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Metal detection, X-ray, and checkweigh trends

These systems are getting more advanced and useful all the time. Here’s a quick rundown on where the technology stands today:

1. Metal detectors are increasing sensitivity and reducing false rejects. For metal detection, recent innovations increase sensitivity and reduce false rejects. Specifically, coil (transmitter and receiver) designs have been expanded or optimized, and digital signal processing has been improved to remove noise and product effects.

2. X-ray is a fast mover. As a newer technology being adopted by more customers every year, X-ray inspection is innovating faster than other inspection technologies. This is because of its ability to find more than metal contaminants as well as contaminants in packages made of metal (cans, metallized film pouches, foil trays). The X-ray source is constantly being advanced by putting the complete generation system in a single box called a “monoblock.” This improves the cost, quality, and reliability while making replacement simple. X-ray detectors are also evolving to be more sensitive to changes and to have finer pixel pitch to produce higher-resolution images. X-ray image processing software is also constantly becoming better through the invention of new algorithms to find small, hard-to-find contaminants in complex pictures.

3. Cost and accuracy innovations enhance checkweighers. Using a single controller to weigh multiple lanes of product has improved the cost-effectiveness of checkweigher systems. In addition, high-accuracy pharmaceutical checkweighers can mark and verify DataMatrix codes to track and trace these products through the complete logistics system, preventing counterfeiting and aiding in inventory tracking and product recalls.

4. Inspection as a standardized platform. The trend in product inspection is to have platform products that are configurable, upgradable, and standardized. This way, systems can be moved from line to line or factory to factory with few if any changes. This will meet the needs to reconfigure frequently to increase production in a particular area or start up a new product. Completely customized systems are becoming less popular and desirable for this reason.

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