A versatile twin-head metal detection unit from Loma Systems is allowing Tendercut Meats to inspect frozen meat packaged in both foil and plastic on the same line, without compromising detection performance. This future-proof investment gives the meat processor the flexibility to accommodate changing customer demands and represents a far more economic, space-saving solution than operating two separate inspection units.
Tendercut Meats has been processing and packing frozen meat, from chops and joints to whole legs of lamb, for over 30 years. On average 140 tonnes of meat – the majority New Zealand lamb – is packed at its BRC (British Retail Consortium) and EC approved facility in Eastleigh, near Southampton. Last year, following the launch of a new product range by one of its key customers – a leading frozen food retailer – the meat processor replaced an existing ferrous-in-foil metal detector with a flexible twin-head system.
The original ferrous-in-foil detector had been purchased to inspect purely foil-packaged products, such as sliced lamb in gravy. With the new product range, plastic oven-ready bags were introduced. The two materials needed to pass through the same cartoner packaging machine on the same production line, but required different food industry metal detection capabilities.
Drawing on their longstanding relationship, Loma advised Tendercut Meats on their options, recommending a combined twin-head unit, comprising an IQ3 system to inspect products wrapped in plastic, and a ferrous-in-foil detector. By simply flicking a switch, the operator can change between the two heads instantaneously.
“There is both a financial and a space saving benefit to installing a twin-head system rather than running two units independently of one on another on separate conveyor belts. The advantage stems from the fact the heads ‘share’ a conveyor and a reject system,” explains Tony Bryant, UK Sales Manager at Loma Systems.
The twin-head unit also gave Tendercut Meats the ability to inspect a wider range of carton sizes.
Tendercut Meats first purchased Loma systems 15 years ago – all of which continue to operate efficiently today. Loma’s team, are also always happy to share industry advice, reflects Richard. One such instance was helping the company to interpret and action BRC’s newest Global Food Safety Standard (issue 6). Stipulating that all metal detectors need ‘reject and contain’ systems rather than stop belt style reject mechanisms, Richard points out that: “Loma was extremely proactive at working with us to bring all of our inspection equipment in line with this new standard and carried out all the necessary upgrades at a minimal cost.”
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