Thermo Fisher Scientific NextGuard X-ray Detection System

Minneapolis-based Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. announced the launch of an affordable, easy-to-use X-ray detection platform during a press event on April 17 in Chicago.

The Thermo Scientific NextGuard system is designed to enable food processors to meet the global demand for more thorough inspection for product contamination. The platform also combines performance, simplicity-of-use and price point to make state-of-the-art X-ray product detection more affordable for food, pharmaceutical and other applications.

“Based on customer feedback, we’ve found that, traditionally, the total cost of ownership for X-ray systems has been too high for many companies to justify this technology,” says Bob Ries, lead product manager, metal detection and X-ray inspection, Thermo Fisher. “This feedback is also telling us that our robust, affordable, easy-to-use X-ray system is going to be the catalyst that will alter the product-inspection landscape.”

Based on Thermo Fisher testing, the NextGuard offers up to 50% better detection sensitivity than the company’s previous value-based X-ray system, the EZx. The system is designed to be reliable, easy-to-install and compact (1 meter long), and comes equipped with intuitive software.

NextGuard’s performance-oriented features also have been driven by a changing industry landscape. “X-ray detection addresses a number of customer concerns, including evolving [hazard analysis and critical control points] standards and requirements from some retailers for X-ray inspected product,” Ries says. “Additionally, we are seeing an increased use of metalized film packaging, which is problematic for metal detectors.

“On the product side, many wet or semi-frozen foods also do not lend themselves to metal detection due to product affect issues. Examples include cheese, ice cream, bakery products and others.”

The NextGuard offers numerous features often found only in higher-end systems, including multiple contaminant detection algorithms; the ability to modify, test and change detection parameters on the fly; multiple available X-ray powers; a wraparound detector to reduce blind spots; built-in Internet remote support hardware and software; an easily removable conveyor; detector diagnostics for preventative maintenance; and on-machine, reject image storage for up to 90 days.

The series’ first model, the NextGuard C330, is designed for packaged product contaminant detection and complements the mid- and high-end Thermo Scientific Xpert and POWERx X-ray inspection systems currently operating in plants around the world.

For more information about the company’s product-inspection equipment, visit