Antares Vision Group has introduced an X-ray scanner system designed for inspecting food ingredients and raw materials such as cereals, rice, legumes, coffee, and sugar. Incorporating a vertical piping system, the company’s XR Bulk unit utilizes gravitational fall to inspect for a wide range of contaminants in a manner that ensures contained, smooth product flow.
Historically, bulk product inspection in the food sector has relied either upon X-ray belt systems—which can bring product handling issues by changing its natural flow—or vertical metal detectors, which often have detection limitations. Antares Vision Group’s XR Bulk is the first model on the market to combine appropriate product handling through a vertical pipe with the inspection power of X-ray technology. The result is streamlined incorporation of an important upstream layer of inspection for food products, well before final packaging and sealing.
The XR Bulk system is situated vertically to accommodate production lines, with product entering through a steel infeed pipe at the top. Following inspection, product exits from an outfeed pipe at the unit’s bottom. All product is contained inside the pipe and inspection chamber, both of which offer hygienic design. The machine also features a proprietary custom sensor that is sealed and protected from potential dust accumulation.
To ensure inspection is consistently effective, the XR Bulk unit reconfigures product flow from a cylindrical to a rectangular pathway, creating a layer with uniform thickness whose width aligns with inspection sensors. All totaled, the XR Bulk offers several fundamental advantages when compared to traditional belt X-ray systems:
- The elimination of product handling problems associated with conventional belt X-ray systems.
- The creation of homogeneous product flow without “peak” or “empty” stretches.
- The employment of a proprietary sensor that operates at exceptionally high speeds, identifies the position of contaminants, and rejects only affected portions of the flow—thereby increasing efficiency and minimizing product waste.
- An absence of belts, motors, and other components allows the horizontal X-ray beam to pass only through the product, ensuring high sensitivity even at high speeds.
By combining the benefits of vertical piping product management with the power of X-ray inspection, the XR Bulk avoids common problems with product handling, plant maintenance, and maintaining a sanitary working environment. Vertical pipe X-ray inspection optimizes operating conditions, helping the unit achieve the extraordinarily high levels of sensitivity necessary for granular products and other challenging raw materials.