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Marel: New adaptive bone detection for SensorX

Food safety and quality are desirable attributes all processors strive to uphold at all times. Contaminants, whether organic or inorganic, are an inherent aspect of industrial food processing. They do, however, have a detrimental effect on the safety and quality of food. Given consumers’ limited tolerance for impurities in their food, processors face continuous pressure to ensure that their end products are free from contaminants. In a fast-paced industrial processing plant, it can be challenging to effectively reduce the risk of shipping contaminated products.

Posted on Apr 05 ,00:05

Marel: New adaptive bone detection for SensorX

In the last twenty years, the main concern for processors has been to eliminate residual bones from deboned products. In response to this challenge, Marel introduced SensorX in 2007, the first system to reliably detect and reject bone-contaminated products. Since then, SensorX has been the standard for bone inspection in the poultry industry.

Accurate, consistent and efficient

Two factors account for SensorX’s continued success. First is Marel’s approach to bone inspection, which has been to detect and eliminate residual bones early in the process. Doing so prevents bones from spreading further downstream. Furthermore, the objective for SensorX has always been to detect and eliminate efficiently and consistently those critical or most hazardous bones. This has resulted in a system that is accurate, consistent, and efficient. Accurate in the sense that 99% of all products with well-calcified bone fragments (bigger than 2mm) are detected, and that no more than 3% of detections are inaccurate (false positive). A lower false positive rate ensures that no valuable labor is wasted looking for bones where there are none. Consistent as all products detected with residual bone are always ejected from the product flow, day in, day out. SensorX is efficient, requiring a minimal number of operators and providing optimal logistics for routing rejected and approved products to their respective destinations. Moreover, intelligent software ensures calibrations are conducted without disrupting production.

Continuous improvement

Secondly, continuous improvement has meant that SensorX has constantly adapted to processors’ evolving bone inspection requirements. The first SensorX, introduced in 2007, was designed to tackle the challenge of poor bone detection faced by processors. It achieved this by implementing dual-energy X-ray technology, instead of the single-energy approach that was the standard at the time. This innovation ensured high accuracy in bone detection.
The second version of SensorX, released in 2010, had an integrated system for reworking rejected products, and standardized in and outfeed conveyors. These improvements addressed the pressing need to streamline logistics around bone detection to ensure process efficiency.
In 2014, in response to the growing capacity of deboning lines, the third edition of SensorX was introduced. This version featured dual lane scanning to increase throughput and was capable of handling larger-sized products.
The latest edition, released in 2022, incorporated improved components and SmartBase software to ensure consistently high performance, whereas new safety covers have reduced the risk of operator accidents to an absolute minimum.

SensorX automatically adapts the bone detection level according to the thickness of the specific product.

The new standard

Over time, each version’s valuable improvements have aimed to reinforce SensorX’s reputation as the industry standard for bone detection and removal. SensorX doesn’t rest on past achievements; instead, it consistently pushes the boundaries to deliver value to customers. Now, it introduces a new standard: adaptive bone detection.

The conventional approach, used by most bone detection systems available today, requires configuring a separate bone detection program for each product type, taking into account factors like size, thickness, and more. To achieve optimal detection results, operators must switch to the appropriate bone detection program whenever the product type changes. In contrast, SensorX now employs an innovative method that automatically adapts the bone detection level according to the thickness of the specific product it’s scanning. This adaptive detection level ensures consistently high performance without the need for operators to switch between predefined bone detection programs.

The improvements mentioned above have established SensorX as a solution with exceptional, consistent bone detection capability and a minimal rate of false positives. It remains user-friendly, requiring straightforward operation and little maintenance, while also optimizing logistics for an efficient production process. Furthermore, to safeguard customer investments and prolong the lifespan of existing machines, the improvements are designed to be retrofitted to earlier versions of SensorX. The improved X-ray sensor found in the latest SensorX edition, for instance, is compatible with all previous editions.

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