Heuft uses pulsed X-ray to detect contaminants

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Heuft eXaminer II XB
Heuft eXaminer II XB

Related tags X-ray

Heuft Systemtechnik has launched an X-ray detector which combines pulsed X-ray technology with image convertors to detect foreign objects.

Heuft eXaminer II XB does a top-down inspection through pulsed X-ray technology using compact image converters for the first time.

The firm said this increases the resolution and sensitivity when detecting foreign objects, decreases the radiation emission and makes the precise inspection of larger products possible.

Speed and accuracy

Dirk Henschke, product manager, said the machine is designed to work high speeds accurately to detect glass pieces and foreign objects in general.

Heuft eXaminer II XB
Heuft eXaminer II XB image

“To guarantee that of course you need different technology and therefore we designed the pulse X-ray technology and we do not have an X-ray source,” ​he told FoodQualityNews.

“It is like taking a picture by a camera therefore we minimise the motion blur of the product in the image. We have the possibility as well to reach high speeds and at the same time to have a high accuracy in detecting foreign objects.”

It is specially designed for carton boxes or flowpack applications.

Pulsed X-ray offers benefits in the amount produced, said Henschke.   

“If you have a production capacity of 36,000 products per hour we only have X-ray switched on in that time for 36 seconds so that is in general a thousand times lower than our competitors,” ​he said.

“Therefore we are more flexible in designing our machines, less lead inside, less shielding, linear devices, no lead curtains needed which is a huge benefit for the transportation of the products.”

System upgrades

The updated system is based on the SPECTRUM II device platform with the audiovisual NaVi user guidance and is equipped with full-field image converters. 

The image converters replace the previously used camera and image intensifier technology to extend the sensitive detection surface with quadrupled resolution, said the firm.

HEUFT eXaminer II XB_2
Heuft eXaminer II XB image

Parallel examination of two products at once is possible which increases maximum throughput of the system to 2,400 products per minute.

“You have products which are running in a single lane condition and there are products which are running in dual lanes, so you have two fillers and then they are transported in individual movements through the X-ray,” ​said Henschke.

“We have the possibility to pass those products in two lanes through one device and then make independent inspection of that. With that we increase the speed, the amount of productivity, because you have the possibility to produce at double capacity.”

X-ray parameters adapted to the full-field image converters reduce the radiation. In contrast to the conventional scan it is emitted as X-ray flashes which only last a thousandth of a second.

The flashing prevents motion blurs at high conveyor speeds which can impair detection reliability and border areas of the X-ray images are free of distortions and aberrations. 

It also makes static inspection possible: the product can be examined even when the conveyor is not moving e.g. for internal quality assurance purposes. 

At the Interpack trade show last year the firm launched and displayed the SPECTRUM II, ​NaVi user guidance, InLine II IXS empty container inspection, SPECTRUM II VX Fill Management, e-mono container rejection, eXaminer XT, eXaminer XAC and eXaminer XB.

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