In addition to foreign body detection, convenience food manufacturers can now inspect for irregularities in the shape of processed food products with Mettler-Toledo Safeline’s new InspireX R40LF-800 System. Developed to automate the examination of loose foods such as hamburger patties, chicken nuggets and bakery products, the new high-speed X-ray system offers exceptional detection of unwanted foreign bodies, such as bone, glass and metal as well as quality checks for mass and shape defects.
Unlike traditional bulk product X-ray systems, the InspireX R40LF-800 System is uniquely designed to inspect formed food products for quality parameters such as the roundness of a hamburger patty and indentations caused by defective forming. In addition, the system can simultaneously detect flakes of meat on surfaces that adversely affect cooking time and can lead to undercooked patties, which can jeopardise consumer health and compromise brand integrity.
The InspireX R40LF-800 System’s software enables it to monitor and track each patty or nugget as it passes through the system, ensuring correct identification of substandard products. By comparing each product as it passes through the X-ray system with a stored ‘ideal’ food product image, it can detect size variations as small as 1mm. With user-friendly software, the system can be controlled by a full-colour touchscreen human machine interface (HMI) and is able to scan across the full width of a conveyor belt, inspecting up to six product lanes simultaneously.
When defective products are detected, air nozzles lining the conveyor automatically propel products into a reject bin below the unit. Rejected products are then segregated so that defects, such as shape irregularities, are captured and reworked, minimising waste, saving costs and enhancing productivity, while contaminated product is discarded before further value is added. Quick product changeovers are possible with an adjustable dial that can alter the size of the rejection aperture according to the size of the food item, enhancing manufacturing flexibility and efficiency.
"The InspireX R40LF-800 System is an enabling technology for the growing convenience food market, ensuring quality inspection at high speeds. It offers food manufacturers a boost to their productivity and enables them to comply with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)-based industry safety initiatives, such as British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standards Version 6, enhancing brand reputation while protecting consumers from undercooked meat," said Daniela Verhaeg, marketing manager, Mettler-Toledo Safeline.