Safety Measures For Crack Testing Of Equipment

Safety Measures for Crack Testing of Equipment in the Food Industry

Quality control is of utmost importance in the food industry to ensure the consumer’s safety and health. Avoiding contamination is a priority for the food processing industry to maintain the consumer’s trust in the brand, avoid health hazards associated with food poisoning, and safeguard the brand’s reputation.

Processors often face contamination caused by cracks in food production equipment, like spray dryers, silos, and tanks. As a result, early, regular, and comprehensive crack detection becomes a crucial aspect of equipment maintenance. Also, it is equally crucial to ensure proper safety measures are followed during the crack testing to avoid further damage and contamination. In this blog, we will cover the importance of crack testing in the food industry, types of crack testing methods, and safety measures for crack testing.

Importance Of Crack Testing In The Food Industry

Crack testing in the food industry is crucial for food safety, quality assurance, and brand reputation. Non-destructive crack testing is a more efficient way of doing so, in comparison to traditional means that are costly, time-consuming, labour-intensive, and often inaccurate.

Timely crack detection can also help you avoid extended downtime and repairs. As most businesses are looking to maximise profit, regular crack testing becomes a crucial part of the manufacturing process.

Types Of Crack Testing Methods Used In The Food Industry

  • Visual Inspection: Visual inspection refers to checking for cracks and defects visually with the human eye, or using cameras on drones and robots. This is the most basic method and isn’t accurate enough to detect all cracks.
  • Dye Penetrant Testing: In dye penetration testing, a liquid chemical is applied to the surface of the structure. If any cracks are present, the liquid seeps in, making the cracks visible often under UV light. However, this is a very time-consuming process and the risk of contamination is increased without proper post-test cleaning.
  • Eddy Current Testing: Eddy current testing is usually performed by sending electromagnetic currents through the structure and graphing the response. This technology can help to detect surface and sub-surface cracks that might not be easily seen. It is extremely accurate but very time-consuming.
  • Bioscan Technology: Bioscan uses state-of-the-art electronic testing technology that can accurately detect cracks and their depths, without the use of dyes or chemicals. This technology is very effective and requires minimal downtime.

Safety Measures For Crack Testing In The Food Industry

1. Preparing The Testing Environment

Preventing contamination is extremely important in the food industry; hence, all equipment and tools must be cleaned and sanitised before they enter the production areas. This step is essential for preventing cross-contamination. The surface of the silos and spray dryers are also cleaned to allow for the best inspection process.

2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) For Food Industry Context

PPE such as gloves, masks, and hair nets are vital for anyone entering the structure. The PPE kit used for the food industry must be food-safe and kept hygienically to ensure product integrity. The PPE kit should align with the industry standards to ensure worker safety and prevent contamination.

3. Containment And Food Safety

Preventing contamination is essential for maintaining food safety. Dirt, dust, and other elements can enter the structure during crack test inspection services, which compromises the safety of the products. Once the testing is done, cleaning and sanitisation should be done once more to prevent any residue from causing quality control issues.

Further Read: How to Safely Perform Inspection Work at Heights

Specific Safety Measures Crack Testing Methods In The Food Industry

  • Proper lighting should be available during the inspection.
  • Inspectors must wear the correct PPE within their working environment
  • Proper ventilation should be provided to maintain the air quality.
  • Workers should wear the correct PPE to avoid contact and inhalation of dye if it’s being used.
  • Post-testing cleaning and sanitation of the inspected equipment is crucial.

How Can Bioscan Help The Food Industry Incorporate These Safety Measures?

Bioscan helps processors detect cracks, incomplete weld fusion, corrosion cavities, porosity and other defects. If these faults go undetected, they can cause contamination and/or cross-contamination that compromises food safety.

Bioscan’s electronic testing method provides detailed and accurate information about the type of defect in the structure and its severity. This non-destructive testing reduces downtime and even detects non-visible cracks. Preventive testing can help organisations stay updated about their equipment condition and avoid any regulatory or audit violations.

Additionally, if any defects are found, Bioscan’s fully qualified welders begin working to fix them in a timely manner. Our welders are well-trained to ensure all food-grade welding and polishing standards are met.

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Defects and cracks in the spray dryers, silos and tanks can be dangerous for the food industry. As a result, frequent preventive crack testing becomes crucial to maintain equipment health and avoid extended downtimes. Bioscan’s high-tech electronic testing helps to detect visible and non-visible defects within 1-2 days.

Our trained and experienced professionals are also capable of repairing any defects. If you are looking for comprehensive crack testing and repair services for spray dryers, process tanks, cyclones, fluid beds, etc., contact us today!

