When we think of the food and beverage industry, we often think of canned goods, raw meat, glass bottles. But we fail to remember that humans aren’t the only ones eating the products that need inspecting. Pet food can be filled with foreign contaminants – and don’t we want to protect man’s best friend. So what kind of things can you find in pet food?
Pet food is becoming a bigger business than ever. If you look at the worldwide demand for pet food, it’s not surprising that businesses now need inspection solutions. Traditionally, you would look for metal contaminants. Unfortunately, with the proliferation of things found in the food chain, today companies need to look for so much more.
With our high-resolution X-ray systems, we can find pretty much anything that could get in the pet food. We can even check the seal. (Imagine the foil seals on more expensive bags of pet food – that can be verified, too.) We want to ensure that our customers get a perfect bag of pet food.
One of the things we excel at is fine bone detection in raw food and in canned or pouch products. So, the legacy of this comes from the tuna business: we dominate tuna inspection. That’s because we have the most signal-to-noise ratio for finding bones possible.
Humans might be able to tolerate marginally larger sizes of bones if accidentally left in the product. But a pet might choke on even smaller pieces. An X-ray inspection system can make sure that doesn’t happen.
Large Bags and Products
Imagine you have to lug a 50-pound bag of dog food into your house to feed all your hungry canines. The last thing you want to do after sweating it out is worry about the dogs being harmed by what they’re eating.
Our top-down X-ray machines can inspect 50-pound bags, no problem. With our high-resolution detectors, we can sort through the product noise in the image to find contaminants that other machines just won’t.
Contaminant Size Detection
On a 50-pound bag of dog food, our high-res system will find about a 1 mm piece of metal. For glass, it’s about 3 mm. If even those numbers are too big for you, we can always inspect the bulk product before it’s packaged. (But those are very respectable foreign material detection numbers!)
Services Other Than X-ray
To better screen incoming supplies, we offer operations guardian systems and great statistical feedback. You can get real data on how good raw ingredients are. You can then partner with your supplier to have them inspect the product so that when it’s shipped to you, you can get a report that tells a pet food producer that the product is fine.
If you’re buying pet food products, like protein products or fish meal, they can be contaminated with foreign material. You should move the removal of those materials upstream so you don’t have to deal with them.
To help you with these things, we provide operational excellence. Eliminating holds and recalls is a simple way to help. But when we really work on operational efficiency to ensure you’re always producing the highest quality product, your manufacturing is running as efficiently as possible. We want to help recoup any gaps so that you can be more profitable.
High Resolution for Seal Detection
Imagine a pet food pouch. You open it up and there’s a plastic zipper seal that reseals it. The original seal is a foil contact heat seal. Traditionally people use infrared system to inspect them because you can read the foil’s heat signature. The challenge with this technology is they’re very timing specific – you have to inspect the product right after it’s sealed. But what if you stop for a few minutes then start back up? You have to reinspect. The false reject rate is high.
Peco-InspX uses a high-resolution X-ray to get a minute look at the amount of product contact between the two layers of seal. You can actually see the seal.
What about microleaks? That usually means the seal deteriorated. We can find seal issues down to 55 microns. For a sense of how big that is: if you have a high-power light microscope, they can get down to about 50 microns. Our level of analysis is extreme.
We can help find issues immediately so you don’t have bad product being shipped out of your plants.
Detection for Spoiled Product or Mold
The high-resolution works by giving you immense sensitivity to change in differential events. Basically, it’s a density differential gauge. Mold is very low density.
We’re still testing to see what kind of applications will be relevant. But we’re excited with our ability to tell if a product is spoiled, as that’s immensely valuable for our customers.
If you want a $30,000 detection machine, by all means and best of luck. But truthfully, you won’t find the kind of detection power at such cost-effective prices that we offer. If you’re a pet food company, think of the risk of the cost of one recall. The damage to a brand that can happen from one incident is not trivial.