Technical Note Vol.1 February, 2011
X-ray Inspection System Bulk Product Inspection
Bulk product inspection by x-ray inspection systems are always receiving signiﬁcant attention in exhibitions. How is this system diﬀerent from others? What products are ideal for the inspection? Let us explain the outline and look at the possibilities.
 What does "Bulk Product Inspection" mean?
Usually, when it comes to "contaminant" detection, you may think of products arranged in a production line for being inspected (Fig.1).
On the other hand, "bulk product inspection " means that products are randomly fed into an inspection line (Fig.2). To be more speciﬁc, products are "being spread", "facing diﬀerent directions" , and " unevenly spaced" during the inspection.
It is applied in various production lines such as beans, raw meat and dried vegetables.
Fig.1 Boxed or packaged product inspection
Fig.2 Bulk product inspection
 What is the diﬀerence of the x-ray inspection system for bulk products?
The x-ray inspection system for bulk products has quite a diﬀerent structure from a standard unit. Since x-rays aﬀect the human body, preventive mechanisms are required. Therefore, an "x-ray leakage prevention curtain" is mounted at the entry and exit points of standard x-ray inspection systems.
Pic.1 Standard x-ray inspection system (Example: KD7405AWH)
Pic.2 X-ray inspection system for bulk product inspection (Example: KD7405ABWH)
However, "small" and "light-weight" products, which are the main targets of bulk ﬂow, often become jammed by x-ray leakage prevention curtains. This may cause line stops and alarms.
Above all, the Japan food law bans the usage of lead in the x-ray leakage protection curtains when inspecting unpacked food products since lead is harmful for the human body.
Due to this, the inspection system for bulk products (Pic.2) adopts extended "X-ray leakage prevention covers" and "Shield plates" instead (Fig.4).
Fig.3 Standard x-ray inspection system
Fig.4 X-ray inspection system for bulk product inspection
 What are the advantages of "Bulk product inspection"?
Did you notice in , that the common point is raw materials and unpacked products?There are two major beneﬁts by adopting the bulk product inspection.
(1) Enhanced sensitivity
(2) Lowered production costs
Although it depends on the product physical properties, contaminants are more detectable in thinner products. In most products, detection sensitivity is higher in unpackaged, loose conditions than in boxed or packaged conditions, because products are thinner in the former condition.
Moreover, contaminant may become less detectable downstream due to the grinding or heat treating process. These steps break contaminants into smaller pieces or change its shapes and size. For this reason, inspections are more eﬀective during the early stages.
Furthermore, the more products are rejected, the more processing and packaging cost are wasted if inspected only at the ﬁnal check point. Even the "contaminants" may damage processing equipment.
We hope the above explanation helps you better understand the beneﬁts of bulk ﬂow inspection when performed early in the process, not just after processing and packaging.
Pic.3 Boxed or packaged conditions
Pic.4 Unpackaged conditions
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