The food industry’s commitment to investing in the latest food quality and safety equipment was underlined by the success of a special series of events held by Ishida Europe to demonstrate its latest quality control solutions.
Over 35 customers from 20 UK companies visited the Ishida Europe headquarters in Woodgate, Birmingham, to learn more about the company’s capabilities in X-ray inspection, checkweighing, weigh-price-labelling, seal testing and vision inspection technologies.
With fierce competition across all sectors of the food industry, ensuring the highest standards of product quality is essential to maintain brand image and loyalty, and secure valuable retail shelf space. Equally true, a product recall for any sort of quality or contamination problem can not only be extremely damaging in terms of loss of consumer confidence and reputation but the financial implications – including heavy retailer fines – can also be immense.
The Ishida Food Quality and Safety Event showed how the company’s latest models can assist food manufacturers in creating a fully integrated quality control system. On show were two new X-ray models, the newest Ishida checkweigher incorporating the latest supermarket code of practise requirements and its enhanced IDCS data monitoring and analysis system, and a seal tester and vision system to check for both leaks in trays and the correct placement and accuracy of information on labels.
Visitor feedback to the event was very positive. "We were particularly interested in the X-ray system, which could help to automate what is currently a manual inspection system and enable us to spot more contaminants than can be detected by the naked eye," comments Cindy Morrissette from the sales and marketing department of bulk organic producer supplier HNF Foods Ltd.
"Nevertheless, we found every aspect of the day to be interesting and worthwhile and what was particularly impressive was the high level of knowledge demonstrated by the Ishida personnel."
This view was confirmed by Phil Glanvill, maintenance manager at leading baby food manufacturer Nutricia, who described the Ishida team present at the event as "professional to the hilt".
Mr Glanvill said the advances that have been achieved in X-ray technology in the last few years were a particular eye-opener.
"It was clear from our time at Ishida that their X-ray equipment could play a far wider role than just checking for contaminants, which is of particular interest to us," he explains.
"The entire day was well spent and my team particularly appreciated the opportunity to have a close-up look at all the equipment and really get a feel for how simple the various models were to operate and maintain."