How To Use Test Rods/Pieces For X-Ray Systems

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Using test rods/pieces for x-ray systems can be a vital part of any company’s safety procedures, especially in the food and pharmaceutical industries.  While X-ray systems are much more expensive and require an understanding of a different technology, they also allow you to test for a broader range of potential contaminants, which offers a level of security beyond that of ordinary metal detectors.  

Many companies employ a combination of both metal detectors and x-ray systems in order to cover all their bases.  Since even one instance of contamination can cost a considerable amount of time and money as well as damage to a company’s image, it makes a lot of sense to do everything possible to avoid it.

Metal detectors and x-ray systems are used in everything from pharmaceutical packaging to textile manufacturing, but perhaps the most important application of these critical safety procedures is in the food industry.  Since contamination of food products can be a major health concern, it must be avoided at all costs, which is why both the USDA and FDA have enacted strict safety guidelines for the food industry.

In order to ensure safety, it is necessary for companies to regularly test their products at various points throughout the manufacturing and packaging process.  This means having a series of metal detectors and/or x-ray systems positioned at various points along the line to detect the presence of any contaminants before the product reaches consumers.  

Unfortunately, with regular use machinery can break down and when that happens with testing equipment, it can lead to dangerous results. Test cards for x-ray systems and metal detectors can be used to ensure that equipment is operating properly.

The process for testing equipment is pretty straightforward.  A sample of the product is created and a test piece inserted into the sample.  The test sample is then inserted into the production line and run through each machine.  

If the machinery is working properly, it will detect the presence of the test piece and automatically reject the test sample.  In order to ensure compliance with all safety standards, testing should be done (at minimum) at the beginning and end of daily production, at every shift change and any time the production machinery has its settings changed or is down for repairs.  

In order to ensure the accuracy of testing, test cards for x-ray systems should include a variety of non-ferrous, or non-magnetic metals like  aluminum and brass as well as non-magnetic 316 type stainless steel, glass, ceramic or rubber. Not all metals, such as copper or other contaminant possibilities, like stone, are available.  That’s because they are not easily obtained in certifiable standards. Stone, for instance, can have a broad range of densities depending on its source and type. Bone, as well, can be a great source of frustration, because it depends on animal type and calcification.  Because x-ray depends on density, this affects what type of contaminant standard is achievable. But by employing a wide variety of test materials, you can get a more accurate reading of your x-ray system and know that it is operating properly to keep your products contaminant free.

Aside from testing frequently and using the widest range of quality test pieces, it is also important to position the test pieces properly in order to get the most accurate reading from your x-ray system.  Also, you’ll want to run multiple test samples at the beginning, center and end of a batch to determine that your x-ray system is working properly at every point along the process.

No matter how often you run tests and how accurately you position the test packs, your results can’t be guaranteed unless you use the best quality test rods/pieces for x-ray systems.  Nobody understands this better than Regal Packaging Services, Inc, which is why we offer a full line of test pieces in a range of shapes and sizes to meet the needs of all systems. Regal has even worked diligently to meet the challenges of bone detection and can offer a solution for companies needing that capacity.

We work closely with each customer to provide them with the pieces they need to fit their system and we certify each individual piece so you can be assured of their quality and durability.  

Our pieces come in a variety of shapes, from spheres to rods and in both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, including brass and stainless steel 316.  For x-ray systems, we also manufacture test pieces in aluminum, soda lime glass, ceramic (ZRO2) and even rubber to ensure the most accurate results.  

When it comes to your business, you can’t take safety lightly and that means keeping your x-ray system working at its best with high-quality test pieces from Regal Packaging Services.  

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