PD_Packaging Digest

Packaging Digest, April 2013

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40 BEST PRACTICES // APRIL 2013 www.PackagingDigest.com Dressing for success Advanced x-ray inspection helps Ken's Foods ensure all products MEET HIGH STANDARDS. Edited by Jenni Spinner, Senior Editor Ken's Foods produces and packages more than 400 varieties of dressings, sauces, marinades and condiments for retail and foodservice. Its three U.S. plants (in Marlborough, MA; McDonough, GA; and Las Vegas) run 24/7, with two shifts working production non-stop. Its clients include some of the world's biggest retailers, including Walmart. Te family owned and operated company has a laser focus on quality; all products must meet tough customer and consumer standards, and succeed in a highly competitive, increasingly global marketplace. To support this mission, Ken's Foods partnered with Eagle Product Inspection to include advanced x-ray inspection systems on its line. "Eagle's x-ray systems have ensured that we have increased contaminant detection capabilities and product savings. Our quality control department also uses the x-ray systems as a critical control point in its verification tools to assist in complying with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) guidelines and Safe Quality Food (SQF) protocols" commented Jeff Murzycki, corporate project engineer, Ken's Foods. After 9/11, the Food and Drug Administration advised food manufacturers to use tamper-resistant seals. At that time, Ken's Foods started investigating x-ray technology. It implemented tamper-resistant seals before they were mandated, aware that these seals' foil linings could cause problems for its existing metal detection equipment. Senior management executives at Ken's Foods saw benefit in investigating a foreign-body detection system that worked with the tamperresistant seals, and that reduced product loss experienced with current methods. At the time, Ken's Foods used pipeline metal detectors, designed for installation in food production environments with a need to inspect liquid, paste and slurry Products from Ken's Foods include dressing and condiments found in Walmart and other retail stores. magenta cyan yellow black products for contaminants as they travel through process pipelines. It can inspect a variety of food products and detect all metal contaminants, including ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel. Pipeline systems are pressurized, making it difficult to add test contaminants to the mixture. Test contaminants are used for system verification as a part of the HACCP program, commonly implemented by manufacturers at all stages of food production and preparation processes including inspection, packaging and distribution. Te HACCP management program supports food safety initiatives by analyzing and controlling biological, chemical and physical hazards. When pipeline systems reject product due to contamination, a reject valve opens to remove the contaminant with a significant amount of product from the production flow, resulting in product loss. To boost contaminant control and reduce loss, the company turned to x-ray inspection technology. After evaluating multiple vendors, Ken's Foods selected Eagle Product Inspection. Tese x-ray inspection systems evaluate in-process and finished products for contaminants such as metal, glass, stone and bone, while also having the ability to check mass and evaluate compartmentalized fill level. Eagle was chosen based on three main factors: performance, reliability and the quality of service. Ken's Foods since has purchased 15 x-ray inspection systems consisting of nine Eagle Tall units, three Eagle Pack 720 units and three Eagle Tall PRO XS units. Te line can inspect products at high speeds, in jars, bottles or on composite lines, and upright and odd-shaped containers typically used for salad dressing and sauces. Te blind spots previously occurring at the bottom of such vessels now also can be inspected. Te Eagle Tall units examine the gallon and the half-gallon plastic jugs of salad dressing, produced for foodservice, seeking foreign body contamination. Te systems are set up so that when contaminated products are detected, a pusharm reject expels the product from the line into a rejection bin where products can be evaluated and disposed. Te Eagle Pack 720 is used for inspection of small case sizes and multi-lane applications, permitting inspection of multiple lanes of the same or dissimilar products, or use one lane for production and the other for rework. Te Eagle Tall PRO XS's tall, slim design lets it easily fit into a smaller surface area than most machines, saving space on Ken's Foods' product inspection line. Te system can concurrently perform a range of in-line quality checks, such as verifying component presence and absence, as well as fill level and measuring headspace to alert Ken's Foods to over- or under-fulfillment. Tat helps the company avoid waste and ensure customers receive what they paid for. Te machine also has the added benefit of being able to inspect gallon bottles and 12-oz containers at up to 200 per minute. The compact Eagle Tall Pro XS x-ray inspection unit can fit into limited floorspace. Te Eagle Pack 720 evaluates cases of salad dressing packaged in single-serve cups with foil lids. X-ray technology can look through packaging material to the product within to detect foreign body contamination and can simultaneously evaluate compartment and or total container weight. It can inspect six 12x18-inch cases per minute, each with 200 2-oz single-serve cups. Since installation of the inspection equipment, Ken's Foods has seen increased line efficiency, reduction in wasted product and additional confidence that it is delivering the highest quality products to the market. According to Murzycki, "Using an Eagle x-ray system has helped increase our yield. We used to reject half a gallon of product during the inspection process. Now we reject just one container, which means we are throwing away considerably less product." Murzycki also says visiting customers are impressed by the new equipment. Te Eagle systems have online remote diagnostics to allow Eagle's service department to dial into the system via modem to troubleshoot, saving downtime on the line and the expense of an onsite service visit. "Because Eagle provides remote monitoring, an engineer can dial into the machine to carry out any maintenance which has eliminated 50 to 60 percent of our service calls," says Murzycki. "Te reliability of the machines ensures that we can save time, money and increase our efficiency. On the rare occasions that we need a service engineer onsite, a member of the Eagle maintenance team is onsite within 24 hours, which is crucial for us to minimizing downtime." Eagle Product Inspection, 877-379-1670 www.eaglepi.com ES220497_PD1304_040.pgs 03.26.2013 21:03 UBM

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