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Thermo Scientific makes small work of big-item inspection

By Jenni Spinner+

12-Dec-2013

Thermo Scientific's Xpert C600 x-ray system handles large, packaged food products.
Thermo Scientific's Xpert C600 x-ray system handles large, packaged food products.

Thermo Scientific has launched an x-ray machine geared toward inspection of large food packages.

The Xpert C600 can scan large individual products, packages, and filled cases. The machine detects a range of contaminants, including metal shavings, glass shards, plastic chunks and other unwanted items.

Large aperture

Bob Ries, lead product manager of metal detection and x-ray inspection for Thermo Fisher Scientific, told FoodProductionDaily.com that the larger aperture of the machine fits the bill for large pizzas, bagged/cartoned products, items in corrugated cases and other items left unserved by smaller-aperture units.

This larger aperture unit addresses several market needs,” he said. “Some food processors prefer end-of-line detection because after a product is sealed and cased it can no longer be contaminated.”

Ries added that the Xpert C600 can help food and packaging firms meet inspection requirements put forth by big-box stores and warehouse clubs for bulk-packed containers.

Bigger dimensions

The machine’s aperture reportedly is 50% larger than competitive units, with a wider x-ray beam than the one on the previous model (the C400). With dimensions of 22 in. wide and 10 in. tall, the aperture accepts oversized items that other x-ray machines cannot.

Ries said the system analyzes x-ray images to gauge weight and fill, or check if a package is missing contents. The machine’s high-sensitivity detectors come with 0.8-mm resolution, and its algorithm suite reportedly can detect even small contaminants in complex images with minimal false rejects.

Additionally, the software allows up to eight lanes to be fed through the aperture at once. The capability is said to optimize throughput and reduce the overall cost of inspection.

Rugged construction

The system is built with modular construction and offers built-in support. These features reportedly help simplify service and minimize costly downtime.

The Xpert C600 is engineered for 24-hour operation in harsh food environments. Operating temperature range is 5 deg to 40 deg C; both IP54 and IP65 dust and washdown rated models are available.

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