce food waste.
The optimal x-ray inspection device should improve a processing facility’s productivity rather than hinder it. To do so, the system must be able to reliably operate at the pace of production and should experience as little unplanned downtime as possible. Furthermore, x-ray inspection devices should be as precise as possible so as to avoid wasting food through false rejects.
The manufacturer of the system should provide comprehensive service and support to guarantee continued performance.
Over the course of an x-ray device’s lifecycle, ongoing service from the equipment manufacturer is crucial to ensuring that the proceeding five points are sufficiently addressed. From validation assistance prior to the purchase, to the initial installation and calibration of a device, to ongoing maintenance visits, predictive maintenance, and quickly supplying spare parts – the breadth and quality of services provided by the original equipment manufacturer are decisive for ensuring the continued effectiveness of your device and the avoidance of unplanned downtime.
The following checklist gives specific examples of features and specifications that a food processor might consider when assessing a device according to the 6P framework:
In order to sufficiently support food safety in a processing facility, a sophisticated x-ray inspection device should excel in all areas addressed by the 6P concept. Over time, deficiencies in any of these six aspects could lead to significant performance issues that carry negative consequences for food safety and company.On the other hand, x-ray devices whose design, functionality, and service show careful attention to each of the six priorities can provide reliable and lasting performance in service of your company’s food safety management program.
Sesotec has completed the proven RAYCON product family and
thus offers X-ray inspection solutions for all applications in the food
In our E-Book you can learn more about the RAYCON X-ray systems and how they implement the 6 priorities of food processing.