X-ray solution as a control point
Fast and reliable X-ray inspection system exceeds customer requirements
HCP produces sweeteners in tubswhich have a 90 mm diameter andare 100 mm high. They are sealed with a screw top but also have ametal foil lid. Due to the nature of the packaging, the team at HCP knew they would not be able to detect the full range of metals, including stainless steel.
Application & Product
The X-ray inspection system needed to be placed as a critical control point. The key factors at the time were the lead times and whether the system could be commissioned on site within a very short period of time.
Rob Barker, Factory Manager at HCP states: “The most important thing about a machine like this is you can for the best part ignore it and just know it’s there doing a job well. Since the machine has been in, it’s not missed a beat. We have been immensely pleased with the reliability and performance.”
"The experience has been great. Simply put, everything we have asked for has happened from early delivery, performance and ongoing reliability. We are very pleased and will be using Minebea Intec again."
Director of HCP
HCP was asked by its customer to find an X-ray solution to overcome the packaging challenge which it had at the PPMA show in 2017. Among a number of other potential suppliers, it came across Minebea Intec.
Due to the nature of its packaging containing a screw top and a metal foil lid, HCP was not able to detect the full range of metals, including stainless steel, that could be contaminating its product. This left them with two options – it could either metal detect before it finally closes the package, which still leaves it open to a risk of contamination, or it could look at using a different technology. The choice was finally made for X-ray inspection technology as a solution.
HCP asked the three potential suppliers three key questions: how well can the device detect, how quickly can you supply and at what cost? Andrew Hallitt, an Inspection Product Specialist at Minebea Intec visited Bob Seaborne, Director of HCP at the site in Derby to discuss the application and solution. HCP had already notified HSE (Health and Safety Executive in UK) that they would be using X-ray systems soon.
Andrew quickly responded to Bob’s query and invited him to the Minebea Intec showroom in Birmingham to see the available equipment in a test situation. Bob accepted the invitation and was very pleased with what he saw. The Dylight was set up on a conveyor loop with products continuously going round. Bob quickly identified that they could achieve a sensitivity performance of 1.2 mm for all metals. The test allowed over 400 products to pass through the unit without any false rejections. Test pieces were then introduced and detected.
Bob stated: “We needed the X-ray quickly. Fortunately, Minebea Intec had exactly what we needed in stock so after placing an order for just under £ 30,000 we had a unit in place two weeks later. When you purchase something like an X-ray for the first time, there are questions on safety specifically that you need to have answered. Andrew answered these thoroughly which put our minds at rest so we had no concerns.”