Latest Raptor Combi boasts every UK supermarket code of practice specification

FORTRESS Technology has revealed that its latest raptor combination machine now comes with every UK supermarket code of practice specification pre-programmed into the machine.

New features include a walk-through COP guide and animated metal detector test screens.

Designed to ensure compliance with retailer Codes of Practice (COP), the fully-integrated checkweigher and metal detector is said to be the firm’s most in-demand machine at present. The Raptor Combi features metal detection infeed, outfeed, reject, bin full and bin door lock sensors, covering every phase of the inspection process.

Inspecting and weight checking products and pack formats ranging from 50 grams up to 8kg, and measuring up to 400mm in length, the infeed sensor registers the presence of every pack as they travel through the metal detector aperture. Providing there’s no contamination trigger, the outfeed sensor identifies the pack leaving the metal detector. Finally, the reject sensor will track the placement of potentially contaminated product into the BRC-approved bins.

Inspecting packaged meat, poultry and fish, dairy, plant-based, prepared meals, baked goods and confectionery products at an average of 150 packs per minute, Fortress explained that the Raptor Combi is available in four belt widths: 100mm, 200mm, 300mm, and 400mm. Modular and flexible I/O electronics enable integration with upstream and downstream equipment, including automated filling, portioning and packing equipment.

A unique feature of the product is its override option. Because the metal detector directly controls its own reject device and monitors its own sensors, Fortress said food processors can quickly remove the checkweigher motor control and run it as a conveyor or independent metal detector. This is described as essential for maintaining HACCP inspection compliance as it allows processors to continue shipping products, regardless of the checkweigher status.

Nathan Tankard from the European technical support team said, “Checkweighing is good manufacturing practice, but not a HACCP requirement. Processors can ship product without a checkweigher. However, product cannot leave the factory and get sent to retailers if it has not been inspected for potential metal contamination.”

Each Raptor Combination machine is equipped with 500 product settings, which can be expanded if required. A single HMI screen walks operators through every start-up and product changeover metal detection COP test.

“The clear graphical instructions provide visual prompts and alert operatives if COP tests are overdue,” Nathan added. “The screen is so user-friendly; this system doesn’t require an extensive knowledge of metal detection to operate.”

Optional Contact 4.0 records real-time GFSI, HACCP production and QC audit results. Pulling into customer-compatible reports, all of this data is collated from information captured by the machine COP sensors.

When routine quality assurance machine tests are due, a visual alert is issued. Steps cannot be omitted. If not performed to set parameters, this is also flagged and in any metal detection data collated by Contact 4.0.

“Contact 4.0 monitors the performance of equipment, tracks events and documents metal contaminants and weight rejects simultaneously,” Nathan revealed. “It’s a seamless and failsafe process that registers every sensor activity, any faults or setting changes, with every event time and date stamped.”

If any retailer COP changes, Fortress offers a ‘simple and cost-effective’ route to adhere to evolving compliance and fault warning risks. These software upgrades are usually offered during a validation or routine maintenance visit.

The Raptor Combi is built from a stainless-steel frame coupled with a transparent polycarbonate interlocked cover. Engineered cutouts help to prevent airflow negatively impacting weighing accuracy. For high washdown food production areas, a stainless steel cover can be requested.