Tall, rigid containers are used extensively across the food industry to package products from fruit and vegetables to cereals and beverages to baby food. However, inspecting these types of packaging for physical contaminants and quality defects using x-ray product inspection can prove challenging.

Safeline X-ray’s white paper Ensuring the safety and integrity of tall, rigid containers explores the challenges metal cans, doypacks, cartons, composite cans/tubes and plastic and glass containers present for x-ray product inspection and the various solutions on the market for x-ray inspection of containers which are capable of overcoming these challenges including blind spots within the container to provide outstanding, reliable and consistent inspection results irrespective of the application or packaging material.

Tall, rigid containers are sub-divided into three categories based on the density (low, medium and high) of the packaging used and explores factors affecting the sensitivity of contamination detection in each type of packaging. The paper explains which type of x-ray system: vertical beam, horizontal beam or combination beam is best suited to each type of packaging to help manufacturers select the right food x-ray solution for their own application.

As well as ensuring food and beverages are safe to consume by providing unrivalled contamination detection the paper reveals that modern x-ray systems are multitasking defenders of product and brand quality. In a single pass at high line speeds x-ray machines can simultaneously check fill levels, measure head space, detect missing closures on plastic containers, reject damaged product and detect agglomerates including flavour and powder lumps. 

“Traditionally, food processors have needed to implement high power x-ray systems to inspect cans or glass containers at high speeds, sometimes in excess of 1,000 products per minute,” explains Daniela Verhaeg, marketing manager SBU X-ray inspection, Mettler-Toledo Safeline X-ray. “The   X37 Series with its new detector technology and class-leading inspection software is able to offer equal or in some cases improved detection levels while typically only needing one fifth of the standard x-ray energy power consumption. Consequently, this allows food manufacturers to substantially reduce operational costs while maintaining the utmost level of safety and quality for their products”. 

Advancements in x-ray product inspection technology over the past three years are discussed including new high gain detectors and enhanced software algorithms along with their benefits to help food and beverage manufacturers evaluate special features and/or compare the capability of different machine brands.