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X-ray vision: Freeing production lines of contaminants

The frozen food market is booming and with it – the challenge for supermarkets to ensure food is free of contaminants at scale. This is how Sparc is using the latest in X-ray technology to automatically inspect food and increase efficiency in food production lines across the world.


Recalls probably top the list of every food brand’s worst nightmares but they are not inevitable – particularly when they involve metal.

Even minuscule amounts of metal can be detected in ready prepared food – whether in a cheesy pasta bake or a chicken slice – with the use of an X-ray detection machine. 

According to Food Manufacture magazine, the frozen food industry is growing 4% year on year, making it the fastest-growing retail food category – more popular than ambient and chilled.  With the ready meal market showing no signs of slowing down – the need to make our production lines safe with an X-ray detection machine has never been greater. But avoiding product recalls aren’t the only reason why X-ray detection is essential on a production line: 

  • Zero downtime

Ensure production is not halted if contaminants such as metal and bone are detected with automated rejection. When mistakes happen – it’s essential to fix them fast – particularly in today’s fast-moving market. Sparc’s X-ray inspection machine Apollo can deliver fast and accurate rejection of out-of-tolerance or contaminated packs into a dedicated lockable reject station, promising zero disruption to production. There is no need for compressed air, which also saves on running costs. 

  • Fewer resources

Automated X-ray detection reduces the burden on your workforce – freeing them up to be deployed in other areas. Human error can also be avoided and you will be able to achieve a consistent inspection process with very little manual input. The machine can be managed off-site when supplied with integrated data collection software. A feed will provide live data, reporting directly to production and QA personnel. 

  • Efficient lines

The old adage ‘time is money’ can easily be used when describing the pressures on production lines in 2019. The most direct impact of downtime on a production line is a reduction of capacity. One single hour of downtime could cost a business thousands in lost profit. Other than contamination – machines can be out of action for hours while they are being cleaned. Sparc’s Apollo has been designed specifically to avoid this – significantly minimising downtime. The machine doesn’t require any extra tools for clean down and has quick-release connections and belts – reducing the amount of time the machine is offline. 

Sparc’s Apollo X-ray machine is designed to help keep today’s production lines safe and automatically eradicate contaminants from food production with 100% accuracy. Find out more about Apollo here.

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