German Pet & Animal Food Producer Expands Business After Growth by Word of Mouth

A German pet and animal producer decided to expand their business after experiencing significant growth with their premium products by word of mouth. They owned their own farmland produced their own raw materials, which allowed the producer to create a pet and animal food product line. Because they were able to control materials in-house they developed high quality products and along with strong brand reputation help catapult an international presence.

The first priority to capitalize on the growing demand was to develop production capacity, but with the new bigger and more efficient production came the issue of quality control. Their brand image was their main competitive advantage, and anything to compromise that regard was simply not an option.

The farm already had several quality, hygiene and safety certifications such as HACCP, ISO standards and organic certification for the organic line, but the growing production also increases the risk of foreign object contamination. Financial damage of a large product recall would be disastrous for a business of this size, but also the damage to the most valuable resource, their brand reputation.

Brand protection is everything for a company that has a stellar reputation. And the financial risks of a product recall could be not only disastrous financially but also permanently damage your reputation. MEKI x-ray inspection ensures you are audit compliant and contamination free of metal, stone, bone, glass and dense plastics.

Cost VS. Performance

The Anuga Food Expo offered a great opportunity to find a solution for reducing contamination risk solutions. Lower priced metal detectors offered simple solution but were limited to detect metal objects. The manufacturers knew, since they produced their own raw material, that glass shards and stones create a much higher risk for their products.

X-ray systems offer a more complete solution to minimize risks but can cost more with multiple lines for production. The cost can be significant compared to metal detectors and X-ray systems, historically, have been larger, complex, which made them harder to setup for an optimal position in the line, without adding extra work and costs.

At the Anuga exhibition, the producer met with Mekitec and learned of the price efficient Xray food quality control systems. Mekitec’s personnel demonstrated MEKI X-ray system at the booth. They learned that the MEKI line detects foreign objects such as metal, glass, ceramic, stones, hard plastic and rubber; it also can detect broken products, missing products or objects such as closing clip of a bag. The MEKI can even detect through packaging material such as aluminium.

From Demo to Solution

The demo and results at the stand were impressive the producers sent various products to Mekitec’s German office for more application tests. The tests gave accurate result of detection under factory conditions and also identified the best settings for each individual product for the three most common foreign objects in their products: metal, glass and stones.

Results of the application test report showed that depending on the product density, 0.6mm1.2 metal, 1.5-3.0mm stone and 2.0mm-4.0mm glass objects could be found with 100% accuracy. Also missing clips from the package could be detected.

A variety of products was also a challenge for the manufacturer since the production is switched during the day in their five production lines. MEKI X-ray systems software is developed in-house with a user-friendly interface and efficiency as priority and switching the inspected product was easy and seamless to minimize delay in production lines.

A final resource consideration for the manufacture was footprint space at the facility coupled with installation time. MEKI is designed to be as small and versatile as possible, to easily setup at the best strategic location to maximum performance without creating hidden cost in modifying lines Installation is also made easy and it includes a training session from trained Mekitec personnel, so that it can be operated with efficiently.

INFO: MEKI

Detection range with 1kg hamster food bag: Stainless steel 0.8mm, Glass 2mm, Stone 2mm.

MEKI combines the benefits of metal detector pricing with the X-ray inspection performance for products up to 250mm width and 110mm height.

For single and dual line production of small and medium sized goods.

Example industries: bakery, dairy, meat & seafood, snack, fruits & vegetables, ready to eat food, frozen, confectionery, cereals and bulk.

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