Pet food manufacturers use advanced product inspection systems to maximise pet food safety, while enhancing customer loyalty. Providing quality pet food is an important key in promoting good animal health. Using checkweighers and X-ray inspection solutions during pet food manufacturing and packaging ensures consumer value, while protecting pet food brand integrity.
In many societies our pets have become full-fledged family members. As such we want to see our pets thrive and remain healthy just like any other family member. In the U.S. alone, dog and cat owners spent $26 billion on just dog and cat food in 2017, and the rate of this spending is growing at about 6% per year.¹ The 2017 worldwide pet food sales targeted at just dogs and cats was approximately $59 billion.
A recent study of dog and cat owners found that over 70% of pet owners agreed with the statement “High-quality pet food is effective for preventive health care.²”
Other studies indicate that pet owners are more interested in pet food products having “clean labels.” Clean labels in this context means that the pet food contained within the package is exactly what the label states, in terms of weight and product purity. Dynamic product inspection techniques are employed to ensure that the pet food manufacturer’s product label matches the contents of the package.
¹Source: Pet Food in the U.S., 13th Edition
²Source: National Pet Owner Survey (U.S.), February/March 2017
Product inspection systems used to ensure the product label matches the contents:
- To maintain customer loyalty, pet food manufacturers use product inspection during the production and packaging processes that ensure their pet food products have the correct fill weight and are free of foreign body contaminates.
- Like human food, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDA 21 CFR 113) requires that pet food be “safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances and be truthfully labeled.” Effective, in-motion product inspection is a key factor in ensuring safety.
- Worldwide pet food packaging and safety requirements exist, such as the EU regulation 767/2009 covering basic pet food labeling requirements. The European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF) has also developed guidelines (FEDIAF, 2015-A) to ensure a supply of safe and nutritious pet food.
Wipotec is a well-known provider of checkweighing and X-ray inspection systems used in the inspection of pet food. Pet food companies around the world have come to rely on our checkweighers and X-ray scanners as proven product inspection methods that enhance their customer’s trust in their pet food products.
Value – A checkweigher story
- Nothing is worse than paying for something and receiving less of what you bought. Wipotec checkweighers prevent that problem. A checkweigher placed after the pet food package filling machine performs high-speed, in-motion weight checks of the utmost precision without any slowing of the production line.
- Our HC-A high-speed checkweighers are ideal for checking the individual weights of premium cat food cans exiting the filler at a rate of 640 pieces/min.
- The HC-M-WD-SL and EC-E-SL checkweighers handle weighing of heavy loads typically found in applications involving checking the weight of large bags of dry dog food and other animal feeds.
- There are multiple checkweigher machines to handle variations of pet food weighing based on the customers unique product packaging and manufacturing requirements.
Pet Safety – An X-ray story
- X-ray product inspection prevents pet food shipments containing foreign bodies from reaching the market. Foreign body detection (FBD) includes setting the X-ray scanner up to find bits of metal, plastic, stones, and others in the bulk pet food and rejecting it before reaching the pet food can or bag fillers.
- X-ray product inspection is also used after the pet food fillers to perform fill-level and completeness checks.
- Various Wipotec X-ray inspection systems are available for pet food product inspection. The type of X-ray scanner deployed depends on several application parameters including where in the pet food manufacturing process the scanner is needed, and the type of product inspection tasks the scanner needs to perform.
- Pre-bagger/package filler – usually the SC-B X-ray scanner is used here for X-ray foreign body inspection of the bulk pet food.
- Post-bagger/package filler – a number of options available, such as the SC-E and SC line of X-ray scanners. The choice largely depends on the unique application parameters related to package type, speed, product orientation, and the required product inspection tasks. An SC-V optical inspection scanner is an option for those applications requiring both an X-ray scanning set of tasks, as well as needing to perform visual checks on the final pet food package label.
Our checkweighers used in pet product food inspection enhance consumer value
Advantages of Wipotec checkweighers include:
- The core Wipotec EMFR weigh cell technology enables the fast and accurate capture of pet food product weight
- Machine modularity is designed to support a wide range of product inspection requirements
- User-friendly HMI simplifies machine start up and operation
- Precise pet food product filling results saves money, while enhancing consumer value
- IP69k hygienic wash down checkweigher versions available
Our X-ray scanners used in pet food product inspection maximise pet safety
Advantages of Wipotec X-ray inspection scanners include:
- Modular machine design (easy integration into existing product lines & faster start-up)
- Wide range of product options and machine configurations (high-resolution camera detector technology enhances FBD capabilities)
- An extensive array of built-in software tools support various product inspection tasks
Combinations of X-ray, checkweighers and metal detector
- Combo units that pair a checkweigher and metal detector for pet food inspection
- X-ray inspection scanner and checkweigher combo SC-W for those product inspection applications where floor space is at a premium