X-ray inspection for confectionery | Case Study
Kinnerton is one of the UK’s largest independent manufacturers of chocolate and novelty confectionery. To stay ahead of today’s highly-competitive and increasingly-global marketplace, Kinnerton recently invested in METTLER TOLEDO Safeline Metal Detection and X-ray Inspection equipment. This investment will help ensure that Kinnerton meets the latest retailer codes of practice.
Site Engineering Manager Mike Gee explains: “Our decision to invest in new product inspection equipment wasn’t driven by a desire to resolve a contamination issue - because we simply didn’t have one! We wanted to have robust contamination detection systems in place which were capable of handling our current range of packaging, as well as coping with new and complex packaging formats in the future. This will help ensure that we continue to comply with the latest retailer codes of practice – so the decision was driven by a desire to future-proof the site."
Anticipating future packaging challenges
One of the main reasons for deciding to buy x-ray systems was that Kinnerton was in the process of launching a new range of products. One of these consisted of a net containing foil-covered chocolate balls. "We knew there was no other way we were going to detect contaminants in a net of foil-covered chocolate balls other than via x-ray inspection," explains Technical Manager Nick Raby. "However, rather than simply buying an x-ray system for that particular line, we considered what kind of future packaging formats might evolve and what was the best system for coping with an increasingly wide range of formats. We also wanted to checkthat the equipment we purchased would give us the flexibility to pack any type of packaged products in the future." After researching a wide range of systems, Kinnerton eventually decided to purchase an X33 X-ray System with an air-blast reject as well as four T Series Throat Metal Detectors.
Impressive METTLER TOLEDO inspection rates
"After spending a day trialing our new foil-wrapped chocolate balls, we were impressed with the X33's ability to inspect between 30 and 80 net bags per minute, while maintaining detection sensitivity and a low level of false rejects," says Nick Raby. "The X33 was installed at the end of an existing production line in 2014, and now works as a Critical Control Point (CCP), inspecting foil-wrapped chocolate balls in net bags ranging in size from 45 grams up to 180 grams." Both Mike Gee and Nick Raby were also delighted with the ease of the equipment's installation.
Improved quality with T Series Metal Detectors
"Any new metal detector had to operate in such a way that we could be sure of preserving the quality of our products," says Engineering Manager Mike Gee. "So we chose the T Series Metal Detectors from METTLER TOLEDO for each of our bagging lines, because they had one of the smallest insertion sizes in the industry." T Series Metal Detectors are designed for use in vertical packaging applications. They are capable of detecting many metal contaminants, including non-magnetic stainless steel within 'in-flight' product, prior to insertion into sealed packs. The metal detectors have now been installed on three bagging lines where they inspect a wide range of chocolate-coated products.