Loma targets first-time X-ray user

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Loma Systems' X5c machine
Loma Systems' X5c machine

Related tags X-ray inspection systems Stainless steel Food

Loma Systems has launched an X-ray inspection machine for food manufacturers who want to make the switch to the technology for the first time. 

With retailers’ Codes of Practice increasingly specifying the use of X-ray over other methods of contaminant inspection, the X5c (Compact) model is aimed at food manufacturers, processors and packers running multi-product, retail ready lines.

The X5c is designed to suit damp and dry environments and is IP55-rated which will withstand water wash down at low pressure.

Where very harsh wash down is in place the firm offers the IP65-rated version.

X-ray for detection levels

Tony Bryant, Loma Systems’ UK sales manager, said while it offers the IQ3 metal detector, there are certain customers and applications where only having an X-ray installed will give the required detection levels.

“This is especially the case where foil packaging ready meals and other metallic packing is used. The X5c will offer suppliers of foil tray ready meals detection levels of 1mm stainless steel in most applications,” ​he told FoodQualityNews.

“No metal detector in the world could offer anything close to this and given that 98% of a food factory is stainless steel an X-ray system is pretty important for due diligence.”

Manufactured at Loma’s facility in Farnborough, the firm claims it reduces the cost of ownership compared to the X5 and other X-ray inspection manufacturers by 30%.

In line with CFR21 part 11 traceability, Loma’s X5c is multilevel password protected for improved data management, which means the system can log events against individual operators.

Produced from brushed stainless steel, it also offers a hygienic design for cleaning, maintenance and serviceability.

A quick release belt can be removed without the need for tools or the belt tension can be eased for cleaning.

The machine also has sloping surfaces to stop food particles and washdown droplets accumulating in crevices and to reduce drying time.

Ready meal lines

It is for the detection of glass, calcified bone, rubber, stone and ferrous, non ferrous and stainless steel metal in various packaging. Loma’s X5c operates at line speeds up to 50 metres per minute and measures one metre in length.

The X5c is capable of handling products up to 100mm (height) x and 300mm (width) but weighing no more than 3kg – making it ideal for the inspection of ready meal lines.

Its bigger version, the X5, can work at speeds up to 394 feet per minute and has 300mm, 500mm and 600mm belt widths with a maximum product weight of 55 pounds.

Bryant said X-ray units are becoming more and more wide-spread and the balance is slowly shifting.

However metal detector are still the use of the majority of food processors across the world. There are obvious benefits in using X-ray machinery however, better detection of metals, bone detection, glass detection, stone detection and so here at Loma we have designed an X-ray system in the X5c that closes the gap between high end X-ray and relatively low cost metal detectors.”

The X5c incorporates a detector array with 0.8mm diode pitch offering a low power and self-contained high efficiency X-ray generator.

Bryant said the development is an example of the firm’s approach and adaptability to the market.

“With the recent BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7 and retailers’ Codes of Practice further recognising the use of X-ray inspection systems in the food industry, Loma…[built] a system that offers cost advantages and opens up X-ray inspection technology to those food manufacturers, processors and packers who previously considered it too expensive.”

He added the machine will give smaller food companies the peace of mind that they meet the quality control requirements of major retailers.

Related topics Food safety & quality

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