3 Essential Inspection Technologies for FMCG

Mar 30, 2022 by Mark Dingley

New product ID & inspection equipment means greater efficiency, effectiveness, and consumer safety! Be aware of the 5 ways your equipment could be costing you.

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Precision is the key to reducing cost and increasing consumer safety in the FMCG industry of today. Production lines, however, are not always perfect – even when they’ve been fully automated. How is it that you can be sure that any problems are detected, identified and corrected quickly (before the goods have left the plant)?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to protection – protecting both the consumer and the brand. In their determination to meet the ever-more-rigorous requirements of consumers, retailers and industry, FMCG manufacturers are investing in technologies that provide this protection. This includes advanced inspection systems that are designed to quickly check, detect and respond to any problems. As an added bonus, these solutions can also improve your bottom line.

 

But which inspection technology (or technologies) are worth the investment? In this blog, we’ve outlined 3 essential inspection technologies that have been proven to optimise quality, efficiency and profitability for FMCG manufacturers.

1. Check packaging and labelling (otherwise known as a vision inspection)

With industry standards of packaging and labelling becoming increasingly stringent, the demand for vision inspection technology is on the increase. Why is this? For the simple reason that vision inspection helps to ensure that only quality products leave your plant. Depending on the needs of the manufacturer, a vision inspection system will be able to deliver quality assurance (QA) in a number of ways. Matthews’ system, for example, has the capacity to:

These are all tasks that it is practically impossible for humans to perform consistently and reliably. It is also possible to tie a vision inspection system into your other automated processes, which help to reduce production-line errors that could end up completely ruining a batch of goods.

Think this is financially out of reach for your company? The cost of even the most elaborate inspection system is trivial considering the savings they can lead to.

2. Reduce waste and overfill (otherwise known as checkweigh)

Weighing precision can help you to reduce costs on the manufacturing line, which is something that every company wants to do. In actual fact, the more accurate your weighing machine is the more money you’ll save. Let’s use a packet of chips as an example – saving a small amount of overfill in just one bag may not add up to much, but in a big batch it can lead to big savings. This is where checkweigh comes in.

Checkweigh technology is placed at the end of the line – it precision weighs at high speeds, allowing it to identify overweight and underweight products, removing them from the line.

Checkweighers inspect portion control of a packaged product, ensuring that every pack leaving your factory falls within the specified weight range. They ultimately reduce your costs, as they eliminate unnecessary product waste. Checkweigh can also assist manufacturers with detecting issues with product overfill on the production line, allowing you to quickly correct the problem and save costs.

Checkweigh systems of the past weren’t equipped with the accuracy for small consumer goods (such as confectionary and nuts) that they had for larger goods. The systems of today, however, feature more precise technology, enabling you to weigh high-value, small target-weight goods at high speeds. Matthews’ range, for example, includes checkweigh systems that have been specially designed for low-weigh goods (from as low as 10 grams all the way up to 15kg).

3. Reduce contamination and protect against recalls (otherwise known as metal detection and x-ray inspection)

It seems like another food or beverage recall hits the headlines in Australia each week – and contamination is often the cause. It’s no wonder that an increasing number of FMCG manufacturers are choosing to use x-ray inspection and metal detection systems to eliminate the risk of food contamination (essentially protecting their brands from product recalls and withdrawals).

Some of the biggest culprits behind food contamination include metal and non-magnetic stainless steel. Fortunately, the metal detection technology of today is very effective – even products that have a high moisture content or that are packaged in metallised film can be checked.

Metal isn’t, however, the only culprit. Glass, stone, high-density plastics, rubber and other contaminants have all been known to make their way into packaging. X-ray inspection equipment evaluates density throughout the product and packaging (including thick foil pouches and even cans), enabling it to identify foreign bodies. Advanced x-ray systems will be able to inspect pretty much any packaged product – even those where the contaminants have been embedded right in the product itself.

Which inspection technologies for FMCG? A quick guide

There are a few key things to consider when choosing the right inspection system for your company:

  1. Efficiency – the system must be able to keep pace with ultra-fast production lines; more inspections at higher rates
  2. Flexibility – the system should be scalable so that it can meet your needs today, as well as those of the future; Bizerba checkweighers, for example, are easily adaptable and can be expanded when needed.
  3. Integration – a must-have for manufacturers looking to increase efficiencies; Matthews vision inspection systems, for example, can be integrated with coding and labelling systems so that the whole packaging process is automated (with everything managed by our packaging code management solution, iDSnet).
  4. Installation – always choose a supplier who will work with you to find the right product for your needs, as well as one who will ensure it’s set up exactly how you want it.

Need more information on inspection systems for FMCG? Give the Matthews team a call on 1300 CODING (1300 263 464) or drop us an email.