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Three ways to give fat analysis an E boost

Smart analytics technology makes owning and managing an advanced X-ray analyser a much simpler and rewarding task

Computer diagrams and reports
Computer diagrams and reports
By Richard Mills
Introduced to the meat industry in 2003 by FOSS, in-line X-ray analysis has proven to be a great way to optimise earnings by effectively managing the fat/lean mix in products while simultaneously checking for foreign objects.

Now, the latest development in so-called smart analytics makes owning and managing an advanced X-ray analyser a much simpler and rewarding task. Specifically:

 

  • Connectivity makes reference checks simpler and more reliable
  • A desktop overview of operations ensures consistent high performance
  • Intelligent service and support ensures maximum uptime

 

To illustrate how smart-enabled X-ray works, let’s take an example set up where a company is running X-ray analysis at four different sites, figure 1. 


One obvious advantage is that connectivity makes relevant data available to anyone concerned, for instance, plant and QA managers at individual plants, QA responsible managers at corporate headquarters and support staff working for FOSS. 

 

Smart Analytics Drawing

Figure 1 

 

Further benefits of connectivity are to be found in the daily operations that need to be performed inside individual plants. 

 

Connectivity makes reference checks simpler and more reliable

At each site there is an in-line X-ray analyser and a benchtop NIR analyser, Figure 2. The inline X-ray is used to measure fat content in entire batches of meat and the NIR analyser is used for multi-parameter measurements of samples taken from the production line, for example, for labelling purposes. It is also used as a daily reference check for the accuracy of the X-ray tests.  


Previously, these checks required an operator to note down results for the reference test manually. Now, the connectivity provided with smart analytics technology avoids the need for human intervention and the associated risk of error. A barcode-registered sample is measured on both the MeatMaster and the reference instrument. 

 

The sample results are compared automatically and reports highlight any need for adjustment. Further, the connectivity allows this information to be shared with relevant stakeholders, such as the plant manager or QA manager.

 

Smart Analytics Drawing

Figure 2

 

Overview of operations ensures consistent high performance 

Besides the daily reference check, those responsible for managing the instruments can gain a desktop overview of all operations to ensure compliance with standard operating procedures and identify training requirements across the organization. 


As shown bottom left in figure 2, a check sample is run through the instrument once a week according to standard operating procedures. But with high staff turnover being a common aspect of plant management, how can managers be sure that the procedures are being followed correctly and where are the results being kept for reference?

With smart-enabled X-ray, the data is available to all interested parties. Operations are transparent and action can be taken to ensure top performance X-ray 24/7 across all sites. 

 

Maximum uptime with intelligent service and support

Another aspect of the whole ‘Smart’ approach is that it allows ‘Smart’ service and support. 


The availability of online intelligence makes online support faster and more effective. For instance, as shown in Fig1, a specialist has access to all relevant data such as the NIR reference tests and check sample data as already discussed. This streamlines preventive maintenance activities and avoids unplanned downtime because the experts have a chance to flag potential problems before they impact daily operations and any required site visits can be planned for maximum benefit. 

The proactive support helps to boost uptime and consistency of measurement performance, while keeping cost of ownership predictable and under control.

The three ways discussed in this article takes the next logical step in achieving the full potential of powerful X-ray analytical technology. By exploiting the latest generation Smart technology available to us today, it makes inline fat analysis more accessible, reliable and more profitable than ever.

 

Embracing the future with SmartAnalytics™ 

The smart-enabled MeatMaster II is a good example of the FOSS ‘SmartAnalytics’ approach. SmartAnalytics combines fast, easy to use and dedicated analytical solutions with intelligent, connected and integrated services to safeguard instrument performance and ensure the best possible use of valuable natural resources. 

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