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The Olive Branch

Renowned olive and specialty food producer, Alatoni Ltd. uses the LOMA SYSTEMS® Combination metal detection and checkweighing system to consistently achieve Higher Level Accreditation with the British Retail Consortium.

Alatoni Ltd is renowned for their marinated olives and other specialities foods, which are sourced from all around the Mediterranean. Their olives come from well-established family companies in the heart of the traditional growing regions that produce high quality products. Alatoni marinates and packs products to the very highest technical standards, in their nut-free factory in Bicester, Oxfordshire.

As part of the company’s ongoing commitment to quality management, Alatoni chose LOMA SYSTEMS, a world leader in the design and manufacture of food inspection systems, to supply the latest IQ3 metal detection system and AS Combo checkweigher. Together, these inspection systems will maintain the safety of Alatoni’s products and enhance the speed and efficiency of their production line.

A high level of quality and safety control is key to maintaining Alatoni’s premium standards as a supplier to a wide range of customers. As the company continues to grow, Alatoni needed to seek an inspection solution to match its own quality and reputation. They recently set up a new line to process fresh bean salad in a 200-gram container. They required a reliable all-in-one metal detector and checkweigher to ensure quality control. The machine had to be compact, due to space limitation in the production hall.

Roy Buchanan, Production Manager at Alatoni explains why they chose LOMA SYSTEMS, “We contacted LOMA because we heard about their reputation in the industry and we were looking for a reliable unit that was easy to operate. We really liked the combined IQ3 metal detector and checkweigher as it is simple to use and it can cope with our high throughput volumes.”

This space-saving combined inspection system incorporates a high-powered, variable AC motor on its conveyor that is tailor-made to deliver speed and accuracy. Capable of handling packaged products up to 5Kg with a market leading accuracy class of 0.5 grams, the unit can inspect at speeds of 400ppm. The IQ3 metal detector is in a class of its own. This next generation system offers better sensitivity, more stability as well as being environmentally tougher and more future proof than anything else currently on the market.

The IQ3 metal detector has sophisticated electronics to enable the innovative automatic product learn system to calibrate and automatically learn the characteristics and settings for up to 100 different products. An additional feature is the patented true variable frequency system, allowing the operator to automatically find the ideal frequency for the type of product being inspected. The machine is self-learning, so it is very straightforward to operate - if there are metal contaminants inside the product, the IQ3 will find them and keep on finding them.

The IQ3’s bright control panel is very simple to understand and is designed to be used in any multi-language environment. The machine includes a performance validation system (PVS), automatically prompting the operator to test performance at preset intervals according to HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) principles and producing a detailed record of any contaminants found. Added to this, the IQ3 metal detector uses an industry standard OPC system (Object Linking and Embedding for Process Control), allowing operations managers to easily integrate the equipment in factory data capture networks.

It’s not just about product integrity. LOMA’s inspection machines can also increase production. “Using the LOMA IQ3 metal detector system has noticeably improved production and has been a cost effective investment,” comments Roy, “We have been able to reduce our personnel on the factory floor due to the efficiency and simplicity of the unit.”

LOMA SYSTEMS continues to improve its customer service division and Alatoni is a true testimony to that, as Roy continues, “LOMA’s service more than exceeded our expectations. At our last scheduled service we asked an engineer to assist us in investigating why one of our belts was slipping, the problem was resolved there and then by changing one of the bearings. Overall, LOMA offers a really good, thorough, professional and efficient service.” Roy concludes, “We are so confident with LOMA SYSTEMS, we have already recommended them to other food manufactures.”