Best Practices for X-ray Machine Ownership

– Hi, I’m Rich Cisek and
welcome to today’s installment of Quick Tips with Rich. Today we’re going to be
covering kind of best practices for using your X-ray machine. These are very valuable parts of your quality control
process, but their value is ensured when you follow
certain best practices. And first let’s start
with challenge pieces. So, one of the most fundamental things that customers do to
make sure their machine is operating correctly
is they create special, we call challenge pieces of
their contaminated product, that they run through the system, and they then verify
that the system can find that contaminant and eject that jar. We recommend that you do this for, all of your inspection types. So if you’re looking for foreign material, that’s one type of challenge piece, if you’re looking for
underfilled containers, that’s another kind of challenge piece. And you should not run
those two within one jar because it can lead to analysis errors, in terms of making sure the machine found the correct defect
and ejected it properly. People often ask how often
should I challenge your machine? So the challenge process is
really a risk-reducing activity, meaning you should do it as
often as you think you need to, to narrow the window of product, that in case there’s something wrong, you have to potentially
reinspect that product. And so, most customers
challenge their machine every 20 to 30 minutes, and
that’s more than adequate. In addition, today’s machines can have image recording
capability in them that can store all the images
so if something goes wrong you can go back and electronically
reinspect those images without actually touching
any of your product. This is extremely important
because if you’re busy meeting production goals,
the last thing you wanna do is to have to run product
back through your machine. The other thing that is
important about challenging is to make sure that you actually create the most difficult
challenge containers possible. So if you think about X-ray inspection, this machine has the capability to, when it knows a challenge
piece is coming through, it will build a heat map of all the locations that are tested. And you wanna test the
bottom of the container against the side wall. That is the most challenging. That’s the most high-risk area where you’re gonna find contamination. In the middle of the container, it’s certainly possible
to have contamination in a product like jam, but it’s
also much easier to inspect. And so we want to encourage customers to really challenge the
machine to make sure they’re getting the most
difficult inspections properly. The other thing that we’re
starting to introduce into fielded systems is
something called electronic or non-destructive challenging, where the system will take the container and it will place a glass
or metal contaminant within the container and check
to make sure the software correctly detect that
condition, and if it does, it will constantly do that test about every five to 10 seconds, which gives you a kinda
real-time challenging. And for customers who still
do the physical challenge, it merely decreases the
odds of that not working to almost zero. So it’s a very popular option that you can now get with our machines to ensure that they’re running properly. The other thing that you’ll
do at the end of the day is just make sure you look at the heat map that the machine draws and make sure you got good distribution of
your challenge contaminants across the entire container. So again, you did a really
good job making sure everything got properly checked. Finally, you should check when
you get rejected containers, that those containers
match the rejected images in the machine. And one of the things that we offer, through our partnerships
with Domino Printers is, that the printer can actually
print coding information on the rejected image,
such as a sequence number and the reason for
rejection, that allows you to look in the machine and map that to the exact image that was rejected. This is the ultimate form of traceability and it leaves no doubt that you got all of the rejected containers actually off of your production line. Customers often ask me, what do I need to do if I have a CCP, or critical control point application? Candidly, if you do the two
things I just talked about, inspection traceability
and good challenging, you’re in good shape, and
the machine’ll provide you with the kind of protection you need to use it continuously in
your production process. To learn more about
challenging your machine and other best practices,
please click on the link below and thank you for your time.

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