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Ishida X-ray technology helps to ensure Greek yogurt quality

A leading yogurt producer in northern Greece relies on the accuracy, versatility and reliability of an Ishida IX-GA-65100 X-ray inspection system to deliver the highest levels of quality control and achieve continuing success in both national and international markets.

Established in 1954 by George Tsinavos in Serres, Macedonia to produce ice cream and other dairy products, Kri Kri has grown over the decades with a full-fledged factory set up in 1987 and an expanded product range including yogurt introduced subsequently. Using milk sourced locally, Kri Kri is able to process and pack its yogurt within 24 hours, requiring just one pasteurisation process.

The Ishida X-ray system forms part of Kri Kri’s in-house stringent quality control procedures and also enables the company to meet the strict requirements of its customers. While the advanced production processes incorporate the highest hygiene levels, it is vital that Kri Kri remains vigilant against potential foreign bodies such as metal, glass or any foreign material that could contaminate the yogurt.

Kri Kri’s extensive product range of plain and fruit yogurts, traditional varieties and a children’s range is packed in pots of various sizes from 150g to 500g. The pots are first filled and then packed into cases before inspection in the Ishida X-ray machine. To accommodate complete cases, the company has opted for the Ishida IX-GA-65100, which is specially designed for larger products.

Ease of use and flexibility are the two major advantages of the Ishida X-ray system for Kri Kri since the broad range of product types and pack sizes typically requires up to four changeovers in each eight-hour shift.

Some of the features include a user-friendly colour touchscreen enabling specifications for each product to be stored in the memory and called up at the touch of a button for fast and simple changeovers; different levels of security in the touchscreen ensuring only designated and trained operators can make adjustments or change settings; and excellent versatility in sensitivity and levels of detection.

The unique Genetic Algorithm (GA) technology uses image data analysis over a number of inspections to achieve an extremely high level of inspection accuracy. This enables Kri Kri to ‘train’ the machine to focus solely on the yogurt contents in each pot, and exclude any external areas. The machine is able to distinguish between the fruit pieces in the fruit yogurts and any unwanted contaminants, as well as mask the small chocolate pieces used as topping for children’s yogurts.

Traceability information provided by the Ishida X-ray inspection system ensures that in the event of any complaint, an image of the pack in question can be retrieved to establish beyond doubt if there was a problem with the contents.

Kri Kri is currently processing around 80-90 tonnes of yogurt per day, with the Ishida X-ray system monitoring approximately 12,000 to 14,000 cups per hour.

The reliability of the IX-GA-65100 has been exceptional with no breakdowns since its installation. The machine is also easy to clean as part of Kri Kri’s regular and strict hygiene procedures.

The Ishida X-ray inspection system is installed in Kri Kri’s new state-of-the-art production and packing line, which was set up following a fire on Christmas Eve 2013 that caused severe damage to its dairy production plant. Given the opportunity to specify the newest and best equipment for the new factory, Kri Kri turned to Ishida and its Greek agent Europack for its X-ray inspection solution.

Ishida equipment is available in Australia through Heat and Control.

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