Leading meat processor, the Kepak Group, has recently invested in eight X5 Space Saver X-ray units from LOMA SYSTEMS®.  

Employing over 4,500 people across 12 manufacturing facilities throughout Ireland and the UK, the  family-owned group processes a broad range of fresh and value added meat products, serving the international foodservice and retail markets with prime cuts of meat, on-trend foodservice solutions and market leading consumer brands. Their portfolio includes Rustlers, Big Al’s, Feasters, Stript Snacks and Celtic Beef.

X5 Space Saver X-ray unit from LOMA SYSTEMS®

Kepak’s Kirkham-UK site mainly manufactures a range of microwavable burgers and hot sandwiches that come in clear 100% recyclable packs, with additions such as cheese and sauce. The facility produces Rustlers, a top 100 brand in the UK and Europe, which is built around taste, convenience and quality. Food safety standards are a major focus at Kirkham, which consistently achieves the highest grades in food safety & quality audits.

All of the site’s 8 processing lines had been using an ageing mix of metal detectors and checkweighers, which were not suitable to detect softer contaminants such bones, as well as ensuring that a sauce sachet and cheese slice were correctly placed in the packs. Kepak wanted to increase their detection capabilities, but also continue to weigh their products and check product integrity, all within a smaller footprint.

Due to the complexities presented by the final ‘on-the-go’ burger product, it was decided that each line should have a new X-ray machine, to provide best-in-class metal contaminant detection and an equally impressive capability for detecting softer contaminants such as bone, ceramic and glass. In addition, X-ray would check the product’s integrity, plus product weight and volume to a 3g tolerance. The X-ray solution also needed to deliver a line throughput of 100 packs/minute to meet production requirements.

Following extensive consultation, Loma was appointed to supply the Kirkham site with 8 of their market-leading, compact X5 Space Saver X-ray units, providing the very best detection levels – 0.4mm for very small metal contaminants and 0.8mm to 1.6mm to find softer contaminants.

Providing a line length of just 1000mm, the X-ray units were installed into Kepak’s production lines, successfully meeting Kepak’s exacting quality requirements for contaminant and product integrity checks, while providing first-class CCP protection.

“We had very high expectations of Loma’s X-ray machines, which, given the nature of our product types, needed some detailed scoping to get the equipment to function perfectly,” said Lee Arkinstall, Project & Improvement Manager, Food Division, Kepak. “Once that had been achieved, we were delighted with the end result. During installation, Loma’s technical team were passionate in ensuring that the X-rays were performing at their best, and to that end I can’t be happier. I have 100% confidence in Loma’s X-ray technology.”  

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