Eagle’s x-ray inspection systems, combined with SimulTask™ PRO and TraceServer™ software, provide manufacturers in the confectionery, baking, snack and ready meal industries a powerful tool that helps prevent recalls, protect against contamination, and respond to audits, while simultaneously providing information consumers are looking for to enhance a brand’s reputation, the company highlights.
Eagle’s TraceServer™ program is scalable, depending on an operator’s needs, and can connect up to 32 Eagle x-ray machines simultaneously to record the x-ray inspection process. Eagle will soon introduce the next generation of its SimuTask™ PRO software, where managers can easily access enhanced reports and statistics on inspected products, according to a recent announcement.
The technologies are coming to meet consumers’ demand of knowing where their food comes from, and as foodservice operators, retailers and government regulators demand greater accountability and assurances. As such, food manufacturers are seeking greater traceability for their products, covering virtually every link in the food and beverage product chain.
The ability to scan products using advanced x-ray technology and software offers other benefits, such as improved operational efficiencies. “For the past few years, consumers have been asking for better traceability throughout the process, and because of that, some manufacturers have gone further by having better metrics. They can see and learn more about their processes,” says George Humphries, senior technical specialist for Eagle Product Inspection. “It originally began with food safety and risk mitigation, but now it has turned into process analytics.”
For example, manufacturers can utilize analytics from x-ray technologies to better evaluate the quality of ingredients from vendors. “Our TraceServer™ software is an open source database and provides information on whatever happens on the x-ray machine, including at the early stage of raw ingredients supplied by vendors,” explains Humphries. Later in the production process, the software allows users to create unique identification for products, which can be accessed and used to track or verify product safety and integrity.
By automating inspection through x-ray machines that detect for contaminants and provide detailed, stored product information, manufacturers can also lower the risk of employee errors or misreporting. “With this feature, as the product enters the system, it is automatically recorded, so the users can see if the item passed validation or failed, and who was operating the machine at the time,” Humphries says.