We call them “events”, but they are not the kind you want to be invited to. Unfortunately, they are not the kind of event you can plan for either. They are foreign material events.Even the most well run plants and facilities will encounter a contamination issue at some point. Everything is going well and then that distinct ‘ding’ of your metal detector goes off, you find metal shavings on a magnet check, you find pieces of a gasket during a strainer check,or worse, you receive a customer complaint involving foreign material.
These contaminant events can occur for any number of different reasons.Most often these issues stem from internal equipment failures. Other times it can be attributed tooperator/human error during production. Even the best suppliers and vendors sometimes introduce contaminants into your process by mistake and are unable to let you know an issue may be present. Occasionally intentional sabotage from a disgruntled employee is possible. In each of these cases, the precipitating event is a normal part of business for most food companies.
When these type of issues occur, the key is figuring out the source and limiting its scope.That’s whereFlexXray comes in. Our inspection process can find, identify, and isolate many types of foreign materials, such as: metal, bone, rubber, plastic, gasket material, glass, stones and wood.
FlexXray has a proven process to help you quickly and cost effectively determine the extent of impact and recover from the event as cost efficiently as possible. We inspect for foreign material down to 0.8mm (the size of a pin head – and much smaller than the federal choking standard size, 7.0mm), using technology not available to your plants. Once found, we can provide information which can give you a better idea of when and where the contaminant was introduced to the product.Using an offline X-ray machine, we will physically dissect your product, remove contaminants, and catalog everything we find for you. This process saves you the time and hassle of attempting to locate contaminants, some less than 1mm in size, in your QA lab.
Additionally,FlexXray now offers an audit program to help you validate your internal processes and equipment. Customers quarantine a representative sample of production and send product to FlexXray. With our superior detection equipment combined with very slow inspection speeds, we are capable of finding foreign material at, and many times below, 0.8mm depending on the type of contaminant and the product it is in. Don’t be alarmed if even “good” product sent to us has foreign material findings; surprisingly this happens pretty frequently.This surveillance type of audit can help you validate new equipment installations, new product launches, or simply to verify the stability of your internal systems.