Ishida X-ray systems are providing enhanced quality control checks, detecting small bone particles in a range of brawn products from leading speciality producer Gold Meat.
Gold Meat, based in Zolder, Belgium, produces a wide range of products for the retail market, both pre-packed and over the counter. An increasing demand for more stringent quality checks led the company to become one of the first in its sector to invest in X-ray technology.
It undertook a series of tests with a number of suppliers before selecting Ishida, and owner Francis Titeca said: "The Ishida came out clearly on top."
The Ishida systems, of which there are two in use, detect bone particles in slices and blocks of meat in 200g, 250g and 300g packs, and also in pots of ‘Head in Tomato’.
They use the unique self-learning genetic algorithm (GA) technology to offer maximum sensitivity and reliability in the detection of impurities down to 0.3mm in size. The machine is also able to identify contaminants using image-data analysis over a number of inspections. Data logging then helps to build up a more precise calibration protocol with each inspection, which enables defects to be more easily identified and their location in the pack pinpointed.
Gold Meat head of production Dominic Bousard said: "Before the Ishidas we had to rely on eyesight to detect and remove these very small particles and we simply couldn’t achieve the same level of detection.
"The X-ray systems are also easy to operate and very reliable."
Features of the IX-GA-S-2462 model
Gold Meat worked closely with long-term Ishida distributor BRN in Belgium in the installation of the two machines. The latest model, the IX-GA-S-2462, features a number of specially-requested enhancements. For added protection, BRN has included extended covered infeed and outfeed conveyors, while the system also incorporates a bespoke rejection system. Special sensors in the reject bin signal to the machine that a rejected pack has left the line. If for any reason this signal is not received, the line is stopped so that the faulty pack can be identified and removed.
Another feature of the machine is the portable gantry on which it sits to give it the flexibility to be moved to other packing lines if required.
"We have an excellent relationship with BRN," added Titeca. "This is a supplier who thinks along the same lines as us, and is a reliable and helpful partner. And for a business like ours, it is essential that we have localised support here in Belgium, backed up by Ishida, as this gives us the reassurance that if a problem should arise, or a part be needed, the matter can be dealt with speedily and efficiently and our production will not suffer.
"It is for the same reason that we selected the higher quality Ishida machine over its rivals – we need this reliability of operation because we cannot afford the downtime and do not have the manpower to deal with maintenance issues.
"Of course this reliability comes at a price, but what would be the cost in lost reputation and retailer and consumer confidence of just one product recall? The payback on our investment can be seen in our customers’ satisfaction."