Inspecting sausages with next-gen tech
Longhini Sausage Company has been crafting Italian sausages and other specialty meat products in New Haven, Conn., since 1950. To protect its growing customer base, Longhini began looking for the best metal detection options and turned to Mettler-Toledo Safeline Profile Advantage detectors.
“Meat products are often difficult for metal detectors to accurately inspect due to natural variations in temperature and moisture. The wide range of case sizes that we need to inspect is another complication, because there is a lot of variation in product density,” says Rich Longhini, president of Longhini. “The sensitivity and reliability of our Profile Advantage systems are amazing.”
David Kemp, CEO of Longhini, explains that the company had never had problems with metal contamination, but wasn’t willing to take any chances.
“Meal kits require an especially high-quality product, because the logistics are very complicated and everything has to be perfect,” Kemp says. According to Longhini, the company decided to go with Mettler-Toledo because of its great equipment as well as fantastic service and support.
“We wanted to go beyond standard baseline inspection and find metal fragments far smaller than the industry requirement,” says Longhini. “If you’re going to get a metal detector, it makes sense to get the best.”
To maximize versatility, Longhini first bought a stand-alone Profile Advantage system on wheels to move throughout their facility and inspect all their products in cases off-line. Then, looking to increase throughput, the company purchased an in-line Profile Advantage to automate inspection and add capacity. This new metal detector is installed on wheels to move between three lines, inspecting thermoformed packages that range in size from 6 ounces to 1 pound and tray packs that range in size from 5 to 10 pounds. The off-line system is now focused exclusively on inspecting on cases between 5 and 40 pounds filled with bulk sausage and any tray packs not already inspected on the primary packaging lines.
The Profile Advantage is a premium solution that excels in identifying and rejecting every type of metal in even the most difficult applications. By utilizing multi-simultaneous frequencies, it creates a reference point to better discern changes due to the presence of metal versus changes within the product itself. This advanced performance maximizes sensitivity while virtually eliminating false rejects when inspecting all kinds of products.
“We like that we can run many similar products under the exact same settings with the ‘product clustering’ capability. New products can almost always be lumped together within our existing product settings,” Longhini says. “The auto-setup routine is another one of our favorite things about these metal detectors. It allows our operators to easily recalibrate or add totally new products in less than five minutes.”
“Overall, the Profile Advantage is completely dependable. Neither of our systems have had any downtime ever. Plus, these metal detectors are entirely maintenance free. We test them a few times a day, which gives us confidence the sensitivity is consistent across our different products and packages,” says Longhini. “Any time we’ve had a question about our metal detectors, Mettler-Toledo’s customer service have been right there for us. To be frank, if a supplier doesn’t have great service, it doesn’t matter if they have the best equipment in the world — Mettler-Toledo has both.”
“These metal detectors give us hard evidence that no metal is in our products. I look at some of the recalls for metal contamination in the food industry and I just shake my head, because it’s so preventable with a metal detector like the Profile Advantage,” Kemp says. NP