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New Addition To SORTEX Range Increases Food Safety & Hygiene
The Buhler SORTEX E1D is an exciting addition to the SORTEX E range which will play a vital role in meeting the increasingly demanding standards of food safety and cleanliness in every world market.
It deploys the most advanced technology to detect extraneous vegetable matter (EVM) and foreign material (FM) in frozen fruit, berries and vegetables in the process line, bulk to bulk and packaging lines. The Buhler SORTEX E1D delivers a genuinely innovative solution that detects contaminants more accurately and rejects them more efficiently than is possible with other technologies.
Advanced feed, vision and ejection technologies provide high capacity sorting within a small footprint.
The Buhler SORTEX E1D double-sided sorting solution is designed for frozen fruit, berry and vegetable process lines to ensure an efficient and high quality product yield. High quality sorting comes with a state-of- the-art inspection system using visible bi-chromatic cameras to detect small and subtle colour defects plus PROfile (shape) technology to detect objects by their shape. The Buhler SORTEX E1D can be used as a colour and shape sorter directly after the freezer tunnel to detect both gross and subtle blemishes. In addition, an optional InGaAs technology camera can be installed to detect stray packaging materials such as wood, plastic or cardboard in packing lines or bulk to bulk sorting situations. InGaAs technology offers an elegant solution that enables processors to cope with challenging defects such as dark stones in blueberries or cigarette filters in mushrooms.
The design and technology highlights include:
Double-sided viewing gives even better detection of subtle defects as more of the product is visible Advanced PROfile (shape) technology enables the removal of defective material by using hardware processing to measure multiple shape characteristics of each object between viewing and ejection zones High-definition colour sorting using in-house manufactured cameras ensures enhanced detection to facilitate removal of EVM InGaAs technology cameras may be fitted, as an option, for advanced FM removal – typically pale wood, cardboard and plastic A compact transfer vibrator ensures an accurate feed of product to the vision area for a more precise detection of potential defects Inbuilt reject conveyor to carry product to either side of the sorter for collection – so making the installation easier Pre-set modes for a range of products together with an automatic optical filter changer that selects the correct filter for sorting requirements automatically Stable operation means that calibration is required only once a week. More consistent sorting performance is delivered, without operator intervention, resulting in less downtime Economical running with low power consumption and single phase supply The stainless steel open design makes cleaning easy and offers a hygienic installation Highest quality, warranty and aftercare using the SORTEX Total Care package
Dealing with Difficult Traceability? 'Invest or Spend' Analysis
In modern times, it’s difficult to find a bakery or food production facility which hasn’t already invested financially in some kind of traceability process (to enable the tracking and tracing of ingredients used within their processes). However, do any methods provide a return on investment (ROI)? Is it worth investing in additional administration to setup a paper trail? Should you gamble and wait to see what other companies are doing first? Is there technology available to provide seamless traceability and also prevent unaccountable ingredient losses in the production process? SG Systems investigates the 3 possibilities and analyzes each of them in addition to their associated cost benefit.
It’s a given that in most cases, once ingredients are received into a food manufacturing facility, ingredient traceability takes four routes through a manufacturing process;
1. Bulk Ingredients (delivered to a mixer directly through bulk delivery systems).
2. Minor Ingredients (manually added to the mixer in the form of whole or part bags).
3. Micro Ingredients (hand scaled and added to the mixer manually).
4. Topping Ingredients (added post mixing to the divided and portioned batch).
How easy is it to track a finished product back through to a manufactured batch, through the bulk, minor and micro ingredient control systems and then back to the supplier? Many systems offer part control of these processes and then still rely on a manual transfer of data through hand written records to form a paper trail.
Given that the FDA and some of the major retailers provide timeframes for ingredient recall of anything from 2 days to 4 hours and downward, is it really possible to track and trace ingredients through these stages of delivery when a single micro ingredient such as an enzyme could be weighed into literally hundreds of formulations and batches across many weeks of production and be present in possibly millions of finished products? Definitely a food recall nightmare for the unprepared.
