How Do X-Ray Product Inspection Machines Work

May 21,2022

You might recognize x-rays as a staple tool for doctors’ offices—especially if you or a family member ever been treated for a broken bone.


X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation that are invisible to the naked eye. Because x-rays have a very short wavelength, they are able to pass through objects that block electromagnetic waves in the visible light spectrum.


However, denser materials, such as bones, have a tendency to absorb x-rays rather than letting them pass through. This is why when you look at an x-ray “picture,” you see the bones of the body as white areas and the softer tissues around them are a darker gray.


How Do X-Ray Product Inspection Machines Work?


An x-ray inspection machine passes a product or package under one or more x-ray generators. These generators emit a beam of x-ray wavelength energy to a special detector.


As the product or package passes between the generator and the detector, some of the x-rays get absorbed. The detector then records the changes in how much of the x-ray beam is reaching it.


In older, single-generator/emitter x-rays systems, a grayscale image is generated of the product or package. This image is then compared to a previous acceptance standard. If the image deviates from the acceptance standard, the package/product is rejected.


Newer systems use two x-ray generators to emit x-rays on two different wavelengths. This allows the x-ray machine’s computer to analyze the absorption rates of the individual x-ray waves and compare them. By doing so, the x-ray machine can discern the chemical makeup of the product being passed through it. These systems are often known as Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) or Material Discrimination X-ray (MDX) units.