Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

At LOMA we like to be as helpful as we possibly can.This FAQ section is designed to help provide quick answers to the common questions asked.  Cant find the answer you are looking for?  Please contact us HERE for any other enquiries.

General FAQ's

How does contamination happen?

Contamination can happen at any point in the production process including at source.  Critical Control Points (CCP) are put in place to prevent any potential issues from leaving the factory to help protect the consumer. Hygiene also provides a vital role in eliminating bacterial contamination.

Examples of physical contamination include; production line failure such as broken processing machinery, stones picked up at source in farming of the products or raw materials, bones within a product such as chicken or fish etc.

What is a contaminant?

A contaminant is either physical or bacterial and can happen at any stage of the production process. Examples of physical contamination include;

  • All Metals from other machine failure in the line
  • Stones
  • Bones
  • Glass
  • Incects
  • Wood
  • Plastics
What is HACCP?

Short answer

HACCP is a systematic approach to the identification, evaluation, and control of food safety hazards based on the following seven principles:

Principle 1: Conduct a hazard analysis.
Principle 2: Determine the critical control points (CCPs).
Principle 3: Establish critical limits.
Principle 4: Establish monitoring procedures.
Principle 5: Establish corrective actions.
Principle 6: Establish verification procedures.
Principle 7: Establish record-keeping and documentation procedures.

Slightly longer answer

HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. For successful implementation of a HACCP plan, management must be strongly committed to the HACCP concept. A firm commitment to HACCP by top management provides company employees with a sense of the importance of producing safe food.

HACCP is designed for use in all segments of the food industry from growing, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, distributing, and merchandising to preparing food for consumption. Prerequisite programs such as current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) are an essential foundation for the development and implementation of successful HACCP plans. Food safety systems based on the HACCP principles have been successfully applied in food processing plants, retail food stores, and food service operations. The seven principles of HACCP have been universally accepted by government agencies, trade associations and the food industry around the world.

Taken from the UK Food Standards Agency and the US department of Health and Human services website.

Which Inspection system do I need?

An X-ray system will offer the similar levels as a metal detector when it comes to ferrous and non-ferrous contaminants, but it will far excel with stainless steel, foil packaging and metallised film Detection. X-ray systems also offer the ability to detect bone, glass, ceramic or stone and dense plastics whilst also checking for product integrity, making it the complete solution in contaminant detection.

Who sets the Food safety standards?

There are many agencies world wide that are responsible for Food safety standards

European Union

The parliament of the European Union (EU) makes regulations in the form of directives, many of which are mandatory and are incorporated into member countries’ national legislation. The EU parliament is advised on food safety by the European Food Safety Authority.

United Kingdom

The Food Standards Agency is the government department responsible for food safety In the UK and hygiene across the UK.

United States

The US food system is regulated by federal, state and local officials. The Food and Drug Administration publishes the Food Code, a set of guidelines that help food control authorities regulate the retail and food service industries.As well as the US Food and Drug Administration, several states have their own state programs to test for pesticide residues

Why do I need a LOMA SYSTEMS inspection system?

LOMA SYSTEMS is a world leading brand in the food, pharmaceutical and packaging industries, offering Metal Detectors, Checkweighers and X-ray inspection systems.

Our reputation is based on consistent quality and advanced technology, the result of a continuous and far-reaching research and development program. Short lead times, modular design and excellent availability of spare parts, coupled with our passion for customer service, allow our customers to:

  • Comply with, and exceed, product safety standards, weight legislation and retailer codes of practice
  • Maximize production up-time
  • Be self-sufficient
  • Minimize lifetime costs

Our headquarters are based in the UK with direct sales and service operations in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Poland, China, Canada and the US. We work closely with our distributors and OEM’s in over 100 countries worldwide to ensure that all our customers are fully supported.

Metal Detection FAQ's

Why a LOMA SYSTEMS Metal Detector Inspection System?

Ever since LOMA SYSTEMS was founded in 1969, the company has worked very closely with both food manufacturers and retailers to deliver advances in technology. As a result, LOMA has an unrivalled level of experience and expertise, in the practice of effective metal detection within food industry production lines.

Our latest introduction of the IQ4 series of Metal Detectors is the result bringing together the combined experience of LOMA, LOCK Inspection, CINTEX and BRAPENTA, and nearly 50 years of customer-back innovation. LOMA’s engineering teams have employed our Designed to Survive philosophy to deliver great metal detection sensitivity in a package that is easy to install; easy to use; easy to clean and maintain; can withstand the arduous food production environments; and ultimately brings a brilliant cost of ownership.

