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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Conclusion

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!