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June 22 2022 | Tactical Solutions

Reproduced from Security Journal Americas 

CEIA’s solution to detecting components of explosive devices hidden inside commercial cargo that cannot be accurately checked by X-ray

Air cargo screening is to prevent the presence of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) finding their way onto cargo or passenger aircraft. Screening can be difficult and costly depending on the type of cargo being checked.

Dense cargo is an issue for common screening devices such as X-ray scanners. The physical limitations of X-ray technology makes it difficult to screen dense material but also less dense materials present problems when packed on large pallets.

Goods that have low X-ray penetration include non-metallic commercial cargo such as produce, seafood, meat, printed materials, flowers and apparel. Over the last decade CEIA, a world leader in threat electromagnetic detection technologies, has been deploying a solution that improves drastically the screening of many types of cargo which have low X-ray penetration.

The EMIS (Electro-Magnetic Inspection Scanner) screens quickly and accurately packages or pallets using a harmless, low intensity electromagnetic field to ensure there are no hidden explosive devices. This method of

inspection does not require visual interpretation of an image, unlike typical X-ray scanners, or any direct manipulation of the goods, unlike explosive trace detection equipment.

Threats can be detected throughout the entire stack of cargo minimizing operator interaction with the goods.

The following commodities may be screened using the EMIS series:

  • Perishable goods such as
    • fish, meat
    • fruits and vegetables
    • fresh flowers
    • organic materials in general
  • Paper products, plastic, rubber
  • Apparel without metal components
  • Frozen goods in non-metallic containers
  • Live animals
  • Non-metallic hazardous materials

EMIS 8075 for package inspection

Each Model Offers the Following Benefits

  • Fast, real-time analysis
  • Automatic detection with no nuisance alarms
  • Reduction of the analysis time
  • No dedicated operator needed for use
  • Reduction of operating costs
  • Completely solid-state construction (no periodic maintenance or calibration required)
  • Complete data logging and traceability
  • Safe for operators and cargo screened (no use of ionizing radiation)

When methods such as X-ray and ETD focus on trying to detect the possible presence of explosive inside the goods, the EMIS technology based on electromagnetic analysis provides an automatic detection of IEDs metallic components such as detonators and batteries.

The result is consequently very reliable and guarantees the security of the shipments.

Global supply chain firms, such as third-party logistics providers, freight forwarders, air carriers, cargo handlers, independent cargo screening facilities and the like have benefited from the use of EMIS. It avoids disassembling the pallets to inspect each individual package so speeds up screening and reduces costs but provides extremely reliable security.

EMIS were first evaluated in the early 2000s by the French DGAC/STAC (Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile/Service Technique de l’Aviation Civile) and introduced in the late 2000s as part of the standard screening methods for nonmetallic cargo by the European Commission and the US as well as Chile.

Today more than a hundred units have already been deployed successfully in several ECAC member states including Denmark, France, UK, Norway and Iceland, as well as the USA and Australia.

Following the entry into force of the ICAO requirement for 100% air cargo screening, the EMIS units have finally been deployed in South American countries which export a lot of perishable goods such as Chile that is one of the main exporters of Pacific salmon. The series currently includes two models depending on the screening needs: EMIS 8075 for small to medium packages; EMIS 130200 for palletized cargo.

Combining Speed and safety for air cargo

Nicolas Ouakli, Cargo and Mail Screening Equipment, Global Solution Manager, explains why CEIA USA’s electromagnetic screening system is a unique answer to cargo safety

CEIA began in 1997 and in 2005 opened its office in Twinsburg, Ohio, and relocated to its North American corporate headquarters in Hudson, Ohio, last year. But its history goes back more than six decades.

CEIA offers a wide range of metal detection and security screening solutions for a various markets transportation, public events, schools, correctional and court facilities, public and private buildings and loss prevention. But it’s EMIS screening devices are familiar to air cargo transporters.

Air security

Assuring security in the cargo industry is becoming a bigger part of the day-to-day business for shippers, freight forwarders and airlines, driven by legislation in response to the ever evolving security threats.

This particularly true in the air cargo sector, which is built on the promise of fast service and delivery.

But the additional step of screening cargo for potential threats adds time to the chain of transportation.

Nowhere is this a bigger issue than in the transportation of perishable goods, where added time can endanger the quality of the shipped goods in a significant way. Electromagnetic inspection is a technology that is uniquely suited to screen non-metallic cargo. It works on the principle of metal detection and finds metallic  objects in cargo that could be threat items.

Examples include components of improvised explosive devices such as detonators.

Typical commodities that can be inspected with metal detection technology are perishable goods such as fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, which can be fresh or frozen, or organic goods in general.

Paper goods or metal-free apparel are other good candidates for screening with metal detectors.

In today’s air cargo screening environments, security, speed and accuracy are key factors. The CEIA EMIS series for cargo screening offers a simple and highly effective way to screen packages or entire pallets for automatic detection of detonators, initiator devices and metal weapons inside non-metallic cargo such as paper, newspaper, perishable goods such as produce, fish and meat (fresh or frozen) and organic material in general with a fast analysis.

60 years of detection

CEIA (CHAY-ah), located in Arezzo, Italy is an industrial company focused on the design and manufacturing of electromagnetic inspection systems and induction heating systems where R&D, engineering and production activities are performed entirely in-house. CEIA provides a worldwide assistance network as well as training programs for certification in the use and maintenance of its equipment.

The EMC testing and measurement activity is performed by CEIA SpA – LACE Laboratory which is accredited according to ISO 17025:2017 Standard.

In 1962, CEIA initially produced a patented metal detector for the textile industry capable of detecting tiny quantities of metal in fabrics in order to protect the production machinery. In 1968, the company was incorporated as CEIA and began the development and production of industrial metal detectors for food inspection where current detection sensitivity started at 0.5 mm metal fragment size, along with ultrasonic cleaning machines for the gold and silversmith sectors.

In 1975, the growing demand for security at entrances to airports and banks drove CEIA to start a major research and development program. CEIA became a major manufacturer of walk-through and portable metal detectors. Over the years CEIA had significant product milestones in various sectors including security, industrial, ground search, induction heating, research, technology, compliance, and quality control. In 2011, the CEIA EMIS automatic screening device for non-metallic cargo was approved by Governmental Security Authorities for use in airports, and in 2016, the EMIS scanner met the ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference) performance standard.

The future

Security threats continue to evolve and grow, and so does the need for on-going state-of-the-art security solutions. CEIA maintains its dedication to cutting-edge electromagnetic research with nearly 20% of its staff focused on researching tomorrow’s threat detection technology using electromagnetics.

Already additional capabilities have become integrated into CEIA solutions including gamma radiation detection and continuous improvement in the discrimination of threat vs non-threat items while meeting or exceeding national/ international detection standards.

CEIA USA provides nationwide sales, service and customer support to public (federal, state and local governments) and private sector customers in North America. Dynamic solutions are the foundation of CEIA USA’s commitment to customer satisfaction.


  • Perishable goods and flowers
  • Paper products
  • Textiles and Clothing
  • Plastic and wooden products

EMIS 130200 for palletised cargo

EMIS 8075 for package inspection

For more information or to speak to one of our detection specialists please contact us <here>


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