Which technology - Metal Detection and / or X-ray Inspection or both?

Metal detection and X-ray inspection offer different capabilities –To assess Which you should choose, you should to carry out a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points audit.  If the audit determines that metal is likely to be the only contaminant found, then a metal detector is likely to be the most cost-effective solution, however, if other issues such as packaging and product effect are raised by the audit then it is recommended you perform a full product test to establish the most suitable technology.

If, the audit determines that metal and other contaminants such as glass, mineral stone, calcified bone or high-density plastics and rubber are likely to be encountered, then X-ray is the only suitable solution. In many cases, there’s only one suitable solution. However, there may be occasions when it could be helpful to install both metal detection and X-ray inspection systems on the same production line.

X-ray Inspection FAQ's

Are X-ray systems suitable for products with a variable density?

LOMA’s image processing software is designed to adapt to differences in product density, while maximizing sensitivity. This overcomes the problems associated with conventional systems.

Can an X-ray system detect any contaminant?

X-ray inspection systems can detect more contaminants than Metal Detection systems, however their are a few limitations including:

  • Low-density plastics
  • Thin glass, such as fluorescent tubes
  • Low-density stones
  • Insects
  • Wood
  • Hair
  • Cardboard
  • Paper
Do I need to keep documentation regarding emissions?

All LOMA machines comply with national emission and safety regulations. When the machine is first installed a documented examination takes place. However, for peace of mind, a periodic examination is advised. As this is a relatively simple process it can be done each day without the need to stop the production line.

Do I need to take special precautions to protect my staff against radiation?

No, All of our systems meet the safety ratings of less than 1 µSv/h.

If I introduce X-ray Inspection, will I have to run my line at a slower speed?

LOMA X-ray inspection systems are designed to operate continuously at speeds in excess of 600ppm or 90m/min (300ft/min).

Is X-Ray Inspection a commercially acceptable solution?

Early X-Ray systems had reliability problems and were expensive. However, the involvement of mainstream inspection specialists like LOMA ensures that new-generation x-ray systems are as robust and reliable as conventional metal detectors with and excellent ROI.

Why should I pay more to use X-Ray Inspection over Metal Detection?

In terms of contaminant detection, X-ray systems will detect lower levels of contaminants. They can also detect a wide range of non-metallic contaminants including ceramic, bone, glass, stone and dens plastics. X-Ray Inspection systems can also check for product intermarry to see missing or damaged products.

Will I need to employ specially trained operators?

No, LOMA X-ray Inspection systems are designed to be as easy to use as a Metal Detector.  Training is provided upon commissioning and additional onsite training can be arranged if required. (Please click here for more details)

Will my products be contaminated by the X-rays?

No, the dosage a food product can be subjected to is governed by controls. LOMA X-ray inspection systems operate at around one millionth of the current limit.

Why a LOMA SYSTEMS X-ray Inspection System?

Loma’s range of X-ray inspection systems are easy to use with intuitive full colour touchscreens and icon-driven menus as well as offering fast inspection and product set up, automatically optimising the systems for each product type allowing you to learn and switch within minutes.

X-ray systems also offer the ability to detect bone, glass, ceramic or stone and dense plastics whilst also checking for product integrity, making it the complete solution in contaminant detection.

Which technology - Metal Detection and / or X-ray Inspection or both?

Metal detection and X-ray inspection offer different capabilities –To assess Which you should choose, you should to carry out a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points audit.  If the audit determines that metal is likely to be the only contaminant found, then a metal detector is likely to be the most cost-effective solution, however, if other issues such as packaging and product effect are raised by the audit then it is recommended you perform a full product test to establish the most suitable technology.

If, the audit determines that metal and other contaminants such as glass, mineral stone, calcified bone or high-density plastics and rubber are likely to be encountered, then X-ray is the only suitable solution. In many cases, there’s only one suitable solution. However, there may be occasions when it could be helpful to install both metal detection and X-ray inspection systems on the same production line.

Checkweigher FAQ's

Why a LOMA SYSTEMS Checkweigher Inspection System?

An accurate Checkweigher will ensure less waste and enable more products to be produced from the same amount of inventory. Raw materials can be very expensive, and a checkweigher will ensure that you make the most of existing resources.

Example

Reducing the overfill of a 450-gram pack by one gram, on a line producing 200 packs per minute running 16 hours a day for 230 days a year, would result in you saving enough raw materials to make an additional 98133 products.