An Ishida X-ray inspection system is providing renowned Hungarian meat brand Pápai Hús with improved food quality and -security across its diverse product range.
Established in 1913, the name Pápai Hús is synonymous with smoked ham to consumers in Hungary. Nonetheless, the company provides many more types of meat, including butchering, chopping, pre-chilled and frozen meat, smoked and heat-treated meat products, ham, bacon and sausages, cold meats, grilled and vegan products.
Pápai Hús has long exported across the world and continues to innovate, with the latest addition being a vegan range, launched in 2020. These factors – export and innovation – combined in 2017, when a new deal to supply into Japan required that Pápai Hús invest in an X-ray inspection system at its factory in Pápa, West Hungary.“It wasn’t even, ‘choose an X-ray machine,” explains Benedek Szabolcs, Technical Director at Pápai Hús. “They specifically directed us to order an Ishida X-ray machine!”
Supplied and installed by Ishida’s agent in Hungary, MasterQuality, the IX-GN-2443 soon recommended itself to Pápai Hús for reasons beyond its initial selection.“The nature of delicacies such as disznósajt (a traditional ‘head cheese’ that is made by combining various pork meats) means there can sometimes be small traces of bone or cartilage in the meat, which is unwanted by consumers,” confirms Benedek Szabolcs. “We realised that Ishida’s X-ray can easily be programmed to identify any packs containing these traces, allowing us to reject them before they leave the factory and therefore improving food quality.”
X-ray technology works on the principle of producing X-ray wavelengths from a generator tube which traverse through the product to be inspected onto a line sensor. The line sensor system converts the incident X-rays into a greyscale image that is further processed and ultimately displayed on the screen. The darker the area of the image, the higher the density and in this way foreign bodies which are denser than the product can be detected.
The excellent sensitivity of the Ishida X-ray means it is able to detect impurities down to 0.3mm in size, while the place of contamination can also be accurately pinpointed. In particular, the machine’s unique self-learning Genetic Algorithm (GA) technology delivers maximum detection sensitivity and reliability. The technology focuses the machine to identify difficult to detect contaminants with a high degree of accuracy, even at high throughput rates, using image data analysis over a number of trial runs. This enables operators to optimise the X-ray system for greater sensitivity to specific and in particular to low-density foreign bodies.
Today, the Ishida IX-GN-2443 is used to check every pack of disznósajt, black pudding and cubed bacon at the Pápa factory. Intuitive pre-set options allow for easy changeovers between product and pack types which is necessary, given that the likelihood of bone or cartilage present varies according to the product.
Designed for high-performance X-ray inspection, the IX-GN-2443 features versatile detection settings that cater exactly to Pápai Hús’ inspection requirements. With seven levels of image analysis and user-friendly operation, the Ishida X-ray machine makes the most complex inspection process simple.
Due to the limited space in the factory, the IX-GN-2443 is set up as a standalone machine; products are fed manually, with accepted packs being conveyed into pallets and rejects dropping into a locked reject bin.
Used daily, the machine is now a critical part of Pápai Hús’ operation. “We are very satisfied with how the Ishida IX-GN-2443 X-ray machine performs, and our partnership with MasterQuality helps us to get the best out of it,” says Benedek Szabolcs.
As well as the initial installation and training, MasterQuality service engineers deliver an annual check-up. “In addition to completing essential preventative maintenance, our visits are also the perfect opportunity to discuss the performance of the Ishida Xray system with Pápai Hús, so we can assess any refinements that may benefit the factory’s operation,” says Balázs Korsós, Sales Representative at MasterQuality.
“The service, support and advice from MasterQuality is exceptional,” adds Benedek Szabolcs. “But what is most helpful to Pápai Hús is the reliability, ease of use and outstanding performance of the Ishida IX-GN-2443 X-ray inspection system.