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Europe Leads the Way in Customized Solutions

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Mettler-Toledo’s Product Inspection division has revealed considerable growth in tailored product inspection solutions for food manufacturers, with a growing number of European customers now requesting bespoke x-ray solutions.

There are a growing number of packaging formats that present challenges for contaminant detection. This, coupled with the need to maximize resources and production efficiency have led more and more brand owners to look for tailored technology for their production lines.

In the current economic climate, food manufacturers are increasingly looking to maximize the efficiency of their food production lines by reducing product giveaway and waste, through higher throughput speeds or by maximizing existing space.

Mettler-Toledo’s customized solutions to these problems include multiple-lane systems to inspect more products at the same time, systems that operate at higher throughput speeds, as well as machines with smaller footprints to help brand owners meet productivity targets.

Mettler-Toledo’s x-ray systems can simultaneously verify the fill-level of product in packaged products, check for missing components, and inspect for damaged packaging, all of which mean better return on investment.

In addition, as the variety of packaging formats grows, product inspection systems need to be adjusted to detect contaminants in packages with diverse shapes, complex densities and varying materials.

Contaminant detection to overcome difficulties such as detection of glass fragments within glass packaging, detection of particles hidden in the corners of packaging, or metal detection in products packaged in metalized film is becoming an increasingly common request.

Mettler-Toledo custom-developed several solutions to these challenges, including a new glass-in-glass x-ray inspection system to offer more accurate glass detection than ever before.

Mettler-Toledo has reported a significant increase in enquiries for tailored product inspection solutions from the European dairy industry with manufacturers demanding customized systems to ensure optimum efficiency for their production lines.

Brand owners, such as UK-based Nom Dairy require technology that inspects multiple lanes with a single machine, as well as inspection systems that minimize product overfill.

Dairy producers are also seeking to increase productivity with machines that offer accurate contaminant detection and fill level measurement at higher throughput speeds.

“We needed an x-ray system that could offer optimum contaminant detection while simultaneously checking the individual fill level of each pot in a multiple pack”, said Andy Tart, Senior Engineering Technician, Nom Dairy.

Tart continued, “We turned to Mettler-Toledo as they had the experience and expertise we needed to develop customized solutions to inspect both our pots of yoghurt in multi-lane format, as well as inspection in single lane of our yoghurt bottles at speeds in excess of 500ppm. We were more than impressed with the service Mettler-Toledo provided; they clearly understood our specific requirements and ensured we were fully involved in the project every step of the way”.

In addition to demand from European food manufacturers, Mettler-Toledo has seen a large increase in enquiries for customized product inspection systems from ready-meals producers in Asia.

As well as offering a standard x-ray machine called AXR tailored for this specific market, machines with customized length, height, reject design and functionality are also available.

Mettler-Toledo offers x-ray inspection systems custom-made using combinations of different x-ray generator and detector size for optimum contaminant detection in various ready-meal pack styles.

At its testing facility in Royston, Hertfordshire, Mettler-Toledo’s dedicated design team works extensively with food manufacturers, providing a comprehensive consultation programme to devise product inspection systems that precisely meet their needs.

Every system, whether tailored or standard, undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it meets Mettler-Toledo’s high standards of accuracy, efficiency and functionality.

The entire product inspection system is designed by Mettler-Toledo including operating software, offering greater scope for customization.

“The changing marketplace and difficult economic conditions mean that it is more important than ever before for food manufacturers to have a product inspection system designed specifically for their operations”, explained Niall McRory, Sales Manager, Mettler-Toledo Safeline X-ray.

McRory continued, “By installing a customized product inspection system, brand owners can boost productivity, reduce product waste and ensure quality for the consumer. We have had excellent customer feedback about the quality of our tailored systems and expect to see even greater growth over the next twelve months”.