Falling within the trend toward ease of use, Mettler-Toledo showcased its X2 series of X-ray inspection systems—the X12 and X32—that can not only detect hard-to-find physical contaminants such as glass, stone, and bone, but also provide easy access for cleaning and maintenance.
A notable design aspect of the X2 series is its accessibility. The system is designed with independent panels, which, when opened, provide complete front access. “This gives us great space to reach in there, remove any product that may have fallen over or in fact clean the system itself, whether that be a wipe-down or a harsh wash-down that you may perform as part of your cleaning regime,” Pipe says.
Maintenance, too, has been made simple for users. The X2’s curtains can be swiftly removed from their rails. As demonstrated at PACK EXPO Las Vegas, the process of changing these curtains—often a time-consuming task—has been streamlined to just seconds, significantly reducing maintenance downtimes.
“Of course, our main objective is to keep food producers running—to reduce planned downtime and avoid unplanned downtime,” Pipe comments, noting that much of the new product design is geared toward improving those efficiencies.
With safety of utmost important for X-ray systems, the curtain rails come with an interlock system, ensuring the machine will not operate unless the interlock is correctly engaged. Additionally, if a curtain rail is incorrectly placed, the machine remains non-operational, helping to protect operators.
The X2’s conveyor belt system is designed for effortless tension adjustment. During the presentation, the ease with which the belt could be removed and reinstalled was evident. “If you’re looking to potentially replace the conveyor belt itself over time, as you can see here, we have quickly removed the belt within seconds and can quite easily put it back just as quickly,” Pipe notes.
Beyond the machine’s core functionalities, Mettler-Toledo has introduced a new bin design aimed at enhancing product rejection management. This design offers increased visibility of rejected products. Typically equipped with a bin-full sensor, this bin also provides a visual indicator, helping operators anticipate when the bin might reach its capacity, potentially preventing unnecessary production halts.
The bin’s design is versatile. If a facility already uses specific bins or totes, they can still be used with the X2. Radiation safety has been taken into account, ensuring that all emissions remain contained within the X-ray system’s hood. For those seeking added convenience, the bin can be accessorized, allowing for options with or without casters.
Within the X2 series, the X12 and X32 are mechanically the same in terms of the features described above. “But, in terms of performance, there is a differentiation from simple applications to advanced applications,” Pipe says. “The X12 is targeting simpler applications whereas the X32 is targeting advanced applications.”