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Snack Attack

LOMA SYSTEMS® advanced inspection technology chosen to help Buckingham Foods detect contaminants in the UK’s fastest selling lunchtime snack.

LOMA SYSTEMS advanced quality inspection technology is helping one of the UK's leading sandwich manufacturers, Buckingham Foods, to ensure product quality and safety at its production site in
Tamworth.

Buckingham Foods has installed six LOMA® Systems IQ metal detectors, one on each of its production lines. The metal detectors are placed on each line after sandwich assembly, packing, sealing and labeling, but before the individual packs are bulk packed and dispatched.

Supplying one of the UK's leading retailers, the Buckingham Foods production line runs to ISO 9002 and HACCP standards, assuring compliance to the very high hygiene, safety and quality standards set by its customer.

"Our objective is to impress our customers with our standard of product quality, hygiene, microbiological security and service," stated Mr. Jerry Gadhia, Site Director at Buckingham Foods. "The LOMA SYSTEMS metal detection equipment gives us the assurance we need to help us meet our goal."

Correct compliance with HACCP demands that all metal detectors are correctly tested at regular intervals in order to ensure that each system is working at its optimum level. LOMA SYSTEMS performance validation system (PVS) ensures that effective and efficient testing practices are carried out by automatically prompting the operator to carry out equipment sensitivity checks at pre-set intervals.

The operator is automatically alerted with a blue light when a check is due. The PVS system can be pre-set at intervals by the QA manager to ensure that product cannot be dispatched if it has not been passed through a fully functioning metal detector.

Buckingham Foods has a pre-set interval of 1 hour, meaning that no metal contaminated product can leave the factory. The results of the test, the date, time and name of the operator are recorded and logged to produce a detailed proof of testing. The menu-driven PVS system is unique in that it combines testing and data logging with built in failsafes that make it impossible to falsify any test. This system is important for companies such as Buckingham Foods, offering the reassurance of retailer compliance.

Supplying over 50 varieties of sandwiches, the site has up to 14 product changeovers on its production lines daily. Downtime must be kept to a minimum and product changeovers are complete within just 5 minutes. "We need flexibility on the production line and the LOMA SYSTEMS IQ meets this requirement," commented Mr. Gadhia. "With its ability to individually calibrate up to 100 different products we are assured of high sensitivity levels which take into account texture and mass of each individual product. With this facility we can set the system to each new product within seconds."

The sandwich market calls for quick turnaround. With order turnaround at Buckingham Foods often less than 24 hours the company cannot afford delays if they experience a problem on the production line. "We are pleased to be able to rely upon the quick, high quality after sales service supplied by LOMA SYSTEMS service engineers," continued Mr Gadhia.