Developed primarily to meet the needs of manufacturers and packers of beverages and other liquids, this efficient system is equipped with advanced image-scanning software and employs x-ray beams at an angle for total quality control.
The new FluidCheK x-ray system ensures accurate detection of dense contaminants including glass, metal, stone, plastics, such as Teflon, and rubbers, such as Viton. It is specially designed to inspect glass bottles and jars, metal cans and plastic bottles, and is especially effective on containers with a domed base.
- It has been traditionally difficult for perpendicular horizontal beam x-ray systems to inspect the base area of glass and metal containers with raised internal bases or domes. Since the dome area, which forms part of the x-ray base image, is denser than the rest of the container, contaminants can be hidden, resulting in detection blind spots - said Niall McRory, New Product Development Sales Manager, Mettler Toledo Safeline. - In response to specific customer requests, Safeline sought to develop an x-ray system that achieves optimum contamination detection in packaged fluids whilst ensuring maximum throughput and ease-of-operation. FluidCheK is the result of that endeavour.
The FluidCheK x-ray inspection system takes a fresh approach to the detection of contaminants in liquids; it focuses inspection on the base area rather than on the entire container. This approach is highly effective because contaminants are usually denser than the surrounding liquid, so they will always sink to the bottom of a container.
The advantage of concentrating inspection only on the base of a container is that the x-ray generator can be moved much closer to the product, reducing the distance the x-ray beam must travel to the detector. This increases the quality of the x-ray image and improves the sensitivity and probability of detection, resulting in outstanding product safety. Additionally, the x-ray beam inspects the container base at an angle to prevent blind spots and hidden areas for unsurpassed contamination detection.
The FluidCheK is ideally located at the end of the production line as the final product inspection step to ensure that no contaminant has entered the product during production or sealing. By offering accurate quality control, the FluidCheK helps brands comply with local and international regulations, retailer requirements and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) practices. The FluidCheK is also equipped with a new software technique for contamination detection called XTP. The software analyses each pixel in the x-ray image so that even the smallest changes in a product can be identified.
The FluidCheK uses Safeline’s patented x-ray transparent slat band modular belt. The belt’s design and the low x-ray attenuation properties of its materials allow for excellent transport properties with no loss in detection sensitivity. It is ideal for high-speed glass container and can lines, offering smaller gaps for smoother transfers, easier integration with existing modular conveyors and easier rejection or diversion of defect packs. If glass breakages occur on the line, the belt can be easily removed in minutes for cleaning or maintenance.
An important feature of the FluidCheK is that it performs a completely “non-contact inspection”. This means that the products are not touched at anytime as they pass through the machine to prevent product handling issues and damaged pack labels.
This new x-ray system adds to Mettler Toledo Safeline’s product inspection technology portfolio, which includes x-ray, metal detection and checkweighing solutions.