Third in a 4-part series on DURE FOODS. Taken from a recently published article by Andrew Joseph in the October 2014 issue of Canadian Packaging magazine. Photos by Cole Garside.
A new addition to the Dure Foods packaging line, is a Pack 240 Pro X-Ray food inspection unit supplied via Canadian packaging system integrators PLAN Automation, but manufactured by the Tampa, Fla.-based Eagle Product Inspection.
Delivered to Dure Foods at the end of this past summer, it is the second X-Ray unit it purchased from PLAN Automation, joining the existing Pack 320 Pro unit acquired back in 2009.
“Although we continue to be quite satisfied with the performance of our metal detection units, because we have a client that utilizes a metallic foil package for its dry goods, we needed to get an X-Ray machine—and for us, that was an Eagle X-Ray system,” says Laberge.
Agreeing that Dure Foods was very comfortable in purchasing the second unit, Laberge states simply that, “it’s good equipment—sturdy and it works. We love the capabilities of the machines.”
Laberge says that he has known PLAN Automation for quite a while, mentioning that the agent also works with Fortress Technology, and that they had purchased more than a few metal detection units, starting first in 1999.
According to PLAN Automation food safety and product inspection specialist Mat Bédard, working alongside Laberge and the rest of Dure Foods has been great.
“Laberge is a great guy, and Dure Foods despite the success it has achieved still has, in my opinion, small company feel, meaning that there isn’t a bureaucratic-feeling,” notes Bédard.
“Perhaps because of the success they enjoyed with the first X-Ray unit we sold them and the fact that we were able to deliver on our promise of food safety, that it was easy to sell them the second unit.”
The Eagle 240 Pro series has been designed for high-speed flowwrap lines, blister packs and small packaged items.
According to Eagle, the 240 Pro system provides 240-millimeters of detection coverage at the belt, capable of high-speed imaging at a rate of 120 meters per minute. It has multiple inspection capabilities that can detect up to 1,000 PPM (packages per minute).
Other features of the 240 Pro include:
- the SimulTask 4 proprietary image processing software provides onscreen self-diagnostics, full multilane and multiview capability, and dynamic belt speed adjustments;
- HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points)-ready with full event and contaminant logging;
- top-center, directed down single-energy X-ray beam;
- throughput, reject, weight and system validation statistics available in the database;
- IP65-environmental rated glass-beaded 304 stainless steel construction with a seamless impregnated, polyester fiber underside conveyor and a white urethane top-face coating.
“While we appreciate the great after-sales support we have received from PLAN Automation per the Pack 320 Pro unit we purchased a few years earlier, what is even more important is all the pre-delivery preparation they performed for us,” expresses Laberge.
When it comes to radiation-emitting equipment such as X-Ray systems, provincial and federal governments require a lot of paperwork to be completed before the machine can even be turned on at a facility.
“After the machine is purchased, for PLAN Automation, that’s when the real work starts,” mentions Bédard. “When it comes to operation of cabinet X-Ray systems, the Ontario Ministry of Labour has a lot of regulations for the safe operation of such a system, not to mention what the Canadian government’s Health Canada needs us to conform to—all good things, of course.”
After filling out all the requisite paperwork, Bédard says PLAN Automation then ensures that at least one X-Ray system operator receives in-depth radiation safety training—reaching the level of RSO (Radiological safety Officer).
As well, Bédard says they also train the lower-level technical operators—anyone who might be inclined to work alongside the X-Ray system, ensuring they, too, are provided with basic safety guidance.
“Despite all the warnings, we actually spend more time explaining how with proper usage and maintenance the equipment is safe—we provide both educational and safety training,” he relates.
Bédard adds that anyone can sell anyone a piece of equipment, “but ensuring safe operation is the key.”
He admits that with Dure Food’s second X-Ray machine purchase, the training of operators was actually quite easy because other than a few key differences in the Eagle 240 Pro and the Eagle Pro 340 X-Ray units, operation is essentially the same—as is the safety requirements.
“We sell it; help register it; train operators; help integrate it as part of the HACCP program, and everyone is happy,” exclaims Bédard.
Dure Foods is always working to improve ourselves and listen to our clients. Please feel free to contact us here to find out more!