Guidelines to X-ray Inspection of Glass Containers
About Peco InspX
Peco Inspx is an expert in x-ray system design, application engineering, and operations. Peco InspX has tremendous experience in demanding, high-performance applications.
Peco InspX was Built on material experience in Silicon Valley and design of Air Traffic control systems and has a deep background in data-driven operational optimization. Peco InspX has been designing solutions for Food and Beverage Customers since 1953. Peco InspX has extensive experience in high-performance x-ray applications but also does vision, seal inspection and product handling operations.
Why Inspect Glass With X-ray?
Source Manufacturing Contamination: While manufacturers use specialized inspection equipment, the process isn’t perfect resulting in recalls.
Neighbor Contamination: During operational product handling, fragments can land in open jars
Filling and Capping Contamination: Fillers can score glass bottles – breaking off chips, capping machines can break off the top of jars. Filler/capper rinsing is not a 100% effective way of ensuring these contaminants are removed.
Very High Rate of Technical Change: Advances in imaging hardware and software are dramatically improving the capability of x-ray systems.
Quality Management Systems Versus an X-Ray Machine: A more sophisticated way of doing inspections and ensuring everything is properly inspected. Images can be serialized to match a physical product
X-ray Inspection Performance
X-ray Inspection machines have conditions and capabilities that are interdependent of each other. The following components and their relationships are described below: The type of data the machines produce, and under what conditions, as well as the capabilities of machines and limitations to inspection.
The type of Data parameters X-ray machines can provide include the following:
- Container Integrity: Find container imperfections including thin sidewalls.
- Foreign Material Detection: Detect glass, metal and other foreign material.
- Fill Volume Measurement: Much more accurate than simple fill level measurement.
- Filler Valve Monitoring: Get very precise insight to fill level performance.
- Cap/Crown Presence: No external hardware needed
Certain conditions determine the accuracy and effectiveness of X-ray inspection these include:
- Glass Constituency: Glass consistency negatively correlated with inspection sensitivity
- Speed: Very high-speed applications lose inspection some degree of inspection fidelity.
- Product Noise: How clean is the image?
- Image Signal to Noise Ratio: Measure of the quality of the image (mainly determined by an X-ray tube and imaging detector)
- Level of Image Contrast: Driven by current load on the X-ray tube
- Density of Contaminants
In addition to conditions determining accuracy, there are also conditions to consider for the best applications of when and where to use an inspection machine including:
- Contaminant Types and Likely Location in Container
- Conveyance: Can the containers be transferred or is a “non-contact” solution better?
- Container Spacing: Can containers be reliably spaced?
- Line Space: How much room is available?
- Budget/ROI: How sophisticated of a machine is required
- Operational Capabilities: How would this get operated in the plant?
How do X-ray Machines Work?
Physics of Operation is Simple: Looking for differences in density; food is mostly water and so things are more dense than water are generally detectable
4 basic components:
- X-ray source
- Imaging detector
- Analysis computer
- Image Storage device
2 Basic Approaches
- Linear Diode Array (0.4 mm and 0.8 mm pitch)
- 2 D Imaging Sensor
Basic Machine Design Approaches
Geometry Based Solution To Handle Container Push Up
- Multiple Beams
- Special Location to See Over Push Up
Multi-Beam Approach to Address Asymmetric Contaminants
SHIELD Solo and Solo Plus
Advanced Side-View X-Ray designed to inspect rigid containers (metal cans. composite cans, plastic containers). Also available in a Solo Plus configuration for larger containers. Mounts over customer conveyor system.
Advanced Triple-Side-View X-Ray system designed to inspect glass containers for glass and steel fragments. This machine mounts over the customer conveyor system.
Advanced Dual-Side-View X-Ray system designed to inspect glass containers for glass fragments.
Utilizes a unique “see-thru” conveying system for high-resolution base inspection.
Fill Level Monitoring
More accurate than commercial fill level monitors, Detect Fill Weight By +/- 0.5 %
- Replace existing stand-alone fill level monitor with more capable x-ray
- Easily detect low fills and empty containers
- Place a “cause of reject” identification mark on every rejected container to assist with visual reject analysis
- Store every reject image, can be viewed off-line
- Store every good image, provides robust consumer complaint analysis data
- Re-run all good images off-line, basically facilitates the inspection of all product in the warehouse without a physical re-run on the production line
If you still have questions regarding X-ray Inspection after reading this blog post, we highly recommend watching the full version of the Webinar here, and scheduling a time to talk with a representative from Peco Inspx.
If you want more helpful resources from Peco InspX visit https://www.peco-inspx.com/lp/resources