Foreign bodies inspection and weight check: the right mix to guarantee a safe product
To meet the consumer’s growing need for safety of the food and beverage products they consume, more and more innovative systems need to be developed, capable of guaranteeing a 100% safe, contamination-free product, taking care at the same time of reducing waste.
One of the primary causes of product contamination is the presence of extraneous bodies – such as fragments of glass, bones, metal, plastic or stones – that accidentally end up in the product during the production process or come from the raw materials.
We spoke about this with Matteo Bandini, food & pack. Business development manager of FT System.
Is it possible to guarantee that the end consumer receives a safe product, at the same time protecting the manufacturer against product waste?
To meet the growing safety and quality requirements of the product in a winning fashion, we have developed the Pen-Tec combined systems, part of the FT System product range, which is a real innovation in the field of quality control. With the Combined X-Rays and Checkweigher system, we are able to guarantee two functions (x-ray inspection and weight control) by installing just a single unit in the production line. This not only obtains a safe product for the end consumer, but also avoids waste and optimises space and costs.
What consequences can the failed detection of a contaminant have? And what are those resulting from an under/overweight product?
One of the most frequent consequences is product recall, which is a big problem for companies as it has heavy financial repercussions and damages the brand’s reputation, as well as endangering the consumers themselves. Whereas weight control is essential not only to prevent product waste, but also to monitor and streamline the efficiency of the production line. Furthermore, weight, where set forth by standards, represents a fundamental parameter to verify and certify the protection of the end consumer (MID metrological approval).
Which features make this combined solution innovative?
What makes this solution revolutionary is the fact that the two control units are not inserted separately in the production line, therefore one after the other, but are incorporated into a single system (monobloc). The result is an extremely efficient instrument, that manages, by means of a single operator interface, both the x-ray inspection of the product and weight check and completeness control operations.
How are the systems able to work together in a combined solution?
The inspection and control systems operate in a fully synchronous way by means of unambiguous product recipes and differentiated reject modules. The two systems are automatically set at the conditions of the new product by performing the product recipe change. If needed the two systems can work separately, without posing any limit to operation of the line.
There are several types of packaging and products: is the combined solution able to meet any requirement?
There is a wide range of models that can be inspected from above – for bulk products and those packaged in flow-pack, boxes, trays etc. – or inspected from the side – for high products such as cartons, bottles, box bottom bags, etc.
And what about the certifications?
The Pen-Tec combined X-Ray and Checkweigher system has met the requirements for the metrological approval (MID) and complies with international standards set forth by the principal quality certification bodies. Furthermore, the Combined X-Ray and Checkweigher system equally complies with the standards of the single separate units:
- Compliance with radio protection standards
- Compliance with the directives of quality certification bodies
What advantages does installing a combined X-ray and checkweigher system in the production line give you?
The advantages stemming from the installation of a compact and highly efficient instrument are numerous. We mentioned above about saving space by installing a single unit, but there are many more advantages even from a purely technical viewpoint. These include the presence of a single operator interface, making it easy to perform all system settings from the one front panel. This is a great help for the operator who does not run the risk of committing errors which could jeopardise the check and inspection operations. Moreover, the unit is equipped with a hardware that can process production data by means of sophisticated and user-friendly software. The in/out communication interface with the outside world guarantees that the processed data are transmitted safely.
High precision mechanical technology, together with custom electronics, allow the systems to perfectly meet the growing production needs, providing a production quality control in a single monobloc system, for a precise and safe product.