Ishida Europe (United Kingdom) - An Ishida IX-GN 4043 x-ray inspection system is delivering the highest levels of sensitivity and accuracy in order to meet the stringent quality standards of leading fresh prepared potato processor Swancote Foods.
The company is part of the Produce Investments group and a sister company to Greenvale AP, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of fresh potatoes. Swancote Foods is a specialist business that converts fresh potatoes into high quality prepared potato ingredients for other food manufacturing companies. The Ishida IX-GN has been installed for its versatility and ability to spot the smallest contaminants as well as any build-up of scale that occurs during the cooking process itself.
The x-ray system incorporates Ishida’s unique Genetic Algorithm (GA) technology that enables the machine to be trained to more easily detect specific contaminants. In addition, the IX-GN is able to handle different sizes of diced potato including potatoes with skins on, with individual detection parameters pre-programmed into the machine for easy changeovers. While it is primarily used to monitor diced potatoes, the machine is also capable of handling alternative sizes if required.
Prior to the installation of the Ishida IX-GN, Swancote Foods had used a metal detector for its quality inspection procedures, but this new installation provides a further enhanced level of food safety.
“Spotting small foreign bodies in bulk continuous product is very difficult for metal detectors,” explains Swancote Foods’ Engineering Manager Andrew Baxter.
“The Ishida IX-GN is one of the few x-ray models capable of consistently meeting our requirements and we have been very impressed with its performance, as well as the support we have received from Ishida.”
Another important benefit of the Ishida x-ray system is its robust washdown design and easy-to-remove conveyor, which enables the machine to cope with the regular daily cleaning that is part of Swancote Foods’ rigorous hygiene regime. The IX-GN is in operation 16 hours a day, five days per week, handling up to four tonnes of product per hour.
In order to incorporate the x-ray and new linear weigher into the existing high care area of the factory, Swancote Foods created a raised platform on which the machines sit. Despite the challenges, installation took place successfully over a weekend with Ishida engineers on site to commission the IX-GN. Ishida also provided full training for operators.
“The Ishida x-ray is an incredibly advanced machine and a really good piece of kit,” concludes Andrew Baxter. “It has given us a level of inspection sensitivity that could not be achieved with a metal detector. This demonstrates to our customers our commitment to quality and how we will not compromise on product safety, and we believe we are the only diced potato supplier in the country with this high degree of product inspection.”