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Biofilm Formation In Dairy Industry

Biofilms In Dairy Processing Industry: Understanding, Prevention, And Control

Biofilm formation is one of the most persistent problems in the food and beverage industry, and the dairy processing industry is no exception to that. A biofilm is a network of bacteria and other microorganisms that grow on a surface. The stainless steel dairy processing equipment provides an optimal surface for the bacteria to stick and multiply. A high temperature with an abundance of moisture, organic food material, and water provides an optimal environment for them to thrive.

The presence of biofilm can contaminate dairy products and make them unsafe to consume. Once the biofilm is formed, it creates a slimy protective layer, making it challenging to get rid of the bacteria. In this blog, we will understand what are biofilms in the dairy industry and how you can prevent and control them.

A] Understanding Biofilm In Dairy Processing Industry

Biofilms can cause severe safety concerns in the dairy processing industry. Consumer health problems caused by bacterial contamination can cause operational downtime, financial losses, and even tarnish brand reputation. Dairy products, such as milk, butter, cheese, and yoghurt, are part of a major food industry, and contamination can cause severe health crises. To prevent this and maintain the safety and quality of dairy products, extensive studies have been conducted on what causes the formation of bacterial biofilms.

While the milk obtained from a healthy milch animal is sterile, it can get easily contaminated by spore forming bacteria, fungi, and algae during transportation, storage, and processing. The metal or plastic equipment used during these processes provides a base for the contaminants to adhere to. Lack of proper sanitisation can make the conditions worse.

The presence of favourable temperatures, nutrition from the fats and protein, and moisture content can accelerate the multiplication process. The biofilm forms a slimy matrix known as the extracellular polymeric substance [EPS], which connects all the contaminants. The presence of EPS makes it difficult to get rid of biofilm. The bacteria and fungi are known to have a higher tolerance to antimicrobial chemicals, extreme temperatures, and UV radiation.

B] Detection And Monitoring Of Biofilms

Timely detection of bacteria and biofilms can help prevent contamination and maintain the integrity and safety of the product. Biofilms can start small and are often invisible to the naked eye. It can be too late until any physical signs of biofilm growth are visible. You can use different methods for detecting and monitoring contamination to prevent biofilm formation.

Regular visual inspection can help you detect certain signs of bacterial growth, such as slime and change of colour. It is to be noted that visual inspection is not an effective method and may not detect any early signs of biofilm.

Another method is using an ATP swab to take a sample of a certain equipment’s surface and get it tested in a laboratory. A major drawback of this detection system is that you can miss the affected area by just millimetres and not know until it is too late. This issue can be solved by using BioDtex Lamp in conjunction with the ATP swab. The BioDtex is a portable and handheld device that emits UV rays that expose bacteria and fungi stuck on the surface. The lamp is easy to use and can instantly highlight pathogens.

Interested in buying BioDtex lamp? Contact us at to get a quote.

C] Biofilm Prevention And Control Strategies

Regular cleaning and sanitisation are the best ways to ensure the quality of products and the safety of consumers in the dairy industry. However, normal cleaning procedures might not be able to remove biofilms. The slimy layer of EPS makes the bacteria and fungi more resistant to normal disinfectants.

With the help of BioDtex, Bioscan precisely pinpoints the presence of bacteria and other contaminants. Helping dairy product manufacturers tackle the problem of biofilm formation head-on.


Biofilms pose a significant threat to the operational efficiency and cost of the dairy processing industry. If biofilms are not completely detected and removed, they can damage the quality of the final product and risk the consumer’s health. 

It is crucial for industry experts to understand how biofilms can form, how to clean them and how to prevent biofilm formation. Bioscan can help you accurately detect bacterial deposits. Contact us today to get the best-in-class biofilm detection and control services.

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Cause And Preventions Of Production Downtime

Causes Of Production Downtime For Crack Testing & How To Reduce Them

Production downtime can occur for various reasons, including manual labour,  human error, material shortages, environmental factors, etc. But none of these reasons require as much downtime as equipment maintenance. Crack testing and equipment maintenance is an essential part of every manufacturing and processing industry. 

Defects such as cracks, cavities, and dents raise safety concerns and integrity issues. Comprehensive testing is necessary to understand the root cause of the cracks and fix the issue. However, non-destructive crack testing requires production downtime. By improving the crack testing techniques, manufacturers can reduce the production downtime. In this blog, we will go over different crack-testing methods and explain how you can reduce downtime.

A] Common Causes Of Downtime In Manufacturing For Crack Testing

1. Use Of Scaffolding For Access For Inspection And Repairs

Before technicians begin the inspection and repair process they need a safe method for entering and accessing the silos or tanks. Scaffoldings are usually used to allow access to the equipment. 

