Loma Systems X-ray detection solution strikes the right balance for Kepak

Loma Systems X-ray detection solution strikes the right balance for Kepak

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

Employing over 4500 people across 12 manufacturing facilities throughout Ireland and the UK, the family-owned group processes a broad range of meat products, serving the international foodservice and retail markets with prime cuts of meat, foodservice solutions and market leading consumer brands. Its portfolio includes Rustlers, Big Al’s, Feasters, Stript Snacks and Celtic Beef.

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. Food safety standards are a major focus at Kirkham, which consistently achieves the highest grades in food safety and quality audits.

All of the site’s eight processing lines had been using an ageing mix of metal detectors and checkweighers, which were not suitable to detect softer contaminants such as bones, as well as ensuring that a sauce sachet and cheese slice were correctly placed in the packs. Kepak wanted to increase its detection capabilities, but also continue to weigh its 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 as well as 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 100 packs/minute to meet production requirements.

Following extensive consultation, Loma was appointed to supply the Kirkham site with eight of their compact X5 Space Saver X-ray units, providing top rate detection levels – 0.4mm for very small metal contaminants and 0.8mm to 1.6mm for 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 and 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.”  

For more information visit: www.loma.com

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