Kent-based savoury ingredients manufacturer Jardox has invested in four Loma IQ3 metal detectors and two CW3 checkweighers in the last three years. Meeting retailer standards – and in particular the stringent M&S code of practice for metal detection equipment – was the company’s main reason for choosing Loma Systems.
“The M&S code of practice for metal detectors and checkweighers is the gold standard in the food industry. By investing in inspection equipment that is built to that standard, we can be confident that it will satisfy the requirements of any retailer or manufacturer wanting us to supply them,” explains David Mabb, Operations Director at Jardox.
Loma’s IQ3 metal detector is engineered to meet these standards, “Our IQ3 incorporates a number of failsafe components which ensure that in the event of a machine fault or a problem with products being fed incorrectly, the line is stopped and the operator alerted, so there is no risk of contaminated product finding its way to consumers,” says Tony Bryant, UK Sales Manager with Loma.
Jardox’s core business is supplying savoury ingredients in bulk to food manufacturers large and small, from Premier Foods, Greencore and Samworth Group at one end of the scale to Pieminister and Creative Foods at the other. The ingredients, which include curry pastes, concentrated stocks, gravies, marinades, glazes, seasonings and herbs & spices, are made to bespoke recipes and supplied in whatever size and format the customer requires, be that a 1kg bag or a 25kg pail.
“We have upwards of 350 customers on our books and recipes are bespoke to each customer,” explains Mabb.
For these ingredients, rare earth magnets are Jardox’s first line of defence. After sieving, dry ingredients are passed over the magnets, which will attract any metallic fines that may have entered the production flow from earlier milling or grinding processes.
Loma’s IQ3 metal detectors and CW3 checkweighing systems enables Jardox to adhere to stringent retailer standards – including the M&S code of practice for metal detection equipment
Smaller packs of up to 2.5kg are subsequently passed through Loma IQ3 metal detectors. These detectors guard against metallic contamination from upstream equipment in the rare event of nuts, bolts and washers working loose or equipment getting damaged.
“The IQ3 will reliably achieve market leading detection performance,” says Bryant.
With its true variable frequency operation, the IQ3 is ideal for coping with the diverse range of products manufactured by Jardox. The detector can operate at any frequency between 40kHz and 900kHz and has the ability to select the optimum frequency in seconds. “This means the detector will select a lower frequency for pastes and stocks and a higher frequency for dry seasoning blends,” says Bryant.
Most recently, following the introduction of new ingredients including gel stock pots and flavour shots, Loma specified a ‘combination’ unit, consisting of a conveyorised IQ3 metal detector and CW3 checkweigher. 112g trays with four 28g compartments are filled, lidded, gas flushed and coded, then passed through the integrated system at speeds of about 75 trays per minute before being sleeved or put into a glued skillet.
A second combination unit was installed on a line producing seasoning packs destined for butchers. The packs, which vary in size between 2.27g and 1.36kg, are formed, filled and sealed on a vertical bagmaker before being inspected at speeds of approximately 40 per minute. “The checkweighers are accurate to within a point of a gram and are vital for minimising product giveaway. They are connected to our main server, making it very easy to extract and recall production data on a daily basis for reporting programmes,” says Mabb.
The detectors are equipped with divert reject mechanisms which channel contaminated product into lockable stainless steel bins. One of the features Mabb particularly likes is the bin-full indicator, as he says this provides “a great level of reassurance that the machine is doing what it was designed to”.
Another feature he finds very useful is the PVS (Performance Validation System), which is built into all Loma machine software, and gives the operator a prompt to test the metal detector at regular intervals. “A bugbear of mine has always been making sure metal detector checks are carried out with test pieces at regular intervals. Loma’s PVS means we don’t have to rely on operators to remember to carry out the test – a light comes on to indicate that they have a predetermined amount of time to perform the check before the line stops.”
Two IQ3 metal detectors and two combination systems are now up and running at Jardox and the company has recently placed an order for another IQ3 Metal Detector.
“The build quality of Loma’s machines is second to none; they are very easy to clean, robust and reliable. But what I really like about Loma is that they design machines that are bespoke to our exact needs and their readiness to support us when business requirements change is always very responsive,” says Mabb.