Erection of scaffolding and dismantling it can take significant time and effort. Erecting and dismantling the scaffolding can also damage the equipment. Hence, necessary safety measures are crucial to avoid damage to the spray dryers. This can also extend the downtime and losses associated with it.

2. Requirements Of Dye Penetration Test

Dye penetrant testing requires a longer inspection time as the dye needs to be applied thoroughly before testing. The dye should also be effectively cleaned later, before resuming the industry process to prevent contamination. 

The entire surface of the asset must also be cleaned and sanitised prior to dye application to get accurate results. If any part of the surface is not cleaned or the dye is not applied properly, the entire process might have to be redone to ensure safety. The size and surface of the equipment also affect the preparation and cleaning time, so large-scale industries might need longer downtime.

3. Inspection And Repairs Performed In Different Shutdown Periods

Carrying out inspection and repair separately can cause unnecessary delays and shutdowns. Many organisations carry out inspections on a scheduled date and repairs on a later date. This requires two separate prolonged downtimes, which is not efficient.

If significant defects are detected, the equipment will be out of service till the next repair shutdown. Another reason why this method is inefficient is mismanagement. Due to the difference in time, the inspection team and the repair team might not be able to communicate effectively, causing delays.

B] How Bioscan Help You To Reduce The Production Downtime

Every organisation can benefit from a safe, efficient, hygienic, and cost-effective crack-testing solution. Bioscan offers these qualities through our cutting-edge electronic testing technology. Electronic testing technology uses NDT equipment for efficient and environmentally friendly periodic testing without using any dyes or chemicals. 

Other crack testing methods can take more than a week to complete the process and still may not provide accurate results. On the other hand, Bioscan’s spray dryer crack testing and inspection can reduce the complete inspection time to 12 to 24 hours, while providing accurate results. The inspection staff at Bioscan are professionally trained and experienced, which reduces errors.

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C] Improving Productivity With Bioscan: Case Studies

Case Study 1:

In a display of its capabilities, Bioscan completed the inspection and repair of two of the largest infant formula spray dryers in Southeast Asia in less than half the time required previously. With the help of three of our expert technicians and rope access, we completed a comprehensive inspection of both spray dryers.

First, we set up the rope system as there was no gantry platform access. Our electronic inspection technology helped us find ten visible and non-visible defects in the dryer’s structure. These defects were effectively repaired and polished by our trained technicians within a few days.

Bioscan was able to reduce the downtime from 14 days to 5 days. This helped our client to substantially save their cost while increasing productivity. Using rope access instead of scaffoldings reduces the risk of scaffolding installation damaging the dryer.

Read More: Inspection & Repair of Infant Formula Spray Dryers: Vietnam Case Study

Case Study 2:

In 2021, while we conducted a repeat inspection of a spray dryer for our client, we found that the upper chamber was facing severe stress corrosion cracking. The client has only prepared for 5 days of downtime but the repair required an even longer shutdown. The parent metal sheet was required to be cut and replaced by new sheets. In addition to the extended downtime, the client was also facing higher costs for repair.

In the 2021 inspection, we discovered more than 50 cracks, while the previous inspection conducted in 2016 only found 15 defects. During our inspection, we found that if our client had conducted inspection annually, instead of five years, these issues could have been addressed more effectively and at a lower cost. We informed our client to increase the frequency of crack testing to prevent such issues in the future.

Read More: Determining the Frequency of Preventative Maintenance Inspections

Case Study 3:

In October 2020, one of our clients contacted us about a possible cross-contamination issue arising from their spray dryer. The client was sure that there were defects in the spray dryer structure. However, even after several internal visual and dye penetrant inspections, they were unsuccessful in locating the crack. 

After several unsuccessful inspections, they finally contacted Bioscan. Our experts quickly figured out that the lower cone of the spray dryer had many defects, caused by corrosion. These defects were microscopic and could only be detected using our electronic inspection device. While the damage caused to the parent material was unrepairable, the client now knew the reason behind cross-contamination and could take corrective action.

Read More: Detecting Hidden and Non-Visual Defects


Spray dryer crack testing is one of the most crucial aspects of any manufacturing industry for ensuring equipment integrity and safety. The inspection process can be very time-consuming, which is not desired by any organisation due to the productivity and financial loss associated with it. Choosing an effective inspection method, provided by trained professionals can help you reduce your downtime and get accurate inspection results.

If you have decided to conduct crack testing for your spray dryers, contact us today to get the most accurate inspection results with reduced downtime. You can also email us

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