Inspection system sorts best from wurst

German meat and sausage manufacturer Goldschmaus Natur says new X-ray inspection equipment is helping it meet the standards necessary to export products to Japan.

The Ishida IX-GA-2475, which has been designed for inspecting small products at high speeds, checks for foreign bodies in unpacked Frankfurter sausages.

The sausages are taken to the production line in strings on special smoke trolleys and manually fed onto the processing line. Once cut from the strings, the individual sausages pass through the X-ray system at high speed, separated by only a few centimetres.

The technology behind the system is based on software incorporating an intelligent genetic algorithm. Since similar contaminants are usually found again and again in sausage manufacture, the system can be optimised to look for these objects.

The IX-GA 2475 operates at a belt speed of 60 metres per minute, inspecting up to 200 sausages per minute.

The system is also able to reject sausages that exhibit other flaws such as clumps of herbs or damaged items. A high-speed reject arm directs rejected sausages into a reject bin.

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