Best Practices in Remote Diagnostics for X-ray Inspection
In the X-ray equipment space, a lot of companies say something about “online support” – but what does that mean?
It’s a lot more than connecting your machine to the Internet. At Peco InspX, it’s about designing a full solution to monitor machine performance, and then recording that information so that we can continuously see how the machine is performing.
How does it work?
Every component inside the machine is instrumented to provide telemetry information to the computer. That’s designed into the firmware and the hardware; which ensures our systems record the information we want. Recorded information covers everything from hardware performance to software performance; to ambient environmental condition; to input performance on things like conveyance quality and power. All that information is used to produce a bottom-line health index about how your machine is performing.
In addition, the machine can send us telemetry information every 30 seconds so that we know what’s going on with our machine in the field. As soon as our machines detect information suggesting there’s a problem, we can address it before you take the line down. That’s something no one else in the business offers.
For example: if your detector is heading below the limited quality number of imaging capability, we know that before it fully decreases; so you won’t have an inspection problem.
Let’s get a little more detail about the offered telemetry, to provide a rich sense of what makes us different.
Monitored in Real-Time
If we think about an X-ray machine, often the first concern for people in the field is “power”. X-ray machines can be sensitive to power. We put a lot of filtering equipment into our machines so that they’re insensitive, but we still want to measure the power quality in case that’s a yellow or red flag for machine operation.
- Our machines continuously record everything you want to know about the power quality and the feed.
- Imaging and detector components are also monitored in real-time: how well they’re doing; the constancy of the X-ray beam; the temperature of the components.
One of the things that’s very important for any electronics is stable temperature. Our machines contain sophisticated environmental controls to ensure those systems are kept at the same temperature. We know the temp and humidity inside the machine at all points, 24/7. Again, we’re taking that systems approach on how to design X-ray.
When it comes to machine instrumentation, we leave no recording stone unturned. Here’s what we record:
- Everything about the X-ray tube
- All parameters around communicating with other systems
- The imaging equipment (and process)
- The storage space for holding images
- Software and firmware output
- The ejectors
- Conveyor monitor
X-ray machines are dynamic-state and asynchronous-state machines. They take images of things coming in; they process them; then decide what to do based on the product (reject or accept). We record all that information, so we know if the imaging process is working correctly for every container that goes through the machine.
Quality of the Conveyance
This shows how seamless the conveyance process is, and if there are any issues with the containers as they move through the systems.
Detailed Air Log
Everything that happens in the machine is logged. When something occurs, we know about that immediately.
If you have a CCP line that’s operating 24/7, it’s going to be extremely difficult to provide full service as a manufacturer without these diagnostic capabilities. These are things built into the hardware; they’re not added afterthoughts. They’re the results of a holistic approach to improve diagnostic design. About 95% of the time when customers call us, we can fix the problem remotely. That means downtime is minimized; customers don’t pay for a truck to come to their facility; and their machines are continuously running.
When you look at X-ray systems in the market, and companies say, “We have an online support tool,” please get a walkthrough of that so you can understand what it does. At Peco InspX, we’re transparent about what we do because it’s not easy to copy: it’s a lot of work to put all the sensors and instrumentation into the system. We’re proud of how we can serve you.
If you want more helpful resources from Peco InspX visit https://www.peco-inspx.com/lp/resources