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SATRA invests in X-ray system

Explaining the benefits of this new equipment.

by Sam Huzzard

SATRA has purchased an advanced X-ray unit for examining footwear, which will also have applications for assessing many other types of products. The system is now fully operational and has already successfully been used to expand on standard tests.

One such expanded test is SATRA TM446:2015 – 'Resistance to waterborne abrasive particulate'. Previously, if a customer requested it, the footwear would be cut up after the test to assess where the waterborne particulates had settled within the footwear (commonly between the upper and lining and other vulnerable areas). However, with the X-ray system, we can now check for build-up of the particulates without damaging the footwear. Therefore, more tests could potentially be performed on the footwear, such as SATRA TM230:2014 – 'Dynamic footwear water penetration test' to determine if the footwear remains watertight.

SATRA's Ishida IX-GA-4075-S X-ray equipment is a belt-fed system that can be used for non-destructive testing of a whole range of products. Products as long as 450mm can be assessed, which gives the capability to scan boxed or unboxed products as large as boxed men’s safety footwear.

Identifying possible hazards

There are other examples of how we can use the equipment to assist customers. We have witnessed rare occurences of twisting and torsional forces in an item of safety footwear, caused by the wearer turning on it many times, having forced a steel midsole in a safety shoe to cut through the outsole and protrude out of the side like a blade. This, of course, could introduce a risk of injury. We can offer a standard SATRA TM362:2014 test ('Abrasion resistance of soles – Biomechanical method'), and take 'before test', 'mid-test' and 'after test' X-ray images. This can locate the plate within the footwear to detect any movement.


Incorrectly fitted or misplaced items – such as this pin – could be found by X-ray equipment

The X-ray unit can penetrate through most types of packaging, enabling an operator to check that product boxes contain a matched pair that meets product specifications. The machine can also penetrate through thin metal covers, to show the state of obscured components in a product – revealing breakages in embedded electronics or springs in mechanical products such as adjustable lanyards. SATRA can offer individual assessment and analysis of a single piece of footwear to identify faults or potential problems, or bulk checking of a large quantity of goods, using the machine’s automatic detection software.

With its unique software for automatic detection, the system can be programmed to ignore high-density items that form part of the product, such as metal shanks, ceramic toecaps, slide fasteners and other closures, while quickly identifying erroneous objects such as broken sewing needles, broken eyelets and footwear tacks. Alternatively, the machine can be used to identify whether components are correctly positioned within the footwear and if there are any defects in specific embedded items.

How can we help?

Please email for more information on how SATRA’s X-ray equipment can be used to identify possible footwear production problems.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 36 of the April 2017 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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