In every installation, operator training is a critical step. However, when it comes to inspection systems, the machines must be taught what to detect, too.

“ ‘Teaching’ the equipment involves passing known good product so the unit can learn the signal or image it creates,” said Todd Grube, product manager, inspection systems, Heat and Control. “Once the baseline is set, deviations are then identified as a reject. Most metal detectors and X-ray systems today can be taught with only one or two product passes. However, with product that is more difficult to inspect or those that can vary from one to the next, passing more product in the auto-learn process will generally produce a more accurate setup as the equipment can include a range of what is acceptable.”

When the system is properly trained, simultaneous multi-frequency technology can also be effective with inspecting product variations.

“Once a detector has been set up to inspect a particular product, the product signal suppression technology is applied to each item that passes through the detector,” said Camilo Sanchez, product inspection product manager, metal detection, Mettler Toledo.

As with people, the smarter the machine, the easier it is to teach.

“A novice X-ray user could set up a Safeline X34 X-ray system in less than five minutes,” said Lanel Menezes, business manager, X-ray systems, Mettler Toledo product inspection. “Simply pass the product through the system a few times, follow the user instructions on the screen and you will be on your way to optimally inspecting products.”

Training the equipment is effective for vision systems, as well.

“Our systems have a straight-forward automatic learning tool — using real products — to learn the characteristics of the products when creating new recipes,” said Erica Vannini, sales and customer service, EyePro System. “The automatic learning procedure is based on artificial intelligence techniques; the user only has to set the specification limits for each feature of a new product.”

By acquiring product images from different wavelengths, EyePro vision systems can recognize and classify contaminants based on their chemical composition. 

This article is an excerpt from the July 2020 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on inspection systems, click here.