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Sapphire Inspection Systems to supply huge X-ray machine to inspect 800 bags of pet food an hour for GA Pet Food Partners




Sapphire Inspection Systems will supply a pet food company with a huge X-ray machine capable of inspecting 800 large bags of kibble for contaminants every hour.

The Litlington-based technology pioneer has created the bespoke system for GA Pet Food Partners, which will deploy it at its manufacturing facility at Leyland in Lancashire, where 80,000 tonnes of dry pet food are produced each year.

How the new Sapphire G40XL machine will look. Picture: Sapphire Inspection Systems
How the new Sapphire G40XL machine will look. Picture: Sapphire Inspection Systems

The site is home to eight other Sapphire innovations, including a G40 X-ray inspection and weight checking machine capable of handling upright bags of various sizes up to 4kg at a rate of 1,800 an hour.

At more than six metres long, the new machine will be GA Pet Food Partners’ largest yet, and capable of handling bags of pet food kibble weighing up to 25kg and measuring a metre long when lying flat.

It will check the bags are free of contaminants such as fragments of metal, stone or glass, and will also check the weight of each bag to make sure they all contain exactly the right amount of kibble.

The Sapphire G40 X-ray inspextion and weight checking machine at GA Pet Food Partners' factory (50695124)
The Sapphire G40 X-ray inspextion and weight checking machine at GA Pet Food Partners' factory (50695124)

GA Pet Food Partners managing director Andy Kettle said: “As one of the largest independent manufacturers of private label pet food in Europe, we handle 700 different recipes and 2,500 different pack formats – so it's a challenge to find inspection equipment that can cope with that.

“Sapphire has the expertise to create bespoke solutions for us that fully integrate with our own systems to provide a high level of process control and, in turn, reassurance for our own customers about the quality of every bag of their products.”

The X-ray images produced during the inspection process will be stored on the pet food manufacturer's server. This, together with the timestamp on each bag, allows easy identification of a specific item if there are any customer issues after the product has been sold.

Richard Parmee, founder of Sapphire Inspection Systems
Richard Parmee, founder of Sapphire Inspection Systems

Sapphire founder Richard Parmee said: “Our broad range of more than 40 X-ray inspection machines can cope with the challenges posed by the vast majority of food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics production lines. But it was clear from the start that the latest innovative request from GA Pet Food Partners was going to need our unique bespoke approach to create our largest ever machine that can seamlessly integrate into the factory's existing systems to ensure every product is of the same high standard.”

Sapphire, a sister company of Cheyney Design, will demonstrate its X-ray technology at the Petfood Forum 2021 on September 22-24 at the Kansas City Convention Center in the US, at its partner Scan American Corporation's booth 1326.

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