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Making product inspection safer and faster

25 June 2017

Food Processing looks at a few interesting features of production inspection solutions which can help to make systems more robust, safer and faster. 

Food producers are always looking for ways to improve safety and control through product inspection, for both contamination and quality. Different applications will have different needs. Multivac can now offer a universal optical inspection machine – the I410 – which can be configured to check any kind of visual inspection; product inspection (quality, completeness, position, etc), label and or print presence, OCR (Optical Character Recognition), OCV (Optical Character Verification), or code checking (barcode, QR code, 2D etc).  This provides the flexibility to be able to check for different features on varying products. 

An important aspect of any detection and control solution is the reduction of human error. The I410 can be integrated with the company’s with their primary packaging and label application equipment, which closes the loop for the verification settings and recipes. There is no point in a system checking for a barcode if the operator has entered the wrong details to check! Multivac’s recipe management and integration solutions ensure that a vision detection system can receive the recipe information from the label applicator or the packaging machine.
Speeding things up
While product inspection speeds have increased, due to introduction of new technologies and methods, a lot of time is till dedicated to the testing and proving of the failsafes, which are an essential part of any HACCP approach. Testing needs to be carried out at certain time intervals and must be documented.

Focusing on speeding up production, and also increasing the traceability and transparency of product inspection testing, Minebea Intec has introduced fingerprint recognition for login on its Vistus metal detectors. This gives the correct person access to the correct menu securely and quickly. 

Once the testing routine is accessed the Vistus metal detector has the capability to recognise the type and position of the test piece. Most retailers now request the highest level of failsafe and performance testing, which requires three test piece variants – stainless steel, ferrous and non-ferrous – to be tested in three positions, front, middle and back. 

By being able to recognise the correct piece and position, these tests are guaranteed to be fast and accurate. Further, the sequence and success of testing is recorded in the internal audit trail, negating the need to record nine separate passes. When the test is completed Vistus adds the last test, a reject confirm test, on to the end of the sequence. Once completed the unit immediately returns to production having all the required records in place.

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