XSpectra - a new generation of x-ray inspection systems
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Eu fundend No 849381

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 849381.

XSpectra®: a disruptive technology

We at Xnext® have developed XSpectra®, a new generation of X-ray inspection systems, which can analyse the composition of a product directly on the production line and determine its compatibility/incompatibility with the quality requirements.

XSpectra® is the result of over 10 years of R&D and almost €15 million investment.
Fully developed and engineered in-house, the technology is protected by 2 patents.

In short, XSpectra®

  • A unique technological solution for the identification of both high-and low-density foreign bodies.
  • Real time non-destructive quality tests on industrial production lines, guaranteeing very high-quality standards (target zero defect).
  • Increases the efficiency of production processes and their sustainability thanks to its abilities to characterise products quickly and accurately.

How does XSpectra® work?

The general structure and functioning of X-ray inspection systems

X-ray inspection machines are commonly placed in a specific spot on the production line, so that they can eject non-compliant products. An X-ray beam produced by a so-called X-ray tube passes through the product as it moves along the conveyor belt and is then projected on an X-ray detector. Measurement of the differences in X-ray beam absorption between the product and a foreign body is the basis of X-ray inspection.

The ground-breaking identification performance of XSpectra®

Whereas conventional X-ray machines use detectors based on scintillators, XSpectra® exploits semiconductor detectors. Scintillators only give indirect evaluation of the number of X-ray photons, independently from their energy.
To date, there is nothing on the market such as XSpectra®, as current inspection systems are capable to perform a 1- or 2-level of energy analysis. XSpectra®, instead, is capable of distinguishing multispectral energies, meaning that it can detect the full energy spectrum of the incident radiation, up to 1024 energy levels.

XSpectra® offers a completely new approach of quality inspection, resulting from a unique combination of 3 different high-level innovations: photonics, nuclear electronics and Artificial Intelligence Algorithms.


The XSpectra® EYE

A solid state CdTe detector that converts photons of the electromagnetic radiation into directly proportional electric signals.

Nuclear electronics

The XSpectra® BRAIN

An integrated circuit (ASIC), for the data acquisition and management, for the specific technical features of XSpectra®.

Machine learning artificial intelligence

The XSpectra® SYNAPSE

Neural machine learning algorithms that allow it to identify patterns, models, recurrent schemes within the dataset.


The inspection machines that adopt XSpectra® on the production line become smart! The integration of XSpectra® within the production process allows for the implementation of a KPI management system which, by enabling remote control, means fast and effective corrective interventions. This also speeds up the whole control process, thus streamlining the entire production activity, while guaranteeing high quality standards.

Besides, thanks to the specific properties of XSpectra®, the quality control machines become flexible, meaning compatible with different productions on the same line, without requiring set-up interventions. Today, technicians must intervene by setting new configuration parameters, which often cause delays and malfunctions.

Why do we make the difference?

Comparing existing inspection technologies






Low-cost, efficient in detecting metal foreign bodies, both magnetic and not


Fail to detect metals when the product is enclosed in a metal container; not always effective in identifying steel, as the carbon composition influences the metal resistivity


No influence from the material composition of the package



Very high accuracy on physical-chemical properties of sample inspected


Can identify contaminants located only within the superficial layers, due to the low penetration ability provided by the electromagnetic radiation energy


Detect the contaminant no matter its position in the product



Thanks to the higher radiation energy, can penetrate deeply into materials detecting defects even if placed in a metal or glass container


Not sensitive to low density FBs; density analysis (no chemical, but only physical properties)


Detect both low- and high-density FBs; chemical and physical characterisation of the product


The chart shows the energy spectrum range generally used by X-ray inspection systems to identify foreign bodies within the foodstuff


• operates on a wider energy range
• puts strong emphasis on lower energies
• detects both low – & high-density FB
• is not affected by the type of containers

What XSpectra® sees…

comparison chart

Conventional X-ray systems  (single/dual energy)

1- Operate at higher energy levels
2- Can detect only high-density FB affected by the packaging material

Single energy Single energy image
Dual energy Dual energy image

What they sees…

In short, XSpectra®: the must-have solution for in-line real time inspection


Thanks to its unique properties, such as the capacity to characterise the chemical-physical components of the inspected materials, XSpectra® can be used in many sectors: food, waste and material recycling, pharmaceutics, metallurgy, plastics and composites, electronics, clothing, shoes, biomedical, extraction industry, and security controls.

Specific Advantages

Higher safety levels

XSpectra® detects both high- and low-density foreign bodies, whereas the conventional X-ray systems detect only high-density foreign bodies.

Product nature recognition

Like no other technology currently available, XSpectra® performs an analysis of the physical and chemical properties of the product. It is like getting the fingerprint of the material inspected.

False positive alarms reduction

XSpectra® eliminates only non-compliant products, drastically reducing the number of FPA and consequently the risk and impact of product recalls

Detection speed

XSpectra® is faster than current technologies, thus increasing the number of products analysed on the production lines.

Toward smart factory

Very easy to use, XSpectra® supports the plant management with real-time information on the nature and the localisation of the problems identified

Multiple applications

Food, material recycling, pharmaceutics, metallurgy, plastics and composites, electronics, clothing, biomedical, extraction industry, security controls etc.

A WINNING BET: keep the products safe and the industry effective, while ensuring optimal sustainability!


Sausages with bones

Sausages with bones

Bread with holes and 1.5mm inox fragment

Bread with holes and 1.5mm inox fragment

Fresh filled pasta with chicken bone

Fresh filled pasta with chicken bone

Kernel fragments in olives

Kernel fragments in olives

Dry beans with stone and glass FBs

Dry beans with stone  and glass FBs

Capers with PTFE 4,7mm (Teflon)

Capers with PTFE 4,7mm (Teflon)

Do you want to know more
about our technology?

Contacts Request your test catalogue
XSpectra - detection

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