Thorntons installs detector to increase reliability

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Related tags: Quality control

UK chocolate manufacturer Thorntons has installed a fifth Thermo
Electron DSP3 metal detector in order to further increase
efficiency and safety.

Fitted on an automatic bagging line, the Goring Kerr DSP3 is designed to scan a variety of different shaped bags of chocolates, ensuring each is contaminant free.

"Here in the packaging building, we use both freestanding mobile detectors which are situated at the side of the conveyor and also an inline DSP3 metal detector,"​ said electrical maintenance engineer Peter Leam.

"This is advantageous as product simply comes out from the checkweigher straight through the metal detector, ready to be packaged."

As well as achieving cost efficiencies, the move underlines the company's desire to be seen as a reliable and accountable supplier. More and more manufacturers are seeing such investments as value for money in the long term, with both retailers and consumers more conscious than ever of food safety.

Current EU rules oblige food manufacturers to bear full responsibility for the products they produce and the introduction of a system to enable them to ensure the safety and quality of the foodstuffs they produce or handle. This involves both applying the principles of the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) system and use by producers of quality assurance, often in the form of company certification.

"Maintaining quality standards is key,"​ said Leam. "The self-test function is particularly useful as it lets us know if the machine has failed and stops working - saving valuable time as operators do not have to check every hour."

The versatile DSP range of metal detectors can be supplied configured to suit virtually any packaging application or production process including pipelines and drop through systems.

The demand for detectors has never been greater and the market is continually growing. The global detection market is estimated to be €2.7 billion, and increasing at the rate of 5 per cent per year. Europe takes up about €1 billion of the market, with the food industry a major customer.

US-based Thermo​ has an annual turnover of more than $2 billion and employs approximately 10,000 people in 30 countries.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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