Retailers always impose higher quality requirements on suppliers of freshly packed products. When packaging food – often under atmospheric modified conditions, leaking or open packaging must be prevented to ensure preservation and food safety. That is why De Spiegeleire implemented SealScope ™ to automatically check their pâté in consumer packaging. These pâtés are packed in a resealable flow-pack under modified atmosperic conditions. This allows to have a longer shelf life while still preserving freshness. Leaks in the seal are very detrimental because the product is then exposed to the air which causes visually unappealing discoloration and faster spoiling. These leaks are typically caused by product or material in the seal – such as a piece of pâté or the plastic tray – or by folded packaging film. Since millions of units are produced every year, a full manual inspection is impossible and too costly. As there is still a risk that manual sample tests can deliver defective packaging, De Spiegeleire investigated a solution that automatically inspects 100% of the packaging produced.
The SealScope inspection system is based on sensors mounted on the sealing bars of the packaging machine, measuring the distance or vibration when closing the sealing bars. The measured signal is compared with a reference measurement signal of good seals. Folds or product in the seal are thus detected and further ejected from the conveyor band. The sensors are directly integrated into the packaging machine, so there is no need for special adjustments to the production line. Another advantage is that if the product in the rejected packages is still intact, it can be repackaged, which leads to less overall waste.
“The choice of SealScope™ is perfectly in line with our quality policy,” says David De Spiegeleire, managing director, “Our pâté itself is authentic, but our machinery is modern and our production process is fully tailored to our customers’ high quality requirements.”