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By Process Industry Informer

Food inspection specialist Fortress Technology Europe is paving the way for greater food safety and peace of mind for UK and European manufacturers, unveiling its new ‘best value to performance’ Raptor X-Ray.

Meeting retailer demands to increase detection of physical and harmful contaminants and mitigate costly brand recalls, the contaminant detection and checkweighing expert has engineered one of the most reliable, energy efficient, cost saving x-ray’s on the market.

A single lane x-ray, available in two belt widths – 300mm and 400mm, the Raptor X-Ray reliably inspects and rejects packaged meat, cheese, chilled and confectionery products that present with metal, glass, wood, rubber, high density plastic, stone and calcified bones – a requirement imposed by most major food retailers today – at 100ppm.

Its full 1.7 metre enclosure maximises contaminant detection sensitivity and reliability by dissipating any heat created by the HMI and generator. All accomplished without using an energy-intensive air conditioning unit. Instead, the Raptor X-Ray pulls in fresh air and uses a more energy efficient fan generator to circulate air through the cabinet to regulate the filament temperature to support higher inspection reliability and x-ray tube stability. In 10 years, this air-flow technology has resulted in a zero tube failure rate.

With filaments in an x-ray tube running hotter when more current is demanded, the Raptor typically runs at half voltage – 80kV. This helps to prevent overheating, Even after 24-hours of continuously inspecting food packs, operatives can place an un-gloved hand directly on the X-Ray generator and it is still cool to the touch.

Designed to inspect all pack formats measuring 300mm by 400mm and 150mm deep, the Raptor X-Ray performs quality control tasks that the human eye would easily miss. Including monitoring fill levels, identifying ingredient clumps, broken or missing product and spotting damaged packaging.

All supermarket COPs ready to go

Collating live OEE data and reporting results directly to QA and technical personnel , the advanced software enables fast, reliable and easy product set up. Increasing throughput and maximising detection of contaminants, while significantly reducing the number of false rejects.

Uniquely, the Raptor X-Ray software also automatically incorporates every UK retailer COP that exists, integrating into a testing software preprogrammed into the machine menu. Production operatives simply select the retailer and product being inspected on the 15-inch HMI home screen, run a calibration and QA test, pass the test packs through the x-ray, confirm rejection and remove from the reject bin. After pressing pass and signing the digital report, a report is instantly dispatched from the HMI over the company network directly to the technical manager’s inbox. In less than a minute, a new product application is ready to run.

The Raptor X-Ray utilises fresh air and an energy efficient fan generator to maintain a constant temperature making the generator cool to the touch

CO2 reductions

The energy saving all-electric actuator plays a critical role in efficiently pushing rejects from overhead into a BRC-approved reject bin located to the side of the conveyor. The entire system only requires a maximum 10 amps to operate, compared to an air conditioned x-ray which typically needs 16 amps. Equating to approximately £4,000 power saving per machine, per year.

Made from 6mm thick stainless steel sheeting – virtually double the thickness of other food x-ray machines on the market-, the Raptor X-Ray’s solid framework reduces vibration, which affects the reliability and performance of x-ray tubes. High-density lead-impregnated acrylic sliding doors fully contain the radiography beams, protecting operatives and recording just 0.5 microsieverts (mSv) at 10cm from the surface of the unit. By far exceeding the set maximum dosage of 1 mSv.

Sloping angles, magnetic x-ray curtains, a tool-less unclippable conveyor and IP69k sensors makes the Raptor X-Ray one of the easiest machines to sanitise. With all the drive motors located within the mechanical side of the cabinet, it offers the very best ingress protection, safeguarding cables from getting wet and damaged. Rather than applying unhygienic labels to the machine where dust and debris can accumulate, all instructions and industry-approved markings are laser etched directly onto the steel cabinet.

Modular by design, the Raptor X-Ray can be integrated with the new Fortress Raptor Checkweigher to create a high performance combination inspection system. The electronics can also be fully integrated with upstream flow wrapping or packaging machines and controlled via the single Raptor X-Ray HMI.