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X-Ray Marks The Spot

Central Food Services, a family run frozen meat processor in Walsall, Birmingham has chosen LOMA SYSTEMS® to install a state of the art X4 X-ray machine and a CW3 checkweigher to inspect and assure the highest product safety and regulatory compliance.

Central Food Services is an expert food manufacture in sourcing and packing frozen meat. The company has successfully grown in a short space of time operating out of an A-grade BRC accredited site which houses a state of the art food processing hall and a large cold store.

The company processes a variety of frozen meat products, including their flagship Four Bird Roast, which combines four different meats (turkey, chicken, duck and goose) all in one roasting joint, this product has become very popular with consumers.

The company prides itself on being able to provide quality frozen meat to retailers, it also has the knowledge and experience to consistently source new products and bring them to market. The company currently works with two of the major retailers and has plans to expand its retailer portfolio.

Central Food Services is renowned for their quality products, attention to detail and uncompromising commitment to quality are the signature trademarks of the company. Maintaining this excellent reputation is integral to their brand and their continued commitment to the retailers.

The company is constantly striving to ensure the highest quality standards and as part of this drive they wanted to inspect every single product meticulously prior to dispatch to ensure each product is free from foreign contaminates, whilst also adhering and complying with the retailers COP and BRC regulations.

CFS contacted LOMA SYSTEMS, world leaders in the design and manufacture of inspection systems regarding their contaminant reduction. LOMA visited the company and specified a LOMA X4 X-ray machine to maximise their detection performance and uptime.

It was important to specify the appropriate inspection solution as the majority of the company’s products are packed in tin foil trays. This means that inspecting such products with a standard metal detector is not possible as the metallic packaging would overload the signal of the metal detector. The LOMA X4 X-ray machine was the ideal solution as this unit has the ability to inspect product in foil trays and automatically remove contaminated products from the packaging line giving complete peace of mind that every pack that arrives on the supermarket shelf is contaminant free.

Central Food Services have 97 different specifications of products, all of which can be pre–programmed and stored on the X-ray system. Then the operator simply calls up the product code and the accept/reject thresholds for that specific product are defined, this ensures easy product switchover to maximise uptime. Changeover is accomplished in about 30 seconds on the colour touchscreen control panel whilst no mechanical changes are needed.

Steven Davies, Production Manager of Central Foods Services commented, “We have always used LOMA in the past and found their machines to be very reliable and our new LOMA X4 X-ray system is no exception. The LOMA X4 is easy to use and it’s simple to recall and set up new products, which has really reduced downtime, this system has helped us guarantee our customers receive the highest product quality and food safety.”

The LOMA X4 X-ray was strategically installed at the end of the production line, after the shrink wrapper has sealed the pack, this ensures there is no risk of subsequent contamination; this is the ideal place to situate the X-ray and is normally the preferred choice of location to comply with BRC and many of the retailer’s code of practice.

The LOMA X4 incorporates high-speed technology that maximises sensitivity to both metal and non-metallic contaminants such as stainless steel, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, glass, stone, calcified bone, high-density plastics and rubber. The LOMA X4 X-ray systems are becoming increasingly popular as the top choice of inspection system due to their ability to reliably and efficiently perform the multiple functions of separate ‘traditional’ inspection systems simultaneously. X-ray system can detect metal, glass, plastic and other types of foreign material and rejects contaminated product from the production line. As well as being able to inspect for a wide range of contaminants, the X4 has the ability to detect other product defects such as component count, zone mass measurement and shape conformity.

The X4 system is robust, reliable, hygienic and simple to use, offering customers a sophisticated, easy-to-operate and multi-functional inspection system. To complement this system, the company also bought the next generation LOMA CW3 Checkweigher, to weigh each product individually.

They selected this checkweigher because it gave them the accuracy they required to ensure every pack was not underweight. With an accuracy of +/- 0.6g the LOMA CW3 Checkweigher can easily verify pack weights to ensure weight and retail compliance.

Furthermore, the checkweigher has a USB connection and a PC interface making it easy to produce diagnostic and statistical reports of performance with an option to download these either to memory stick or to a factory network. As with all LOMA’s products, customers benefit from LOMA’s high level of before and after sales service and receive a tailor made solution to their X-ray inspection requirements.

Central Food Services also took advantage of LOMA’s Five Star Service Contract to ensure sustained production levels and for complete peace of mind that should a problem occur they can receive qualified support quickly and efficiently. Steven continues, “The CW3 checkweigher has surpassed our expectations in terms of accuracy and ease of operation and we have received a really good friendly after-sales service”.

Richard Stokes, LOMA SYSTEMS Sales Engineer who managed the project commented, “We enjoyed working with Central Food Services and its great they have been so pleased with their LOMA machines. We understand the pressure upon food manufacturers to adhere to strict regulations, deadlines and quality; we are pleased to provide solutions to enable this.”

LOMA is a world leader in the design and manufacture of in-line inspection equipment. With a comprehensive range of Metal Detectors, Checkweighers and X-ray systems, LOMA is committed to providing the most efficient and cost-effective solutions for all food product inspection requirements.