août 15, 2023
Quality is Cash!
Interview of Chris Bowman, President of Sesotec Canada
In the ever-evolving landscape of the food industry, ensuring the safety and quality of products is of paramount importance for our customer. As we strive to maintain the highest standards, we are thrilled to announce an exciting development that underlines our commitment to excellence. We have forged a partnership with a cutting-edge food inspection supplier that shares our passion for uncompromising quality and safety.
In this interview below, the President of Sesotec Canada shares his vision and that of Sesotec and explains why investing in innovative inspection systems is more than strategic for a company in the food industry.
What is your story?
My background is in Automation and Robotics, spending the first part of my career in Maintenance and moving into Applications Engineering. I have always found that finding solutions to customer problems is the easiest way to sell.
What is the mission of Sesotec?
At Sesotec, each and every one of us is passionate about making progress for the benefit of ourselves, our customers, our partners, our society, and our planet. We are active worldwide in pursuit of our mission to help our customers improve the sustainability and profitability of their processes. We offer intelligent technologies and services for foreign object detection, material sorting and analysis to help our customers design safe, efficient, and compliant production processes.
Metal detection and X-RAY, what are the major differences? (Why choose one and not the other?)
Metal detectors work utilizing inductive fields, and measuring the effect that contamination has on that field. This makes it excellent for the detection of both Ferrous and Non-Ferrous metals, including Stainless Steel and Aluminum.
X-ray inspection evaluates an X-Ray image to find contamination in a product. It looks for higher darker areas (higher X-ray absorption), in the image than in the taught images. This allows for the detection of a larger assortment of contamination types, from metals to bone (See chart below for more details).
Selection of an inspection system is based on many factors. What product is being inspected? What potential contamination risks are there? What level of detection (size) is required? There are also cost differences in each technology which also plays a part into what the best solution is for a customer.
What are the advantages to have inspection systems in a food production line?
The biggest reason to have inspection in a food production line is SAFETY for the consumer! However, like any manufacturing process, the earlier you can remove a quality defect(contamination) in the process/product, the higher the quality of the final product and the lower the cost of having to throw out or rework final product. Food waste has a cost, as does the energy and effort that has been spend is not only a financial hit, it is also culturally irresponsible.
Where is the critical control point in a production line?
This is a very interesting question. Most food manufacturers/processors only focus on one Critical Control Point. This tends to be End of Line, when product is in final packaging, just before it is skidded and shipped to customers.
HOWEVER, throughout all food processing/manufacturing processes there are multiple opportunities for Critical Control Points. By placing inspection equipment strategically through a process, the highest level of quality in the product can be achieved. A good example is the inspection for bone in chicken nuggets. This is best done earlier in the process, immediately prior to grinding of the chicken, versus trying to inspect for bone in a partially cooked nugget in a bag in a box. This is because of the size of the bones prior to grinding and chemistry of chicken bones. Chicken bones have calcium in them, which in the right application, make them more detectable by an X-ray. However, when the chicken is cooked, the calcium is cooked out of the bone and makes it more difficult, almost impossible, to detect.
What are the consequences if we minimize these critical points/minimize the investment in inspection system?
The largest consequence of minimizing Critical Control points is an increase in the potential for recalls. This not only has an enormous cost, it also can have an extremely negative impact on brand reputation. While the consequences of not doing something is important, we like to focus on the consequences of DOING! By implementing the right technology in the right points of a process, there can be major efficiency gains. Gains in efficiency, equate to gains in throughput (food availability) and higher profitability.
What is your best advice to a processing plant looking to invest in an inspection system?
Education is key to understanding the technologies that are available for contamination inspection. Understanding the limitations of Metal Detection and X-rays, allow for a plant to incorporate the right solution into their Food Safety Plan.
Join us as we embark on this exciting chapter, where safety, quality, and innovation converge to shape the future of food inspection in our industry. Contact us now for a free consultation!