So, where’s the opportunity? SG Systems explore 3 common options and the pros and cons of each.
Option one – Do the minimum.
Doing the minimum requires compliance with the Bioterrorism Preparedness Act 2002 and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA, signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011) and involves simple record keeping of goods received and shipped finished goods. A manual process of paper records can achieve this, but you need to keep records from anything from 6 months through to 2 years, depending on the category of your goods sold.
However, in the event of a recall of a raw ingredient such as salt, if you don’t keep track of ‘when and where used’ then you have virtually no way of knowing who it was shipped to. The only way to cope with this situation of recalling entire days, weeks or possibly months of production costing thousands of dollars and huge brand damage.
In commercial baking plants, it’s not unheard of for companies to be recalling thousands of finished products in a desperate attempt to keep their business reputation, but it may be too late… Having no idea about where you used your ingredients is now a very high risk strategy and the return on investment from setting up a paper system and administration is definitely non-existing.
Verdict – Non-existent ROI, High Risk to Brand and Shareholder Value
Option Two – Spend heavily on manual record keeping.
Taking the Bioterrorism Preparedness Act one stage further and investing in more paper trails to keep track of ‘where used’ in the production facility is the common approach to satisfying retailers looking for damage limitation during the ingredient or finished product recall process. Manually recording ‘where used’ is often done by making operators complete paperwork to record which lot numbers have been used in each batch…...
This administration allows a recall to be batch specific, limiting the recall times and providing the manufacturer with an opportunity to trace back where an ingredient has been used and more importantly, where and who it was distributed to.
However, the cost of implementing this administration is fixed and reoccurring. Having teams of administrators filling in data is expensive, complicated, time consuming and problematic and makes powerful retailers and auditors squirm due to the opportunity for human error during the manual data recording process.
On top of this, being able to track the usage of an ingredient which has been used within hundreds of batches can involve many administrators and QA staff searching through hundreds or even thousands of batches to see if the ingredient had been used at all.
To counter this searching process, many companies are making their administrators and QA employees manually enter data into an ERP / MRP System. This vastly reduces the recall times and makes retailers feel more comfortable. Why are they doing this? Because ERP runs blind – assuming everything is running to 100% accuracy.
So, after the cost of ERP / MRP (purchase & implementation) and the QA Staff required to manage the process and manually record the data, organizations can be running into hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars of annually reoccurring costs. This has a direct impact on profitability and absolutely no ROI, presenting a competitive risk.
Verdict – Non-existent ROI, Low Risk to Brand, High Risk to Shareholder Value (increased permanent costs)
Option Three – Invest Moderately in ‘Real Time’ Data Collection Systems
Taking the needs of compliance and legislation, the demands on the retailers to reduce recall times and also the desire to keep administration costs low requires some ‘out of the box’ thinking. It also requires management teams who have the strength and willingness to lead change and embrace technology.
These leaders are often found in senior Technical or QA functions in the world’s most successful commercial baking companies. But they haven’t got there through investing in technology unwisely; more investing in the right technology which produces fast ROI’s to make their companies appealing to Retailers & Shareholders.
So, having established that paper trails do the job, but are costly and deliver no ROI, how should you invest in solving the problem? The answer to that question is to invest moderately in data collection.
Real-time data collection systems ensure lot numbers are captured at the receiving, weighing, mixing, portioning and shipping stages eliminating all paperwork and manual ERP administration. Usages at the bulk, minor and micro ingredient levels can be recorded automatically as lot numbers are added into the mix (even controlling the weights added through the hand scaling processes to reduce giveaway in addition to correct inventory rotation).
So, Question - where’s the ROI? Answer - It comes in 5 key areas.
