X-ray inspection systems ensure top quality in MANNER products

 Foreign objects and incomplete packaging are reliably detected 

Founded in 1890, the Josef Manner & Comp. AG is the number one specialist for wafers, dragées, and marshmallow products in Austria. The traditional Austrian company generated record sales of €222.1 million in 2019. With central offices in Vienna, all production takes place exclusively in Austria. In addition to their famous Neapolitan wafer with hazelnut cream filling, the Manner family includes the brands Casali (known for their coconut-rum and chocolate-banana candies) and Napoli (producer of Dragee Keksi) as well as Viktor Schmidt and Ildefonso (makers of Mozartkugel), among others. Manner products are sold in roughly 50 countries worldwide, with active sales offices in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia.

Since its founding, quality has been a cornerstone of Manner’s corporate philosophy. Much attention is given to selecting only the highest quality ingredients. All incoming raw materials are thoroughly inspected in Manner’s Quality Assurance Lab before being approved for production.

Food quality is also controlled for throughout the production cycle, an ongoing process which yields continuous quality improvements and has made significant contributions to the company’s success. Manner has been independently certified by the especially stringent IFS Food Standard since 2001, which involves compliance with high food safety and hygiene requirements as well as regular audits.

The role of X-ray inspection systems in achieving IFS certification
The IFS evaluation system stipulates that inadequate foreign object detection is to result in a score deduction that would make a company ineligible for certification at both the basic and higher levels. This makes foreign object detection crucial to achieving accreditation with IFS. As a leading manufacturer of product inspection technology, Sesotec GmbH supplied Manner with three RAYCON x-ray systems to help them renew their IFS certification in 2019. The solution was a success: their IFS certificate was renewed and both production sites continue to operate at the highest level of accreditation.

X-ray scanners also detect incomplete products
In addition to certification requirements for foreign object detection, there was another compelling reason why Manner sought the help of Sesotec x-ray inspection devices: they would occasionally receive complaints from customers about wafers that were not sliced. The company began to search for a means to identify defective packages of wafers. Packages containing too few or unsliced wafers needed to be removed from the product stream before they reached consumers.

After extensive research of x-ray system suppliers, Sesotec RAYCON inspection devices were chosen. Installed at the final inspection point, these x-ray scanners are the last line of defense to uphold the company’s high quality standards. X-rays are uniquely suited for this role as they can detect three kinds of quality problems: foreign objects, irregular quantities, and cosmetic defects. No sensor, check-weigher, or camera system could fulfill all of these tasks on its own.

Superior detection accuracy for metallized packaging and high throughputs
Wafers packed in metallized foils are inspected by a RAYCON EX1 device configured with a detection accuracy of 0.8mm of stainless steel. Two RAYCON D units with appropriately sized tunnels and a detection accuracy of at least 1.5 millimeters are used to ensure correct slicing on wafers in larger packages and cartons.

X-ray technology also makes it possible to detect more than foreign metal objects. Non-metallic materials such as glass and hard plastics can also be identified. In order to reliably reject larger defective products, the two RAYCON D units are equipped with automated pushers as standard. In the case of the lightweight 75g packages, the RAYCON EX1 removes defective products by means of an air nozzle.

RAYCON product inspection systems guarantee optimal image processing even at a high throughput speeds of up to 200 units per minute. They operate with very low x-ray emissions of only 50 KV, are approved for use in food applications in accordance with EU Directive 1992/2/EC, and require no special precautions during installation.

The compelling cost-benefit ratio of Sesotec equipment
Project Manager Markus Purth and Engineer Christian Fichtinger are very satisfied with Sesotec’s x-ray scanners: “We constantly strive to excel beyond that which is necessary to fulfill basic quality management requirements. Our products are inspected by an x-ray system that reliably detects and rejects units harboring contaminants or unsliced wafers. Since the implementation of Sesotec RAYCON devices, consumer complaints about wafers without slices have fallen demonstrably. On the whole, Sesotec offers exceptional value with a low cost of operation and maintenance, such as for lamp replacement.“