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A "Coat" Above

Witwood Food Products, based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, utilizes LOMA SYSTEMS® IQ3 metal detection technology to ensure product integrity for their innovative food coatings.

Witwood Food Products has chosen LOMA SYSTEMS, a world leader in the design and manufacture of food inspection systems, to supply their latest, award-winning IQ3 metal detection systems to maintain the safety of its products and enhance the speed of its production lines.

Witwood Food Products, a market leader in the development and supply of innovative food coatings, including such coatings as batter and bread crumbs for both chilled food and frozen food companies worldwide, has installed the IQ3 metal detector at their site in Banbury, Oxfordshire. The company has a global presence and reputation through subsidiaries in Australia, South East Asia and a strategic alliance in the United States. This allows the company to monitor and cater for trends in Asian, Australian and American food. Excellent safety and quality control is key to maintaining Witwood’s reputation as a key supplier to a wide range of customers.

The installation of the IQ3 metal detector covers a key business need as Dave Black, Engineering Manager for Witwood’s Banbury facility, explains, “As a food ingredient manufacturer we need to ensure strict compliance, both for safety and for giving a comprehensive paper trail for audit purposes. We need to ensure product integrity and metal detection is something we always use to closely monitor it. The IQ3 technology gives a reliable final check on products being dispatched from the production line.”

Witwood has used a number of LOMA® machines in the past, including the previous IQ2 metal detection units and already have two other IQ3 machines.

Dave Black continues, “We have used various different companies in the past, but we like LOMA because of the reliability of the equipment. We have historically used LOMA products and they have given us good service in the past – so it was a natural progression to move on to the IQ3 model.”

Dave Black continues, “We have used various different companies in the past, but we like LOMA because of the reliability of the equipment. We have historically used LOMA products and they have given us good service in the past – so it was a natural progression to move on to the IQ3 model.”

The IQ3 metal detector uses a 32-bit microprocessor, which results in faster data processing and uses the innovative Automatic Product Learn system to calibrate and automatically learn the characteristics and settings for up to 100 different products. It also has an innovative true variable frequency system, to allow the operator to automatically find the ideal frequency for the type of product being inspected. “Using the LOMA IQ3 metal detector system has noticeably improved line efficiency,” commented Dave Black. “The system is self-learning, so it is very straightforward to operate and maintain in a busy and time-sensitive environment.”

The IQ3’s bright control panel is very simple to use and is designed to be used in multi-language environments. The machine includes a Performance Validation System (PVS), automatically prompting the operator to test performance at pre-set intervals according to HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) principles and producing a detailed record of any contaminants found.

Added to this the IQ3 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.

There have been other benefits for Witwood too. As well as being simple to use and maintain, the IQ3 metal detector system is well suited to the rigorous environment of a modern food processing line. “The machines are easy and straightforward to keep clean. There aren’t too many nooks and crannies so it is very easy to keep the surfaces hygienic,” added Dave Black.

A track record of reliability, usability and suitability to the lines at Witwood is evident in the repeat orders for LOMA metal detector machines. “The fact that we keep ordering them shows that we are very pleased with our previous experiences and we are keen to continue using LOMA machines as part of our production and quality control operations,” continues Dave