By controlling the micro ingredient scaling process enables exact weight to be hit and their lot numbers automatically recorded. Integration with ERP / MRP means no manual data recording and usages can automatically drive down inventory (perpetual inventory system) to provide real visibility and enable accurate, prudent ingredient purchasing. Interfacing with bulk delivery systems enables lot number usages to be accurately tied to micro and minor ingredients added at the mixing process. This control allows for ‘complete’ batch traceability without costly administration and manual ERP / MRP updates. Electronically interfacing with sales order processing allows manufactured batches to be linked to a finished product count (on the production floor) and the batch numbers allocated during the shipping process. This allows shipped products to have a direct relationship with the manufactured batch and ingredient used. No recall administration! Vantage eliminates manual handling of ingredient data to have a direct financial impact on your bottom line profitability by significantly reducing the hours spent on ingredient traceability administration. Brand protection. Having the tightest possible traceability means you can respond to recalls and pull your products in literally minutes. Over and above the retailers traceability requirements.
Verdict – 6 month ROI, Low Risk to Brand, Low Risk to Shareholder Value.
The activities of SICK focus on sensors and sensor solutions for industrial applications. The company, founded in 1946 and with almost 40 international and national subsidiaries, numerous representatives and several participations, is a technology and market leader in factory, logistics and process automation. SICK employs more than 5,000 personnel worldwide and achieved group sales of €748.9m in 2010.
Producers of consumer goods such as food and beverages are in strong competition, with shorter and shorter product lifecycles. Changes in the industrial societies and smaller households are substantially changing the demand for products - a big challenge for companies in the packaging industry.
The key to success is to be close to the consumers by identifying trends in time and realising the appropriate products rapidly.
Benefit from SICK's long-lasting industry competence. SICK will show you outstanding innovations for flexible production, quality control, safety for machines and traceability of products.
Modern production plants provide a high degree of flexibility in order to allow them to be adapted quickly and easily for the production of a wide range of products and models. Key factors for this include the speed at which a plant can be converted for a new product and how quickly processes can be adjusted or other changes made; e.g. to expand the capacity of the plant. Intelligent sensor technology from SICK allows maximum flexibility and efficiency for all kinds of different work processes.
Product detection with hygienic design photoelectric sensors Inductive proximity, capacitive, magnetic sensors – wash-down compatible Level flow and temperature measurements with hygienic design
The advantages at a glance:
Reduced conversion times React quickly to new production requirements
SICK offers a wide variety of sensor options for quality control in all types of production processes. Intelligent sensor technology from SICK guarantees a consistently high level of quality for your products. SICK solutions such as state-of-the-art 3D vision technology can be optimally integrated into automated production plants. They provide a wide range of options for tailoring product qualities to the exact needs of the customer.
Product, packages, closing, level inspections (shape, dimensions, weight) with easy to install vision sensors and state-of-the-art 3D camera-based systems
The advantages at a glance:
High repetition accuracy and consistent quality Reduction in production rejects Overall increase in plant efficiency
The systematic process of hazard recognition, analysis and monitoring forms the basis for a machine and plant safety concept tailored to individual requirements. SICK advises machine designers and operators during plant design and performs analyses in order to exclude potential hazards in advance. Proven technology and networking guarantee safe production with effective protection for plant personnel.
Machine safety, access protection and safety consultancy with light curtains, PLC and scanners
The advantages at a glance:
Conformity with the highest quality standards State-of-the-art safety solutions Safety conforming to standards and machinery directives Consultation for increased productivity
The ability to follow individual production steps during product development is becoming increasingly important, allowing you to track products and components as well as ensuring safe production of foodstuffs. SICK sensors and readers enable precise data acquisition in all phases of production, right up to shipment by the customer.
Scan, verify and identify codes and texts on products, cartons, bundles and shipping cases with scanners (1D code), camera based (1D, 2D codes) and RFID solutions
The advantages at a glance:
Precise tracking of product development Identification of fake products Increased flexibility Reduction in the manual workflow