Companies wishing to implement a process control, overseeing each Critical Control Point (CCP) of their production and packaging line, must often face this question: should a Metal detector or an X-ray inspection system be included? What are the costs, advantages and problems that I have to consider?
If it is obvious that the correct answer arises from a technical analysis of the product, the contaminant and in general the production needs, it is equally true that we often tend to forget an aspect of a commercial nature that is instead fundamental premise for an objective comparison between the two technologies.
Metal detectors are the traditional solution for the inspection of foreign bodies inside the products and finds its main strength in low costs.
At the same time it presents significant limitations: metal detectors are capable of detecting only metallic contaminants; they are not usable with packagings containing metal (aluminum, aluminized film, tinplate, etc.); in addition, the characteristics of the product itself must be taken into account (thickness, density, conductivity and temperature), which may disturb the detection of the contaminant. Although working multifrequency helps to reduce this problem, the "product effect" is an intrinsic limit to the metal detector technology.
A good X-ray system easily exceeds these technological limitations: it is perfectly able to detect with extreme precision even non-metallic contaminants, control packs with metal films or aluminum foil; moreover, it allows to inspect a long series of other aspects in addition to the presence of contaminants.
Therefore, it is the ideal tool for those companies who want to ensure the integrity of the product and avoid customer complaints, brand damage and product recalls:: faced to these problems, the investment in a X-ray system becomes infinitely small.
The price is in fact significantly higher than that of a metal detector; and this is mainly due to the cost of its components: x-ray generator and sensor must be of high quality to ensure high levels of reliability and a longevity appropriate to the investment.
SO, WHAT SHOULD I CHOOSE?
Obviously, each solution has advantages and disadvantages; it is crucial to have them in mind and choose after analyzing the specific business priorities carefully.
But this is not always a simple task and you need the support of an expert who can point you in the right direction.
The most important decision is therefore upstream and consists in choosing to have a partner at your side that produces firsthand both solutions, which then knows them in depth and that for these reasons can give you a consultative and impartial support in choosing the most appropriate technology for your budget and performance needs.
PRISMA INDUSTRIALE is your partner for inspection and quality control, the only one in Italy to produce, in addition to checkweighers, metal detectors, X-ray systems and high quality integrated machines, 100% made in Italy and with an experience of over 15,000 installations.