As an exporter to Japan, one of the most quality-conscious markets in the world, a leading processor of boneless pork products constantly looks to maximize product quality. To assure the highest safety standards are met, it installed a PowerChekPlus X-ray inspection system on its processing line and a PowerPhasePLUS metal detector on its packaging line, both from Mettler-Toledo Safeline.

“We’ve adopted the Japanese ‘kaizen’ philosophy in which we seek continuous improvement. As a result, we have more quality inspection stations than you would typically find in a food processing plant,” noted the general manager of the pork processing company. “The combination of X-ray inspection and metal detection gives us a comprehensive appraisal of the product. We want to detect the broadest range of potential problems and the smallest possible contaminants to maximize food safety and product quality.”

Inspecting bulk-flow ground pork prior to packaging, the PowerChekPlus X-ray inspection system detects bone as well as unusual materials such as rock, glass, ceramic and metal. After the pork is packaged into 10-kilogram bulk bags, the PowerPhasePLUS metal detector inspects the product, assuring the highest sensitivity to detect the smallest amounts of metal including ferrous and non-ferrous, stainless steel and wire contaminants.

“Prior to selecting the inspection equipment, we considered X-ray systems from four different suppliers and metal detectors from three different suppliers. We kept coming back to Mettler-Toledo Safeline as the premium standard in the industry. They have the best reputation for both equipment and service,” said the general manager. “Craig Coleman, the sales rep from Westlake Packaging, worked diligently with my plant engineer to help us select the best systems for our application.”

The PowerChekPlus X-ray inspection system features an innovative auto-learn capability, which makes set-up automatic and frequent calibration unnecessary. The system automatically analyzes product variations to continuously achieve optimum sensitivity throughout production, which helps eliminate false rejects.

To maximize detection sensitivity while virtually eliminating false rejects at the metal detector, Mettler-Toledo Safeline developed a “Faraday Screen” that is placed between the high frequency detector coil system and the product being inspected. This screen filters out certain signals and unwanted frequencies that can interfere with normal plant operations such as two-way radio communication.

“We measure success on the X-ray system and the metal detector based on consistent detection sensitivity, lack of downtime and ease of use,” noted the general manager. “Since we installed these two systems, we have not had a single hiccup. Detection sensitivity has exceeded our expectations and we’ve had no problems with unplanned downtime. The color touch screen is easy to learn and easy to use. And the user interface is available in just about any language.”

Both the PowerChekPlus X-ray system and the PowerPhasePLUS metal detector are NEMA 4X rated to withstand harsh washdown environments. “The Safeline systems beat everything we’ve ever had, hands down. Both systems take our washdown without a problem,” said the general manager.

“The Safeline equipment was a big investment for a small company like ours. We evaluated numerous systems for over a year and we agonized over the choice,” the general manager concluded. “We are extremely satisfied with our decision to go with Mettler-Toledo Safeline. It’s like having an insurance policy. When customers tour our plant, they see the Safeline equipment and they are reassured.”

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