APRIL 6, 2009--Until now x-ray inspection technology used by food processors was dominated by high-energy intensity systems not unlike those used to scan luggage at airports. These are able to detect a pebble in a package of corn but lack the resolution to pick out a grain of sand in a bag of flour.
The higher-resolution alternative, low-energy x-rays, had not been used because it took too long to scan the produce and would slow the rapid pace of production in modern processing and packaging plants. Now, European researchers working in the EU-funded Modulinspex project have brought both greater speed and accuracy to the table.
By attaching a CMOS chip to the crystal that detects the x-rays in a low-energy system they have been able to build a detector capable of taking 300 images per second, enough to capture a crisp image of products moving on a conveyor belt at half-a-meter per second.
The x-ray images have a resolution of 0.1 millimeters – 16 times better than existing high-power systems, making it possible to detect objects as small and fine as a herring bone. For more information, go to: http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/89823/highlights/Modulinspex
-- Posted by Conard Holton, Vision Systems Design, www.vision-systems.com