Commonwealth Dairy, a joint venture between Ehrmann USA and Commonwealth Yogurt, started up a new, state-of-the-art production facility in Brattleboro, VT in May 2011. Their filling lines, which produce yogurts for private label customers, are anchored with Osgood fillers and Mettler-Toledo Safeline’s (www.mt.com/safelineus) SmartChek x-ray inspection systems to assure the highest level of food safety.
“We searched for flexible inspection equipment that could inspect the whole case as well as individual cups of yogurt. Metal detectors were not ideal because of the foil lidding on our cups. We needed x-ray systems,” explains Ben Johnson, CFO. “We looked at x-ray systems from three different manufacturers. We considered the supplier’s service, the technology’s capabilities and the price of the equipment, in that order. Based on this criterion, we choose Metter-Toledo Safeline and selected their SmartChek x-ray systems.”
“We work hard to take the highest precautions at every step,” notes Johnson. “The Safeline x-ray systems detect metal, glass and plastic. They’ll also detect a broken bit of pit from an apricot, peach or cherry, wood from the harvesting of strawberries and more. Basically, they recognize foreign objects by measuring the density of product and detecting differences or irregularities. Inspecting packaged product before it’s shipped gives us confidence that high quality product is leaving our facility.”
Commonwealth Dairy operates its production lines 24 hours a day, five days a week. The lines are dedicated to producing 80 mm, 95 mm and 115 mm diameter cups, with changeovers to handle different cup volumes and a variety of yogurt flavors and types.
To ease changeover, the Safeline x-ray systems are preprogrammed with the necessary settings for each product. The operator simply enters the product code via the color touch screen control panel and the accept/reject threshold for that product is defined. The SmartChek x-ray systems feature an auto-learn capability that constantly analyzes natural variations in the product to continuously achieve superior sensitivity throughout the production run.
“Our choice of equipment is a reflection of the quality-conscious strategy that permeates everything we do,” concludes says Thomas Moffitt, CEO at Commonwealth Dairy. “Our Osgood Fillers and Safeline x-ray inspection systems help us achieve the highest quality standards.”