LOMA INCREASES FOCUS ON CONVENIENCE FOOD MARKET

Latest initiative highlights suitability of space-saving combination X5c X-ray and Checkweighing inspection system for wide range of ready meal and food-to-go options

Driven by busy ‘time poor’ lifestyles and an ageing population, the convenience food market continues to flourish. With growing demand for products that have longer shelf life, can be eaten on the move, are simple to use and boast more innovative packaging formats, Loma Systems (www.loma.com; +44 (0) 1252 893300) is highlighting the suitability of its high performance combination X5c X-ray and Checkweighing unit for inspecting frozen and chilled ready meals and food-to-go options. The two integrated ‘detect and weigh’ technologies ensure food safety for brand protection, and consistency in weight, size and shape.

As well as ready meals, there is an increasing trend for portable meal options that are normally consumed off premises, with retailers continuously developing new food products that make eating on the move easier, but that also offer authenticity, premium quality and healthier choices.

Ready meals and food-to-go products often contain multiple elements or ingredients packaged in different compartments, include additional items like cutlery or condiments, and have high salt content. Plus many snacks such as nuts and cereals fluctuate in density which can make it difficult to find foreign bodies. All of these variants can create inspection challenges for convenience food manufacturers.

Capable of weighing products while simultaneously inspecting for foreign bodies in one compact and easy to use format, Loma’s X5c X-ray combination system has been specially developed with ready meal and food-to-go processors and packers in mind. The technologically advanced machine detects physical contaminants whilst ensuring perfect product presentation and quality assurance with fill level and seal inspection, mass measurement and component counts. It can also identify lumps of product including seasoning or powder.

Loma’s X5c X-ray combination system can be easily integrated where production space is limited and helps manufacturers adhere to the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC) standards and meet major retailers’ codes of practice. The X5c X-ray machine can be bolted on to an existing CW3 Checkweigher as one unit for truly effective Critical Control Point (CCP) detection.

Built to Loma’s ‘Designed to Survive’ specifications, the X5c X-ray combination unit, including reject facility, measures just 2.5 metres in length. Produced from stainless steel, the complete combination unit is lead free and offers an unrivalled IP55 wash down design. Capable of running at speeds up to 150 packs per minute, it is operated using two independent control panels and has separate reject bins for out of weight and contaminated products.

Convenience foods packaged in foil and metallised film, as well as changes in product temperature and moisture content have no effect on the sensitivity of the foreign body inspection capabilities of Loma’s X5c.

The X5c reduces the cost of ownership of X-ray technology by 30% when compared to the company’s other X5 models, making it ideal for food companies keen to make the switch to X-ray for the first time or to replace lower performance ferrous-in-foil twin head metal detectors. This fully specified system offers good quality contaminant inspection using a reduced number of well-proven subcomponents and streamlined design.

The X5c is multilevel password protected for improved data management, which means the system can log events against individual operators. It is ideal for the detection of all metal types, glass, calcified bone, rubber and stone in various packaging. The machine is capable of handling products up to 100mm (height) x and 300mm (width) and weighing no more than 6kg – making it ideal for a wide range of inspection applications.

With significant energy saving benefits and providing the best balance of processing power to inspection, the X5c X-ray machine incorporates a detector array with 0.8mm diode pitch

offering a low 80 watt power consumption and self-contained high efficiency X-ray generator. A simple, effective cooling mechanism ensures long tank life and maintenance-free operation.

Loma’s range of CW3 checkweighers offer peace of mind that every packed product leaving the production line will have the correct weight and meet strict legal or retailer requirements.

Like the X5c, the CW3 checkweigher is designed for operation in the toughest of production environments. It boasts quick change conveyor parts and powerful AC motors plus the tubular framework delivers a hygienic design but is flexible if transport or reject systems need to be changed.

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