Many customers have long desired to have a real-time ability to measure moisture content in dry products. For example, if you’re processing beans, knowing how dry they have important operational implications for the bean processing business. Before, there was no real way to measure at a granular level what the moisture content is. You might do sampling or estimation, but you don’t have the real-time capability.
A similar idea is to imagine measuring the water content in a coconut: it’s hard to do every one without opening them unless you use an X-ray imaging system.
What drives this whole process is the high-resolution capability of our latest X-ray machine. Our SHIELD Allegro Wide is a 900 mm-wide top-down system that has a bulk version that’s great for moisture measurement.
The nice thing about high-resolution X-ray is that it can detect very small differences in density and give you a very detailed rich picture of something like a bean. By calibrating the machine to two extreme moisture contents – 100% waterlogged and 100% dry – we can draw a calibration curve and know the moisture content of any bean that we look at. In the bulk application, we can do continuous sampling. This way, you can get a mathematical model of moisture is for that pound or ton of beans. It’s a very powerful idea.
Even if the beans have some overlap, though you want to be as mono-layered as possible, you can still have a robust measurement.
A lot of what high-resolution machines bring to customers goes beyond foreign material detection – it’s an operational enhancement and operational excellence.