Inspection and detection machinery has a noble purpose in the food and beverage industry – to detect impurities in our consumables and reject the product, long before the item lands on store shelves. Food safety and product integrity are key themes in today’s industry and these machines are working hard to live up to today’s standards.


X-ray systems take a look inside

Stand-up package inspection will now benefit from a new flexible, easier-to-use and more cost-effective horizontal beam X-ray system. The Thermo Scientific Xpert S400 ( has been specifically engineered to detect metal, glass, dense plastics and other foreign objects in vertically-oriented containers such as metal cans, plastic bottles, cartons and stand-up pouches.

The Xpert S400’s compact length enables placement into tight production spaces and the X-ray source/detector height easily adjusts to match the customer’s conveyor passing through the inspection tunnel. Specific software algorithms developed for tall profile packages look for contaminants in problem areas such as package edges, bottom center and top. The unit also offers diagnostic functions for quick troubleshooting, customized rejection devices and a sanitary design.

New software for improved detection

Fortress Technology (, a global leader in the manufacture of metal detector systems, announces the world wide release of the revolutionary FM software for its metal detectors. This software has been developed to be compatible with all previously manufactured Fortress detectors and can be field installed on the company’s Phantom and Stealth models. The FM software analyzes the detection signal and uses an algorithm to calculate the signal strength based on a function of time and amplitude. This can significantly improve performance in certain applications, including large bags, by at least 40%.

In addition to foreign object detection, the unit can also analyze an X-ray image to determine if a package is dented, has a missing closure and can estimate fill level. The unit is engineered for high-speed lines of up to 500 packages per minute.

Just officially launched at interpack 2014 in Dusseldorf, Germany this month, Eagle Product Inspection’s ( Tall PRO XSDV is a dual view x-ray system designed to detect and remove up to 50% smaller sized contaminants located in rigid and glass containers.

The Eagle Tall PRO XSDV was designed with a single generator producing two x-ray beams for higher detection sensitivity levels than traditional x-ray systems for contaminants located in rigid and glass containers. The technology is sophisticated to inspect different sides of packages for foreign bodies and examines fill-levels. The slimline x-ray machine also provides simultaneous integrity checks on high speed lines and is ideal for manufacturing facilities with limited space.


Metal detection increases sensitivity

CEIA THS 21 metal detectors from Heat and Control, Inc. (, integrated with specialized ejection systems, provide high sensitivity to all metals for accurate inspection of pumped, conveyed and free-falling food products. CEIA’s new PLV 21-Series features 316L stainless steel construction in a variety of standard pipe sizes with an ejection valve for liquid and viscous products. For free falling product, such as powders, CEIA FFV 21 systems offer the same features in a compact size. The rapid and accurate ejection keeps the amount of rejected product to a minimum.

As food safety and traceability only increase in importance due to recent recall issues with fresh food, all CEIA 21-Series metal detectors are FDA compliant for data security, integrity and traceability.

5 key trends in inspection/detection

  1. X-ray replacing metal detection: As the cost and complexity of X-ray for food products decreases, more customers are considering replacing their older metal detectors.
  2. Equipment flexibility: Large global food producers are constantly reconfiguring lines for new products or product transfers so the systems they buy must be easy and fast to redeploy in new settings.
  3. Sanitary design: With increasing concerns about biological and chemical hazards cleaning regimes are becoming more severe.
  4. Remote system access for fast problem determination: As more inspection and detection systems become PC based, the technical and financial barriers to remote access are coming down.
  5. Combination systems: Many inspection and detection vendors offer multiple technologies so many times the smallest footprint and lowest cost systems combine multiple functions together into one offering.

From Bob Reis, lead product manager, Metal Detection and X-Ray Inspection, Thermo Scientific, Product Inspection

Global packaging solutions provider, tna (, with industrial metal detection experts, Mettler Toledo Safeline, has developed the hyper-detect® metal detector, which the companies say is the world’s first non-symmetrical balanced coil metal detector with a conical aperture into the detector.

While conventional ‘throat’ metal detectors have long been used in the industry to inspect the product before it enters the bag (to allow the use of metallized film), packaging speeds have been limited until now. The integrated design allows the metal detector to be positioned much closer to the multi-head weigher, increasing the speed at which the bagger can produce finished bags.

With a high frequency function, the hyper-detect provides stable operation for optimum sensitivity and consistent performance. Able to detect ferrous contaminants from 0.8mm to 0.9mm, non-ferrous pieces up to 1.0mm and non-magnetic stainless steel from 1.0mm to 1.2mm, the hyper-detect is extremely sensitive, greatly reducing the risk of contaminants entering the value chain, safeguarding consumer safety and the company’s reputation.

For improved sensitivity, reliability and intuitive operation, Eriez ( has launched the Xtreme® Metal Detector. The ultra-sleek detector boasts a completely redesigned, extra-large color interface. Modeled after smartphones, the metal detector includes a full QWERTY keyboard, robust auto set-up, dedicated reject log and vivid display.

The detector offers greater sensitivity with its multiple frequency range and vibration immunity. In addition, an integrated beacon and configurable inputs and outputs enable easy installation.

Today’s inspection and detection equipment is working hard to ensure product safety and brand integrity. Capabilities are increasing to detect smaller fragments faster and more accurately, all while catering to a more user-friendly operation.