News | April 21, 2009

Mettler-Toledo Safeline X-Ray Inspection System Ensures Accurate Portion Control For Cheese Manufacturers

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Mettler-Toledo Safeline, the worldwide leader in metal detectors and x-ray inspection systems, provides simple and accurate portion control for cheese with the Safeline PowerChekPlus x-ray inspection system.

The PowerChekPlus features a unique ‘portion control system, which ensures that each cheese wedge, (cut from a disc) is the same weight, ensuring compliance with fixed weight requirements for supermarkets.

Until now, ensuring accurate portion control for certain types of cheese has been extremely difficult. Stilton, for example, has blue veins running through the cheese which have a different density compared to the cheese itself. Depending on the amount of blue veins running through each cheese wedge, weights for each cheese wedge – even if they are the same size – can vary. The same problem occurs to cheese with many holes, such as Swiss. As a result, cheese manufacturers have resorted to cutting the cheese wedges larger than necessary, resulting in wastage levels as high as 20%.

The PowerChekPlus x-ray inspection system solves this problem by seeing the different densities in every part of the cheese and performing a mass calculation for every pixel present in the image. The machine then transfers the data (via Ethernet) to an ultrasonic cutter, telling it exactly where to cut the cheese discs to ensure each wedge has exactly the same weight. The system also features FDA-approved, ‘lead free’ lightweight protective curtains, which are easy to exchange with clean replacements when necessary.

In addition to portion control, the PowerChekPlus also provides exceptional levels of contamination control. The system can simultaneously detect and reject unwanted contaminants such as metal, glass, stone and high density plastic in dairy products even when packaged in foil or metalized film. The standard inspection speed on single lane applications is 500 packs per minute, with even faster line speeds possible depending on pack size. On twin or four-lane applications, a multi-lane rejection system is implemented reducing unnecessary waste.

Due to its modular design, the system is easy to set up and ready to use within minutes. It is sophisticated yet simple to use, with a sealed color touch screen and an intuitive interface, giving the operator full control without requiring special training.

Built to the highest quality, the PowerChekPlus has a compact footprint and can be retro-fitted into existing production lines. Its hygienic design allows easy access to all areas of the machine and a wheel-out conveyor facilitates tool-free full conveyor belt removal in seconds for easy cleaning and maintenance. Sealing is approved to IP65, with IP69K available for harsher wash-down environments. 3-A Sanitary Certification is also available as an option and ensures customers that the highest possible hygiene standards have been reached and can easily be maintained in the production environment to ensure brand protection.

SOURCE: Mettler-Toledo Product Inspection