Where Telecommunications Began
Anritsu for Fiber Optics: Ushering in the Age of Optical Communications
A Driving Force in the Age of High-Speed Global Connection
Responding to the Rise of IP Networks
Leading the 3G Field in the New Age of Mobile Phones
Helping to Bring the World Mobile Phone Services
A Driving Force in the Rise of Mobile Broadband
IoT/5G: The Future of Communication
Providing Food Safety
Our Role in the Age of Mass Production of Food
Preventing Endangerment of Lives and Ensuring Quality of Life Worldwide
Social changes surrounding the food industry in Japan
Despite advances in food production technology, there are still frightening cases of foreign objects entering food products. Incidents like this must not be allowed to happen, and it is therefore essential to install technology for detecting foreign objects in food and pharmaceutical production lines. We began developing solutions for detecting foreign objects after being approached by customers with whom we developed close relationships during our auto checker development.
Our first solution was a metal detector. The device detected pieces of metal using fluctuation of a magnetic field in the same way as the full-body metal detectors that were used in airport security. We initially sold metal detectors developed by an OEM in 1977, but soon realized that we needed to develop detectors in-house in order to meet the requirements of each customer’s site. We began working to produce the device internally and finally succeeded in 1981.
Quality assurance needs and product development in the inspection equipment field are mutually dependent. Anritsu has constantly communicated with its customers to ascertain their needs and then developed increasingly advanced metal detectors to meet those demands. Our product line includes a wide range of products with various gate sizes to suit the size of the items being inspected and specifications to suit various conveyor widths and handle interior packaging such as aluminum deposited film.
In 1995, Japan passed the Product Liability Act, defining the responsibilities of product manufacturers. This had a major impact on the industrial sphere, including the food industry, where food products now had to undergo stringent quality inspections before being dispatched from the factory. Anritsu responded to these needs with the epoch-making Super Mepoly KD801 in 1991. Sales of this device exploded because of its high sensitivity and ease of use. The rapid rise of the KD801 was accelerated further by our seminars and briefing sessions, where we taught our customers how to use the device correctly. For a while, demand was so high that our production department was working at full capacity and still could not keep up. The guide book, To Help You Use Anritsu’s Metal Detectors Correctly, was translated into languages such as English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese and is still considered an industrial bible by our customers today.
Super Mepoly II
The precursor to Anritsu Infivis also quickly worked to make its products compliant with the Act on Temporary Measures concerning Sophistication of Management of Food Manufacturing Process executed in 1998. By 1999, it had developed the Super Mepoly II, a device with hygiene management, cleaning and waterproof features that prevented microbial contamination in the production lines of food and processed goods to the standard required by HACCP.
One obvious issue with metal detectors was that they could only detect metal and not the other foreign objects that can end up in food. The breakthrough for this issue came in the form of X-ray devices, which became popular in areas such as Europe in the late 1990s. The precursor to Anritsu Infivis initially imported these to meet its customers’ needs, but this resulted in a price of over 10 million yen (US$100,000, at 1US$ = 100 yen). To make matters worse, the systems were also too large for Japanese food factories, and were unreliable too.
It was clear that simply importing X-ray devices would not provide our customers with the consistently high performance that they demanded, so Anritsu Infivis’ precursor began to develop the ideal X-ray inspection system for its customers.
Anritsu itself had no experience with X-ray research either, so it was an extremely challenging technical development project. X-rays are often used in medicine, but the speed used for inspections is completely different. X-rays on production lines must judge products in a fraction of a second, and a mechanical judgment has to be made by image recognition. We refined X-ray and imaging technology, combined the two and finally succeeded in developing an X-ray inspection system in-house. We began delivering our own X-ray inspection systems, the KD72 Series, in 2000.
Our X-ray inspection systems are not just used for detecting foreign objects. After developing the KD72 Series, Anritsu worked to improve detection sensitivity and explore further possibilities for X-rays, developing the KD73 Series in 2002 and the KD74 Series in 2006. Our X-ray detection technology has become more advanced with each new series, and can now detect cracks, chips, missing parts and improper packaging. In 2011, we were the first in the world to develop a dual energy sensor model. The X-ray is measured with two types of sensors for clearer detection, bringing a whole new value to X-ray detection systems. The system can detect bones remaining in chicken – something that had been difficult to detect before – and is advanced enough to detect foreign objects even in uneven products and products that have stuck together.
All of these developments have been carried out in collaboration with our customers. With borderlessness becoming a matter of course, we must now address global needs for foreign object detection. Anritsu Infivis aims to be a world-class partner in quality assurance solutions, and will continue to contribute to safer and more reliable food and pharmaceutical supplies for people around the world.
On track to a brighter future: TOP
Anritsu Corporation Company History
Anritsu Infivis Company History