Food & Beverage
Meeting the requirements of the International Food Standard (IFS), means food manufacturers and fillers must ensure the highest level of product safety. This requires constant monitoring of products for possible contamination by metal or other foreign bodies. Documentation and archiving of the entire monitoring process is equally imperative.
METAL SHARK® metal detectors and XRAY SHARK® X-ray units reliably detect contamination by metal, stone, ceramic or glass in your products and eject them from the product flow with fast-switching rejection systems.
Both types of equipment can be connected to our SHARKNET® for fully automatic documentation and archiving according to HACCP and IFS standards directly at the PC. This way you are optimally prepared for future audits.
Metal detectors for conveyors
Metal detectors for pipelines
Metal detectors for freefall applications
Quality assurance in food production
In many industries, complex production processes entail the risk of product contamination by foreign objects – even the best production planning cannot completely rule this out. The food and beverage industry is particularly affected by this problem. If contamination by metal, glass or other substances in the product goes unnoticed here, there is a risk of serious damage to the health of consumers in addition to damage to production facilities or high costs for recalls in the worst case.
The requirements for hygiene and production conditions are correspondingly high: Food companies in Europe have been obliged to install a documented quality assurance procedure based on the principle of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) since 2004. Since 2006, German companies have been liable under the so-called Produkthaftungsgesetz (Product Liability Act) for contamination of their products if a consumer suffers damage as a result. Similar regulations can be found in many countries worldwide.
The foreign object inspection of all products with metal detectors and/or X-ray equipment is a fundamental part of responsible food production and a prerequisite for successful certification, e.g. according to IFS. Metal detectors provide valuable assistance in detecting magnetic and non-magnetic metals, but they reach their limits e.g. in the case of products packed in metallized foil or contamination by non-metallic foreign objects. Therefore, a comprehensive HACCP concept often requires the use of both types of equipment.
Metal detectors in the food industry
Metal detectors for food effectively protect against iron and so-called non-ferrous metals such as aluminium or stainless steel. They can be used at any stage of the production process and for practically any type of food. Finished products such as ready meals, soups, sausages or bakery products can be inspected for metal as well as fruit or vegetables, dairy products, spices, etc.
The main purpose of metal detectors is consumer protection, but machine protection is also an important aspect. Metal contaminants can cause severe damage to machines or even bring them to a standstill. In addition to high repair costs, there are then the sometimes even higher loss of sales. If metal detectors are only used for machine protection, it is usually sufficient to install a detector directly in front of the machine to be protected. In the food industry, however, consumer protection is in the foreground for good reason, which is why several checks are useful here.
Inspection of incoming products:
An inspection of raw materials offers the advantage that metal parts are sorted out before they are crushed to a size that is difficult to detect during the production process and scattered over large parts of the product.
Critical control points (CCPs):
The inspection during production at the so-called critical control points (HACCP’s) is already unavoidable for reasons of liability, but also serves to protect machines and ensures a trouble-free production process.
A must for customer protection in food production is the final inspection. Here, all food in its packaged state is examined again with a metal detector or an X-ray machine in order to reliably exclude contamination.
X-ray equipment in the food industry
Contamination can occur at many points in the production process and is rarely limited to metal particles. Contaminants from glass, ceramics, stones or similar are a serious problem. Industrial X-ray equipment is used to detect these substances.
X-ray systems detect foreign bodies that differ in density from the product that is clearly to be examined. Contaminations with high density such as metal, glass, quartz, ceramics, etc. are easily detected. In addition, the XRAY SHARK® X-ray systems also detect plastics with high density such as PVC, PTFE. In addition to impurities, X-ray systems also detect other product defects such as missing products or product parts in packaging, unwanted air bubbles (e.g. in baked goods), overfilling or underfilling, product defects e.g. due to breaks or shape deviations. Thus, quality control with X-ray equipment goes far beyond the mere prevention of contamination.
However, one should not hide the fact that X-ray technology also has its limits: Contamination e.g. by insects, hair or textile fibres, wood, thin foils or certain plastics (PP, PA, PC, etc.) cannot be detected even with a powerful X-ray scanner. Nevertheless, they are more versatile than metal detectors and it is impossible to imagine IFS-compliant food monitoring without them.
Checkweighers for packaged food
Incorrect fill quantities, missing products in a container or large cavities in a product can occur even in optimally planned production processes. Nevertheless, they are a defect that can damage the image of a company.
Dynamic checkweighers are an efficient way of quality control. Checkweighers are integrated into production lines with a so-called weighing conveyor belt and enable fully automatic weighing of all products produced (100% control) without stopping production.
Checkweighers can also be combined with a metal detector: This is an efficient and space-saving option for comprehensive product inspection, as the weighing conveyor belt is also used for metal detection.