• 17 NOV 15

    Metal Detection or X-ray Inspection – Which One’s Right for You?

    Making the Right Choice for Product Safety and Quality Control

    Metal detection and x-ray inspection systems have traditionally been the first line of defence to detect and reject contaminated products before they leave the factory. However, as last week’s blog explained, the technologies offer differing capabilities and deciding which product inspection solution to purchase can initially seem bewildering.

    Conduct a HACCP Audit

    The easiest way to choose between metal detection and x-ray inspection is to start with your application. The first step is to conduct a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) audit. This will identify the risks of physical contaminants being introduced in your production process, as well as the types of contaminants likely to be encountered. Critical Control Points (CCPs) should then be established to mitigate the risks and product inspection equipment installed at these points.

    Which Contaminants are Likely?

    If the HACCP audit determines that metal is the only likely contaminant, a metal detector is probably the best solution for cost-effectiveness. However, if additional contaminants, such as glass, mineral stone, calcified bone, or high-density plastics or rubber are likely to be encountered, then x-ray inspection is the only option. Similarly, if you’re looking to perform additional food quality checks, x-ray inspection will provide the answer.

    What is the Packaging Type?

    Metal detection can be used to inspect a variety of different applications for physical contaminants, including loose, unpackaged products, pumped products, such as liquids, pastes and slurries, bulk powders or free-flowing solids under gravity-fall conditions, as well as packed products.

    Food x-ray inspection equipment is capable of inspecting a wide range of different product types, from pumped products like slurries, fluids and semi-solids to bulk, loose products. X-ray systems are ideal for inspecting packaged products in all sizes and shapes, as well as products packaged in foil or metallised film packaging. What’s more, they also work well with tall, rigid containers, such as glass jars, bottles and metal cans.

    What’s the Best Product Inspection Solution For You?

    There’s an area of overlap where you could choose either technology, in particular for applications where the product isn’t packaged in foil and the potential contaminants are metals other than aluminium. Here, it’s not so much a question of which technology is better, but which is most appropriate for your specific application and budget.

    If cost is your sole criterion then metal detection may seem a more viable solution, but product safety decisions are rarely that simple.

    METTLER TOLEDO has a white paper entitled Metal Detection, X-ray Inspection or Both? Click here to find out more

    Look out for next week’s blog which looks at the science behind x-ray inspection.

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