19 May 2022

€1 million funding to launch PhotonAI technology for defect detection

PhotonAI are multi-spectral X-ray cameras for quality control and product safety in manufacturing to find previously undetectable materials like low-density plastics in food and drinks. The technology can be used to simultaneously detect issues and measure composition or structure. It has deep learning capability for continuous inspection across high-speed manufacturing and detailed security scans.

Beyond highly sensitive detection, the technology segments the X-ray spectra into discrete energy bands, which are used to non-destructively characterise product attributes and identify their composition. Patents granted in the United States, Europe, Japan and China enable the company’s hardware to operate at high inspection speeds and maintain excellent spectral resolution.

Deep Detection is a Barcelona-based spinout from the IFAE which builds these cameras. The company has secured €1 million funding to launch PhotoAI technology. The investment is sourced from specialist photonics VC Vigo Ventures, Clave Capital (through Tech Transfer Agrifood), ESOM and public financing.

Following a series of industrial proofs-of-concept (PoCs) with international corporations to validate the technology in each market sector, first commercial sales from the launch of its first product are anticipated in 2022.

Initially, the company will focus on the inspection of food and beverage, where low-density materials that commonly occur in packaging, transport or harvesting can enter manufacturing and disrupt production because they are simply not detectable today.

“In the European food sector, there are around 100 product recalls per year due to a serious risk caused by foreign bodies. The direct costs alone can run into tens of millions and be catastrophic for SMEs,” comments Colin Burnham, COO of Deep Detection and ex-Senior Director at PepsiCo. “Incident prevention is the key and our technology is designed to avoid these incidents.”