Consumers in India have become more aware that food products should be packaged to avoid contamination, and this trend is here to stay, Mike Pipe, head of global sales and product management at Mettler Toledo Product Inspection told Packaging South Asia. This is expected to boost demand for automation and subsequently quality inspection systems, he added.
“Companies are paying more attention to automation as a way to increase productivity and efficiency and reduce human intervention. All of these trends will lead to an increase in overall production and improvement in efficiency and a reduction in wastage and overfill. This, in turn, will call for more online high-speed, reliable, and repeatable inspection equipment,” Pipe said.
Talking about why Mettler Toledo products would be attractive for Indian customers, Pipe said that one reason is that they will enjoy a greater return on investment. “That you can replace manual processes with automated processes. Our systems are extremely easy to use. So, a lot of our customers have a high turnover of their operators. By having very automated and intuitive systems that are very easy to operate, the enhanced ease of use really helps our customers overcome the challenges of having to re-train people and increases production efficiency,” Pipe argued.
“As I said, what our systems will not do is limit our customers’ production in any way, shape, or form. They can in many cases have the opposite effect and help increase the efficiency of their production lines,” he added.
Pipe said that Mettler Toledo can provide customers with the highest level of quality assurance and can give them the tools to support their internal quality process.
A wide gamut of solutions
Pipe said that Mettler Toledo has a wide range of product inspection equipment. The company offers check-weigher solutions, metal detections systems, X-ray inspection systems, track and trace solutions, vision inspection systems, quality management software, and industrialized vision inspections system.
“We don’t just inspect in the package areas but can inspect in all areas across the customer value chain. And we can do that with different types of equipment. So, whether it be the raw ingredients, the process stages, or the package stages, Mettler Toledo has product inspection equipment that can help across the complete value chain,” Pipe said.
With the metal detectors and the X-ray systems, customers can detect physical contaminants such as metals, glass stones, dense plastics, dents, rubbers, calcified bones, among others. The check-weighing system checks the conformity of the weight of the product. It accurately checks that the product is at the correct level or the correct weight.
Addressing the concerns about the safety of X-ray devices, Pipe said that every single X-ray device that is shipped from the company facility meets the regulations. “There’s a regulation that we have to achieve before every system or any system can be shipped from our production facility. And we do this by checking every single system before it leaves our factory. We also use in the design certain features which will help reduce X-ray emissions,” he said.
“Also, the other thing I should mention is that our customers will also have to periodically do radiation tests around the equipment to make sure that the system is compliant with the installation and making sure that it is not exposing their operators to any potential harm,” he said. No protective gear is required for operators who work on the X-ray systems.
Asked if Mettler Toledo systems can check for moisture and oxygen, Pipe said that that is not possible. However, the company has systems that can check if, say, a can is properly pressurized or not.