Fortress Technology, in collaboration with Sparc Systems, has unveiled its first ever modular, high performance combination metal detector and checkweighing conveyor system. Featuring a single swipe touchscreen HMI and paperless audit software with unlimited pre-programmed Codes of Practice, the robust Raptor captures all the data required to guarantee absolute traceability.
The Raptor Combi is the first flexible, fast and affordable fully integrated checkweigher and metal detector from Fortress. Specifically designed for high care confectionery, chocolate, bakery, nutritional bars, packaged meats, cheeses and ready meals, including contract manufacturers supplying multiple retailers, it applies industry-leading technology engineered for high-end Sparc systems, yet overcomes several limitations. Notably the ability to accurately inspect and check the weight of larger size products and pack formats – up to 8kg and measuring 300mm by 400mm.
Best Price-Performance ratio
Answering calls from food factories for a more flexible, hygienic and user-friendly combination inspection solution, the Raptor Combi is the first truly modular system of its kind. Innovative common fixings and connection features, such as jigsaw style panels at the metal detector infeed and checkweigher outfeed, give manufacturers the option to rotate the equipment around to suit a specific production layout, while maintaining the metal detection and checkweighing sequence.
Additionally, Raptor’s universal design gives manufacturers the option to purchase a standalone Raptor checkweigher, and attach a complimentary metal detector at a later date to meet different phases of their production and inspection investment strategy.
Managing Director Phil Brown adds: “Both elements of this Raptor system uses compatible collective parts, even when there’s a bespoke element. This means that we can confidently give the assurance of fast delivery – typically six weeks – at the best price-performance ratio.”
Automated auditable COP conformance checks
Given that most food manufacturers supply multiple retailers, the Raptor introduces an innovative, failsafe, paperless, fully auditable COP test routine. Rather than relying on operatives to schedule, perform, document and submit inspection performance checks, the Raptor pre-configures every test by retailer and product being inspected and alerts and QA managers each time a test is overdue.
Performed at the start and end of each shift, and at regular intervals, a visual reminder is given five minutes before every test is due, with a beacon alerting production operatives to schedule the test. If not performed by the deadline, the machine halts and an alert is generated and sent direct to the factory’s QA or technical manager.
The test process is clearly explained, giving no room for error. Using the touchscreen, operatives select from a list of pre-programmed retailer COP parameters, and the product being inspected. When a test pack passes through the Raptor Combi, a sensor confirms it has been seen, generating a dated due diligence report, signed by the operative on the screen. Notes can added before submission. “By using automation to follow the test principles, it’s impossible to bypass a step in the test process, increasing the transparency and traceability of machine performance audits,” emphasises Phil.
An in-built USB means that when new COPs are introduced, Fortress simply issues an upgrade to instantly upload to the Raptor Combi unit.
Premium inspection with precision
Inspecting up to 150 packs per minute, the Raptor checkweigher is a high-end system that calculates Average Finished Weight Variance. It is approved to both OIML and MID (EC TAC) specifications.
Modifying tried and tested precision weight check software and electronics engineered by Sparc Systems to reduce product giveaway and meet legislative weight requirements, the Raptor checkweigher also sends a controlled feedback signal to upstream automation equipment used to portion food products. This signal specifies when to increase or decrease the fill quantity.
In order to detect the smallest metal particles, a Stealth metal detector is integrated into the inline system. Meeting retailer Codes of Practice and complying with industry guidance, the Stealth model features digital signal processing, built-in data capture, remote access and single pass product learning.
The entire system, purchased either as a single unit or as individual modules, comes with the highly-valued Sustainable Lifespan and COP Compliance guarantee.
New conveyor concept
The unique motor release is another Fortress first. A design concept developed by Sparc, operatives can unclip and disconnect the conveyor motor in a matter of seconds, removing the conveyor and releasing the belt for maintenance and cleaning. “From a hygiene and cleanability perspective, the Raptor is quick to disassemble, reassemble and slot back into place. By introducing Sparc’s tight fitting, smooth surface conveyor we eliminate belt noise which affects a checkweighers’ accuracy,” explains Phil
Thread-less feet, as well as minimal flat surfaces, also help manufacturers to maintain hygiene standards in wet and dry production environments.
Also unveiled on the Raptor Combi is a new interactive HMI. For ease of use, a swipe touchscreen enables users to bring to the foreground the most relevant parameters to their operation. Ranging from net weight, to average weight to product giveaway, operatives simply pick, swipe and drop their preference onto the home screen.
Phil explains: “This is an exciting development as it gives food manufacturers an element of flexible customisation. Rather than burying valuable statistical information away in a menu, users simple select and drop the parameters that they regard as most important.”
Although the panel is positioned on the checkweigher, it captures all the metal detection data, and holds all the test parameters in one accessible place. The entire system is fully configured to provide remote and secure access. All with no visible power cables, to help maintain an orderly operation and encourage professional housekeeping standards.
Using a pneumatic reject system, the Raptor Combi efficiently isolates weight and metal contamination rejects into two separate lockable BRC-approved reject bins. For weight rejects, an operator can simply rework the product and send it through to secondary packaging, diminishing the frequency of false rejects and waste.
Commenting on this latest advancement, Phil end: “For Fortress the Raptor Combi is a breakthrough development, combining months of R&D drawing upon Sparc’s exceptional engineering prowess and our market presence. The result is a premium combination weight and metal detector, at the best price point. Featuring brand new, unseen food inspection technology. All delivered in a flexible, hygienic package.”
For an online demonstration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org