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Move to end-of-line testing reduces waste

14 November 2022

Premier Foods, Knighton – part of the Premier Foods group – blends, processes and packs powdered food and drink products such as custard, dried skimmed milk and cocoa powder. 

The organisation wanted to move towards the use of fully recyclable packaging – transitioning to packaging that was fully recyclable by replacing a metal lower end with paper.  While working to achieve this goal the company also made the decision to move to end-of-line testing to try and reduce the waste that came from using a bulk metal detector further up the line. 

Traditionally it had scanned bulk material using metal detection, testing for ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel was done every hour creating waste product at a high cost. 

The adoption of the Dymond S x-ray inspection solution, from Minebea Intec, enabled the company to meet its objectives and has resulted in some impressive annual savings too. By using x-ray it now loses just one container when a reject is detected and is able to use existing containers with product in to do the required routine hourly tests. In addition to metal, other foreign bodies such as glass and stone can also be detected. 

Commenting on the project, Lee Millward, engineering manager for Premier Foods, Knighton, said: “The Dymond S detection range gives us greater scope to test for smaller foreign bodies.” The other benefit is that it has saved time and costs in cleaning, the old reject system had lots of pipework that required cleaning, (especially as it was testing loose powder). Today, because completed product in containers is being checked, there is no mess and no cleaning. Millward  continued: “The fact that there is no waste results in a cost saving of £80k per year which means the machine has paid for itself in just over a year – that’s a phenomenal return on investment considering the life expectancy of this machine.” 

Premier Foods, Knighton, also opted for the Premium Plus Service which guarantees response times of up to four hours. Minebea Intec Service Experts are available 14 hours per day to give technical support in resolving existing problems and assisting the staff. 

In conclusion, Millward said: “Minebea Intec offered the best solution for our needs; the design of the Dymond S Side Shoot x-ray system fits well into our production line as it doesn’t take up as much space as other x-ray systems. It also enables us to be more environmentally friendly by reducing waste and using fully recyclable packaging.”

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