Touchless x-ray system eliminates shielding curtains
June 20, 2012
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (www.thermoscientific.com), the world leader in serving science, introduces its new Thermo Scientific EZx 465 Touchless X-ray system to the global marketplace. The new model significantly extends the application range of this proven, entry level food safety x-ray system.
Unlike traditional foreign object x-ray detection systems, the EZx 465 Touchless has been engineered to eliminate the shielding curtains typically used to block radiation, while still complying with all global safety standards. Heavy lead or no-lead curtains frequently prevent lightweight products such as metalized snack bags from being conveyed through the x-ray chamber, resulting in production line jams and downtime.
Unwrapped products, such as frozen meals in foil trays, cannot be passed through shielding curtains due to hygienic concerns as well as the significant risk that the food product inside the tray could be altered.
“Depending on the application area, we’ve seen product flow seriously impacted by x-ray shielding curtains as much as 20% of the time,” says Bob Ries, lead product manager, metal detection and x-ray inspection, Thermo Fisher. “A good example is gas-flushed metalized snack bags that don’t have enough weight to push through the flexible but dense curtains. Unwrapped items, such as pies, are another example. In that instance, the curtains come in contact with the food itself, potentially contaminating it and/or creating a cleaning mess. To help address these inspection needs, we engineered an x-ray system without curtains at all.”
The EZx 465 Touchless X-ray system eliminates the need for shielding curtains by conveying the product through the inspection chamber via a series of small slopes. Additionally, the unit also features an aperture with reduced height to ensure that x-ray scatter does not escape from the inlet or outlet areas of the system.
“Because x-rays only travel in a straight line, the angles and aperture height we’ve created eliminate x-ray scatter that might leave the system. The conveyor belt is also slightly tacky, a design that ensures products stay in place during the slight upward and downward slopes,” adds Ries.
The EZx 465 Touchless X-ray system is available with a 400 mm (15.75 inches) wide belt, the most common choice for the majority of applications. The system can handle products 65 mm (2.5 inches) in height. Maximum belt speed is 100 meters or 328 feet per minute.
Thermo Scientific EZx contaminant detection systems provide the most cost-effective solution for locating foreign objects (metal, glass, stone, plastic, bone, etc.) commonly found in packaged food production environments. The systems are also differentiated by how they enable set-up and testing within minutes using the QuickLearn graphical interface and an x-ray source and detector that eliminate blind spots in the inspection tunnel.