Ishida’s machines have been selected to monitor Olympia’s range of dairy desserts for contaminants such as metal, glass, ceramics and other non-metal foreign bodies to ensure product quality is of the highest standards.
Ishida’s systems were selected after an in-depth comparison with another manufacturer. Olympia’s operations manager Wim De Spiegeleer said: "With many other X-ray machines something like the lift-off tab on the dessert lid being raised up could trigger a false reject."
"This is a very annoying problem that causes extra stress for the operators and distracts them."
The Ishida X-ray system avoids this problem thanks to its unique genetic algorithm (GA) technology, which enables operators to train the machine to spot problems specific to each particular application by using image data analysis over a number of inspections. As it is common in food production for similar contamination problems to recur, data logging can help to build up a more precise calibration protocol with each inspection. This enables defects to be more easily identified and their location in the pack pinpointed, even at high throughput rates.
The ability to detect foreign bodies in the Olympia dessert range is important because of the company’s high standards, including absolute certainty.
The IX-GA is designed to deliver greater detection sensitivity and a clear and focused X-ray image, as well as offering a stable and well-engineered machine construction. IX-GA is dedicated to 100g and 200g pots, operating at up to 10,000 per hour, while the second system handles larger pack sizes up to 800g at around 4,000 per hour.
Spiegeleer said: "Filling the various desserts into the pots involves some quite complex machinery with many different moving parts."
"If any small parts were to drop off the machine, we need to be confident that these can always and quickly be identified."
Metal detection is not an adequate solution, because of the aluminium foil lids on the pots but X-ray technology was deemed too expensive in the past and the only tool available was a thorough inspection of the machine each day. While Olympia still inspects the machines, this is now complementary to Ishida’s new and cost-effective technology.
Spiegeleer adds: "Today, X-ray prices are much more reasonable and this makes the investment worthwhile.
"And we can also benefit from the additional product quality monitoring.
"Because every pack is monitored and an image produced, we can very easily pinpoint the area of contamination in each individual pack. And the individual images are also an important part of our comprehensive traceability procedures."
The two IX-GA models were installed by Ishida’s Belgium agent BRN, who also supplied the conveyors and guarding around the machines. Olympia reports that the X-ray systems are proving reliable and easy to set-up and operate.
Spiegeleer said: "It is essential that operators trust these machines and are able to work with them day-in, day out.
"The decision to purchase is made at one point but the machines will be around for many years afterwards so it is important to get it right. And that is what we have done with the Ishida IX-GA X-ray systems."