Having engineered some of the most reliable x-rays on the market, the newest in-line Raptor X-Ray, Pipeline X-Ray and Apollo machines from Fortress Technology Europe all deliver cleanability, supreme hygiene standards and food protection assurance in bucket loads. With not a loose wire or hanging cable in sight!

Utilising the highest-spec food x-ray technologies, all three machines within the Fortress X-Ray range minimise cleaning and set up times to increase plant productivity. Yet, also give producers of fresh, chilled and frozen wrapped and unpackaged products the added assurance of exceptional brand safety by ensuring cross contact contaminations are tightly controlled.

Reassuringly, the frameworks on all Fortress X-Ray inspection systems are IP69k rated. With no trailing cables, they are fully protected against dust and other particulates, to withstand high-pressure, high-temperature jet sprays, wash-downs or steam-cleaning procedures. 

Fortress x-ray electrical panels are all IP65k-rated. This means they are all dust tight and are protected against low-pressure water jets when using a nozzle.

Carefree duty of care

Providing reliable and fool-proof in-line inspection and detection of metal, glass, mineral stone, rubber compounds and calcified bone in a wide variety of high care food applications, the Fortress x-ray conveyor range simultaneously inspects fill levels, topping coverage, for example pastry, and can measure mass and count components. 

This x-ray technology will also detect any product defects, process and packaging problems with 100 percent accuracy. Ensuring full compliance with all major food industry guidelines, including IFS, BRC, HACCP and GFSI, giving food manufacturers more reliable protection against consumer complaints and retailer recalls.

Created for quality checking sliced meats, cheese, ready meal and wrapped raw meat applications, the Apollo X-Ray can accommodate lower pack formats measuring 300mm by 300mm and 100mm deep, inspecting and rejecting 200ppm. 

In comparison, the Raptor X-Ray was designed to target contaminants present in slightly longer and higher packs, up to 400mm in length by 150mm deep, and inspecting at speeds of up to 100ppm.  

Both machines monitor fill levels, spot damaged packaging and can reliably identify ingredient clumps and broken or missing product. The Apollo X-ray is also available in an ‘XL’ size to accommodate packs up to 300mm x 300mm x 200mm if needed.

Windows of opportunity

Another unique feature on the conveyor x-ray range is the protective acrylic window. With the radiography beams fully contained, food operatives can work alongside the machines and see packs travelling through the system. Users can instantly spot product spillages and action accordingly, without feeling like their personal safety is being compromised.  

Fortress Commercial Manager Jodie Curry explains: “Having a clear side removes the mystery and fear factor, especially when there’s a stainless steel box with a big radiation sign on the side.” An extra benefit of this visibility is it removes the need for bulky safety guards. Removing these to access machines can add another layer of complexity for machine cleaning notes Jodie.

Magnetic x-ray curtains, the easy clean tight fitting conveyor, IP69k sensors and bevelled surfaces further speeds up repeatable cleaning and sanitation tasks, highlights Jodie. 

Describing in more detail the easy-clean conveyor concept, Jodie adds: “Our unique conveyor features a quick release for disassembly of the deck, belt, motor and rollers, saving valuable time, money and labour to provide the ultimate in hygiene peace of mind. During the sanitisation process, machine operators simply unclip and disconnect the conveyor motor and lift out the entire assembly.”

The ‘no tool’ maintenance innovation, which features on all three models, including the X-Ray Pipeline, is another massive time-saver. As well as stopping operatives fiddling with screws, nuts, bolts etc. and using incompatible tools that could damage the machine, it eliminates the risk of accidently contaminating food with a stray component. 

Rather than using unhygienic stickers and labels, all safety symbols, industry-approved markings and the machine nameplate are laser-etched directly onto every Fortress X-Ray steel cabinet.

Average clean times on all machines should now take a matter of minutes, suggests Jodie. “When sanitation employees have open areas and smooth surfaces to work with, they can more efficiently access and clean equipment to reduce machine downtime and prevent cross contact contamination.”

Rather than air conditioning, passive airflow technology is used maintain a regulated filament temperature in the X-Ray cabinet, never exceeding the constant 30°C. Additionally, an electric servo driven reject system eliminates the used of compressed air. All of which can help to reduce running costs and maximise efficiency. 

Modular by design and automatically incorporating every retailer COP that exists, the Raptor X-Ray and Apollo X-Ray machines can be integrated with a Checkweigher to create a high performance x-ray combination inspection system. The electronics can also be fully integrated with upstream flow wrapping or packaging machines and controlled via a single HMI.

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