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Eagle unveils premium x-ray and fat measurement to reduce product recalls

03 November 2014

Quality assured product inspection and fat analysis innovations safeguard consumers against inferior products and help reduce the number of recalls.

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Eagle Product Inspection, a pioneer of x-ray and fat measurement technology, soared into PACK EXPO International 2014 with five advanced innovations for manufacturers in the meat, food and beverage industries. The new product inspection solutions unveiled at the show are designed to guarantee product quality and safety, and optimize manufacturing efficiency. At booth S-1640, between November 2-5 2014, Eagle presented x-ray inspection machines for numerous packaging options such as rigid containers, carton and crate applications, as well as inline fat measurement solutions for high volume packaged or unpackaged meat products. 

Kyle Thomas, Strategic Business Unit (SBU) Manager, Eagle Product Inspection stated: “In 2013, the United States Drug Administration (USDA) issued 75 recalls, of which 13% or 331,732[1] pounds of products contained extraneous materials. All our product inspection innovations serve to safeguard consumers against substandard products whether from foreign body contamination or packaging defects, thus protecting manufacturers against brand-damaging and costly product recalls. To help all manufacturers meet food safety standards and guarantee product quality, we have designed a number of technologies for specific product and packaging requirements. Manufacturers now producing products in rigid to metal packaging can be assured that even the smallest physical contaminants are detected. Plus, meat producers can be confident that their products contain the correct lean content and are contaminant-free.”

At PACK EXPO, Eagle presented its latest innovation for the meat industry, the FA3/C, for the first time. Analyzing 100% of product throughput, the system accurately measures the lean and fat values of raw meat such as beef, pork or lamb contained in sealed cartons, vacuum sealed packs, or open crates, and provides protein and moisture calculations. The FA3/C uses UPSHOT™ compact x-ray imaging geometry for improved precision which provides unparalleled contaminant detection and weight measurement, while also delivering the smallest factory footprint in the industry.  To accommodate different inspection requirements, the FA3/C increases production uptime through PRODUCT SWITCH™, Eagle's product changeover feature. Eliminating the need to manually switch products, PRODUCT SWITCH simply scans the package's bar code automatically adjusting inspection parameters ‘on-the-fly’ while the production line is operational, thereby increasing system uptime. For manufacturers producing loose bulk flow or frozen blocks of unpackaged meat, the FA3/B system is specifically designed to calculate fat, protein and moisture values, plus provide reliable contaminant detection. Both the FA3/C and FA3/B deliver results of better than +/- 0.5 Chemical Lean (CL).  

Featuring the most advanced sanitary design for harsh environments, all systems within the FA3 Series design adheres to the rigorous American Meat Institute (AMI) guidance for sanitary machine construction. These systems deliver unobstructed sightlines and contoured surfaces to reduce potential material harborage areas for fast sanitation and hygienic inspection. The machine's superior construction guarantees reduced downtime, as they can be completely disassembled by a single person within minutes for thorough sanitation, and then quickly reassembled and placed back in operation.

This advanced hygienic design is also transferred throughout the blueprint of Eagle x-ray inspection systems. The Eagle™ RMI3/B is specifically constructed for the inspection of unpackaged bulk meat products including raw beef, pork and lamb with the RMI3/C built for packaged products including cartons, vacuum sealed packs, or open crates. Both systems detect contaminants such as metal, glass, stone and calcified bone.

Also showcased was the Eagle™ Pack 430 PRO, featuring Material Discrimination X-ray technology (MDX) with the new Eagle Easy MAT™ application software. The advanced dual energy solution detects and rejects a wide range of physical contaminants in products with complex density levels, such as snacks, raw fruits, salad bags, and frozen vegetables. The Easy MAT™ software simplifies and speeds up installation and setup by auto-learning the material composition of the product. Featuring an advanced intuitive pre-programmed human machine interface (HMI), the Easy MAT™ application comes standard with all of Eagle’s new MDX machines while an easy upgrade is available to existing customers.

For contaminant detection of products packaged in rigid and/or tall containers, such as cans, bottles and jars, Eagle presented the Tall PRO XSDV x-ray inspection system. Using high performance dual view x-ray technology, the Tall PRO XSDV analyzes and processes two images per container, leading to a more accurate detection of hard-to-find contaminants, typically in the side ridges of cans. Offering superior sensitivity, the technology is capable of detecting contaminants up to 50 percent smaller than single view machines. Lines are kept running to full capacity as the system inspects 1,000+ products per minute. Diagnostics accessed remotely by Eagle experts reduce the need for on-site visits, plus quicker response times lead to improved overall line efficiency and uptime. The TALL PRO XSDV has internal shutter technology and is installed over existing conveyors providing a reduced footprint for manufacturers with limited floor space. This type of installation also ensures no side transfers, reducing the risk for product jams and breakages.

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