PET Food Processing - June 2018 - 41

"If you catch a metal
contaminant in its
largest form at the
start of the processing
line, you are eliminating
it at the cheapest part
of the process."


Steve Gidman, Fortress Technology
must be properly configured with the parameters for each
individual product. Regular verification and testing is also
important to ensure that contaminants don't slip through
undetected and that false positives don't waste valuable
product and cause production downtime.

Validated protection
Using preventive validation routines to challenge inspection
equipment is an important part of pet food processing due
diligence and quality control. "Testing should take place
regularly - usually at the start and end of each production
day - then hourly and between each product changeover,"
Gidman recommends. "Intervals between tests need to be
short enough that if a fault is found, products potentially
affected have not left the facility and can be identified, quarantined and retested." Third-party inspections are recommended annually at a minimum.
Many inspection systems automatically collect data. This
supports reporting capabilities and assists in meeting the
requirements of pet food safety programs and regulations.
"Every event on the Eriez equipment is written to a log,"
Spurgeon says. "An electronic paper trail is critical to ensuring a company has done their food safety due diligence."
For best results update software when applicable and optimize the system for each new product or package configuration - similar is not good enough. "Take the time and effort to tune the equipment," Thomas says. "Use the data that
inspection equipment provides to make the process better,
mitigate and fine tune where detection equipment can be
placed for the best results."
Confidence in the inspection equipment is critical. When
the detector signals that metal is present, operations needs
to be confident that the equipment did indeed detect metal.
In other words, operations needs to be confident that it was
not a false trip. "Brand image is everything, and that's really
in the end what this equipment and what Eriez does for our
customers," Spurgeon says. "We protect their brand." PFP

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