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Kinnerton Confectionery has purchased a metal detector from Loma Systems to provide quality assurance for its range of chocolate and novelty confectionery.

Kinnerton produces more than 6,000 tonnes of chocolate annually.

Aside from specialising in licensed confectionery, the company also produces a significant range of own-brand or private-label products for large retail chains in the UK, Europe and Australia.

Kinnerton has a strict HACCP policy and the factory is constantly audited against the British Retail Consortium’s Global Food Standard to ensure standards are high enough to meet the requirements of its partner companies.

As part of its high standard of quality control, Kinnerton required a new metal detector.

The company had previously hired a metal detector when needed, but increased demand meant that it became more cost effective to purchase one.

Kinnerton contacted Loma Systems and ordered the Loma IQ3 metal detector.

‘We have used Loma machines several times before and we have always been happy with the machine, service and support that Loma offers,’ said Lee Hunt, Kinnerton’s deputy engineering manager.

Kinnerton is frequently developing its range of seasonal and everyday confectionery from Easter eggs and Advent calendars, to chocolate bars and chocolate miniature figures, as well as chocolate and jelly lollipops.

With constantly changing production lines, Kinnerton required an adaptable metal detector that could easily be set up to inspect their variety of products.

‘We wanted a flexible machine that could cope with our constantly changing lines, as we manufacture a variety of products, ranging from 2kg chocolate Easter eggs to 2ft-high chocolate bunnies,’ said Lee.

‘Furthermore, we need to inspect more than 800 different product lines, so a metal detector that is simple to set up and minimises downtime is essential,’ he added.

The Loma IQ3 metal detector has electronics that enable the Automatic Product Learn system to calibrate and automatically learn the characteristics and settings for up to 100 different products.

An additional feature is the Variable Frequency system, which allows the operator to auto select the correct frequency for maximum contaminant sensitivity.

Traditionally, single frequency metal detectors need internal adjustments when faced with a product that is materially different from others usually inspected on the line.

However, Loma’s Variable Frequency Technology was ideal for Kinnerton, offering an ability to cope with changing product lines without loss of performance.

Kinnerton was the first confectioner to offer chocolate manufactured in a nut segregated area, which keeps nut traces out of all its chocolates.

Ensuring that certain products are not transferred to other lines and products means harsh wash down was essential when choosing a machine.

The IQ3 is designed for tough wash down cleaning specification and meets the IP69K environment standard.

With many of the lines at Kinnerton’s running 24 hours a day, a tough durable and long-lasting metal detector was critical.

The IQ3 metal detector is said to offer high sensitivity and stability, as well as being future proof.

The IQ3 also has a bright control panel, which is simple to understand and designed to be used in any multi-language environments.

The machine includes a Performance Validation System, automatically prompting the operator to test performance at pre-set intervals according to HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) principles, and producing a detailed record of any contaminants found.

Added to this, the IQ3 uses an industry-standard OPC system (Object Linking and Embedding for Process Control), allowing operations managers to integrate the equipment in factory data-capture networks.

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