Ishida’s advanced X-ray technology has enabled a leading tea and coffee supplier to further enhance its quality and safety standards for the introduction of retail packs of roasted coffee beans. Since the installation of the Ishida IX-EN, the company says that consumer complaints resulting from stones in the beans have been eliminated.
Residual stones in coffee beans is a common problem. Despite the company’s already rigorous quality control procedures, including using magnetic separators and passing the beans through a de-stoner machine, stones can still be present. As well as impacting on the perceived overall quality of the coffee, the stones can also damage the blades in domestic grinders and professional grinders for espresso machines if they are not removed.
The IX-EN Series performs reliable inspection for basic level application with a lower voltage X-ray tube, providing an unbeatable return on investment without compromising on accuracy.
Prior to the installation of the Ishida X-ray inspection system, quality checks for stones were carried out by hand, but operators were not able to detect all the stones, leading to frequent consumer complaints. Having already used Ishida weighing equipment for a number of years, the company turned to Ishida to help solve this problem.
“We knew that Ishida was easy to work with, that the company takes a detailed approach to every project, and that if we have an almost impossible task, Ishida is the most likely to find a solution,” explains the production director.
Initially the IX-EN was tested on packed product, but the number of bags still containing stones proved to be too great, so the decision was taken to inspect bulk product prior to the bagging of the coffee beans. “From that moment, we have not had any further instances of stones in the beans,” confirms the production director.
The IX-EN features Ishida’s unique Genetic Algorithm (GA) technology, which uses image data analysis over several generations to achieve an extremely high level of inspection accuracy with the machine “trained” to spot particular foreign bodies. In addition to the supply of the X-ray system, Ishida project managed the installation, designing the infeed, gantry, and elevator that takes product for bagging. A special diverting reject system quickly removes any rejected product to minimize losses. The company reports that the machine is easy to set up, operate, and clean.
Currently the beans are packed into pre-made bags but the company is now introducing packs for the foodservice sector as well, and if demand continues to grow, the intention is to create a fully automated inspection and bagging line. As part of this, the Ishida X-ray has the capacity to check up to 30 tons of coffee beans each day.
“The highest product quality and safety is essential for us to maintain our premium brand image,” concludes the production director. “The Ishida IX-EN has enabled us to deliver this. The machine is very reliable and user-friendly, and Ishida provides great service and support.”