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Gaining a 360° view of line performance

13 March 2017

To support global food manufacturers in meeting the documentation and active managerial control requirements of the Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) when exporting products to the US, Mettler-Toledo Product Inspection has launched the enhanced ProdX 2.0 data management software system.

Designed for use on food lines, as well as in pharmaceutical and chemical processing, this data management software package connects product inspection equipment across the production line into a single, unified network. In doing so, it is able to collect in-depth data about productivity and product quality issues, such as foreign body contamination, and access it in real time from a centralised location.

ProdX 2.0 is able to record the date, time, location of the reject, and the reason for removal. In addition, it is now able to store verifying documentation about the active managerial control measures taken to prevent incidents re-occurring in the future. This ensures compliance with the new Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventative Controls (HARPC) requirements of the 
FSMA, and with those of a range of international food standards approved by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), as well as pharmaceutical and product quality guidelines.

Robert Rogers, senior advisor Food Safety & Regulations at Mettler-Toledo said: “Under the FSMA, food manufacturers looking to trade in the US now need to take a risk-based approach to implementing product safety controls - known as HARPC. This requires manufacturers to actively manage the points on their production line where food safety issues are most likely to occur by regularly reviewing and refining procedures to further minimise risk in future. For food manufacturers, documenting these steps is vital to demonstrate due diligence to food safety authorities in the US and, in doing so, retain access to such a lucrative market.”

To ensure optimum product inspection documentation for manufacturers, ProdX 2.0 manages data from a range of product inspection machines, including X-ray systems, metal detectors, checkweighers and vision inspection equipment. It can store X-ray and vision inspection images of rejected packs to allow further analysis of rejection incidents by operatives at a later date.

In addition to helping to optimise food safety, ProdX 2.0 can help boost productivity. Featuring a new standardised OPC UA server interface, and supporting PackML tags, the software can be seamlessly integrated into existing production line networks, not only connecting Mettler-Toledo systems, but also equipment and computer interfaces supplied by other manufacturers. This enables the software to collect data about the performance of all the inspection machines on the production line, from throughput speed to instances of product over- or under-fill, enabling the calculation of the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) of the manufacturing process by the company’s control and MES system.

“Having a comprehensive understanding of the OEE for the entire production line, manufacturers can identify precisely which machines need to be adjusted to improve overall line efficiency, so they can take steps to boost throughput speeds and minimise product waste. It is also possible to understand where steps need to be taken to minimise downtime during product changeovers, as operatives often already have an idea, in advance, of how much time each machine needs to be set up correctly, by giving them the information they need to devise an efficient and effective changeover plan,” concludes Rogers.


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