Ready-to-eat foods manufacturer invests in top-notch X-Ray inspection technology to ensure optimal product quality and safety
October 2, 2019
Firmly established in the market for premium foods, Ireland-based Swift Fine Foods produces quality ready-to-eat meals, soups and convenience foods for retailers.
They also have a successful part of their business supplying caterers, mainly in the healthcare sector.
In Ireland, Swift Fine Foods is also the largest manufacturer of ready-made meals, with a state of the art food manufacturing facility in Lough Egish, Co Monaghan and they are continuously focused on their growth.
Whilst in the past the business has been satisfied with the detection of metal using conventional metal detectors, they considered commercially and safety-wise it would be beneficial to enhance inspection to scan for more than just metals.
Therefore, they decided to investigate upgrading their inspection equipment.
The increasing challenge for Swift Fine Foods is multiple sources of contamination that can be introduced during production.
For example, with vegetables arriving in bulk, whilst the produce goes through a strenuous cleaning process, there is still a need to check for contaminants like grit.
Plus, some recipes bring the risk of bone contamination that would have negative consequences to their retailers and healthcare customers.
Inspection detection needed weekly for:
- 150,000 to 180,000 meals
- 12 tonnes of food service & healthcare products
Having successfully run their food manufacturing lines with metal detectors for many years, Swift Fine Foods approached QPM, the distributor of Loma Systems product inspection technologies in Ireland, to discuss how they could assist in improving their inspection techniques beyond metal detection at their manufacturing facility in Ireland.
The brief was also to find a solution that met their budget constraints.
In response to the brief, Loma’s QPM carried out a full audit of Swift Fine Foods to determine the right solution for their product lines.
QPM recommended and demonstrated the X5 Spacesaver to detect various contaminants, check product weight and integrity, plus with fail-safe functions it ensured Swift Fine Foods were retailer code of practice compliant.
Following the initial successful installation of the X5 Spacesaver, Swift Fine Foods were then further introduced to the X5C, which was promptly installed to all of the lines, as it offered the smallest footprint.
These X5C’s were specified with pusher reject mechanism onto a gravity roller rack, with the necessary fail-safes in place.
As Swift Fine Foods director Paddy Grimes relates, “This project was a considerable investment that involved all our production lines.
“We explored various Check & Detection suppliers and selected Loma’s X5 Spacesaver and then X5C X-Ray. The support from Loma and QPM has been highly professional, with the Loma team ensuring the right inspection solution for our business.
“Financially the Loma proposal stacked up and commercially we are in a very strong position as we can tell our customers all our lines are fully contaminant checked, which has resulted in new contracts.
Grimes concludes: “This is critical considering we work with leading retailers and healthcare providers where safety is a key concern.”