Plan Automation Technology Blog

Improving Product Traceability with X-Ray Product Inspection

Posted by Mat Bedard on Fri, Jan 6, 2017 @ 10:01 AM

X-ray product inspection makes tracing problems in the production line easier than ever.Traceability is a major concern for food producers. Being able to track a contaminated package back to its point of origin is vital for minimizing future contamination risks and for narrowing down product recalls.

However, traceability is a massive challenge for food manufacturers. It’s not enough to know that package #5671 had a piece of stone in it—you have to know where in the production process that stone was introduced so you can eliminate that risk and prevent further contamination.

By taking advantage of x-ray product inspection, you can improve traceability for contaminated packages and ingredients. Here’s how:

Step 1: Inspecting Ingredient Inflows

The ingredient inflow can be a major source of contaminants in any production line. If your suppliers are providing you product with stones, bones, and other contaminants in them, you need to know.

By placing x-ray inspection machines at your ingredient inflows, you can easily determine if contaminants are being introduced to your production line by your raw ingredients. If you notice a consistent contamination problem from a single supplier, you can then take action to correct the problem.

Step 2: Matching Product Inspection X-Rays to Individual Packages

One of the great things about modern x-ray inspection machines is that they can record the results of each and every inspection and store them for future reference. This helps to improve traceability by allowing you to match x-ray inspection results to individual package rejections and their causes.

For example, if a package of food has metal shavings in it, you can review the record of rejections, see which package was rejected, and which batch of product it was in. This helps you narrow down product recalls in case a contaminated product somehow makes it past your quality control process.

Step 3: Logging More Than Just Contaminants

Modern x-ray inspection machines can perform a variety of quality control checks on sealed packages prior to shipping, including:

  • Seal Inspection
  • Checkweighing
  • Fill Level Inspection
  • Cap Detection
  • Chemical Lean Verification for Raw Meat (with DEXA inspection machines)
  • Moisture and Protein Calculation of Meat Products (with DEXA inspection machines) 
  • Missing Package Component Checks

These checks help you identify other problems in your production line and trace them back to their source.

For example, if fill levels are consistently low, then there might be a problem with your ingredient feeds. If seals aren’t being closed properly, then your packaging/sealing system might need repairs/adjustments.

Increasing traceability and thoroughness of documentation can help you improve your overall quality control. And, with better quality control comes fewer customer complaints and recalls.

Find out how you can integrate state-of-the-art x-ray product inspection in your production line today!

Download our white paper today!

Topics: X-Ray Inspection, Product Inspection, Food Product Inspection, Food Inspection