Latest X5 Spacesaver X-ray inspection machines installed end of line to inspect new range of whole birds – skin packed in aluminium trays.


Global manufacturer of food industry inspection equipment, Loma Systems recently won a tender for the supply of two X5 Spacesaver X-ray machines to Crown Chicken’s processing plant in Norfolk. The fresh chicken producer has installed these latest units to inspect a new range of whole birds that are skin packed in aluminium foil trays to help further reduce the risk of consumers contracting potentially lethal food-poisoning bug Campylobacter.

Crown Chicken is a fully integrated poultry company offering all the stages of feed milling, breeding, hatching, rearing and processing. The business continues to expand and currently rears and processes in excess of 450,000 birds a week.

A long-standing user of Loma’s IQ3 metal detection systems, Crown Chicken has installed the two X5 Spacesaver X-ray systems, which offer 25 per cent improved detection performance and 20 per cent smaller footprint than similar machines, at the end of separate lines where they are operating at speeds up to 40 packs per minute.

Capable of providing checks for broken or damaged products and overall monitoring of fill levels and portion control, the advanced X5 Spacesavers are a key part of Crown Chicken’s stringent quality control and HACCP procedures.

Julian Hine, Engineering Manager at Crown Chicken comments: “Crown Chicken has a long-standing relationship with Loma Systems. We have eight of their metal detection systems and they have always provided an excellent service to our state-of-the-art facility. They also have an in-depth understanding of all aspects of poultry processing and recognise the need for high performance contaminant inspection technology for optimum plant efficiency and that meets BRC and retailer standards.”

As part of the industry’s on-going commitment to tackling Campylobacter and ensuring that chicken is completely safe, Crown Chicken recently launched whole birds that are skin packed in aluminium foil trays. The packaged product, including film, is placed into the oven eliminating consumer handling of raw poultry prior to cooking.

By using aluminium foil as a packaging substrate, Crown Chicken was required to source an alternative method of contaminant inspection.

Capable of detecting calcified bone, glass, dense plastic, rubber, stone as well as ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel metals, Loma’s X5 Spacesaver model is ideal for the inspection of raw and processed meat & poultry products, particularly those packed in foil containers or metallised packaging.

Julian continues: “As part of the Xray equipment buying process, we invited three companies to tender for the project, but Loma’s X5 Spacesaver unit met our functionality, hygiene and cost requirements. Plus the fact it measures just one metre in length makes it ideal for our limited production space.

Constructed from stainless steel, the X5 Spacesaver boasts an ultrahygienic design for easy cleaning and low maintenance and serviceability in meat & poultry processing plants.

It features intuitive IP69K-rated touch screens and quick release belts that can be completely removed without the need for tools. The belt tension can also be eased for cleaning, whilst sloping surfaces prevent food particles and water droplets accumulating in crevices for reduced drying time.

The X5 Spacesaver incorporates Loma’s Adaptive Array Technology (AAT) for 25% improved detection performance. This innovative technology tailors resolution, depth and scaling to give the best performance for any product requiring inspection. AAT eliminates the previous need to specify the diode array pixel size as the X5 Spacesaver will adjust to give ultimate detection performance for the product.

“The X5 Spacesaver units were easy to install, required minimal training and have proved to be entirely fit for purpose and reliable,” Julian adds.

“The service and support continues to surpass expectations so I would happily recommend Loma and its inspection equipment to other food processors and packers.”

Toby Kemp

Tel: 01252 893300


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