Lock Inspection Systems, worldwide suppliers of metal detection equipment, has worked with United Biscuits to help improve the processing efficiency of their multi-bag crisp packing lines and dramatically reduced product wastage as a direct result of retrofitting their snack lines with 62 throat metal detectors.

The packing lines were originally fitted with conventional end of line metal detectors which were inspecting sealed multi-packs of crisps each containing up to nine individual bags of the snack product at the end of the packaging process – however the main drawback when inspecting sealed multi-packs, was the wastage potential if a foreign metal object was detected in one individual bag, then the entire multi-pack would be rejected.

In contrast Lock’s MET30+ UNIVERSAL throat metal detectors were retrofitted to nine crisp packing lines within the confined space between the outlet of the multi head weigher and the inlet to the VFFS bag maker in order that crisps were inspected during the free-fall prior to entering the bag. Without the hindrances of the metalized film packaging the throat metal detectors are working at optimum level and have reduced product waste.

Originally Lock’s successful bid, under United Biscuit’s primary central E-Sourcing event to streamline the company’s purchasing process, secured an initial order of 18 throat metal detectors to be installed within nine lines at UB’s Billingham site. Subsequently a further 44 throat metal detectors have been installed within this site, making Lock UB’s designated and preferred supplier of throat metal detectors.

Simon Taylor, of Lock Inspection Systems, commented: “Following our initial bid we supplied United Biscuits with a machine for a one month trial period, to demonstrate that our equipment would meet the manufacturer’s waste reduction and efficiency objectives. When completing a retro-fit, it is essential that line disruption is kept to a minimum, which we achieved with the installation of our compact throat metal detectors which require less than 274mm of installation space and can be fitted without making any alterations to the existing line.”

Paul Simcox, Project Engineer for United Biscuits, commented: “Lock’s MET30+ UNIVERSAL throat metal detectors have not only exceeded our expectations in waste reduction and optimising the packaging efficiency of the lines, they have enabled us to stay compliant and given us the product quality assurances required to retain retailer confidence.

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