Ishida’s x-ray technology enhances quality and safety for coffee beans

The beans are packed into pre-made bags but Baliarne is now introducing packs for the foodservice sector as well and if demand continues to grow. (Image source: Ishida)

Baliarne obchodu, a.s. Poprad, Slovakia’s tea and coffee supplier, has installed Ishida’s advanced x-ray technology to further enhance quality and safety standards

Since the installation of the Ishida IX-EN-2493 at Baliarne obchodu, as Poprad, the consumer complaints resulting from stones in the beans have been eliminated.

Residual stones in coffee beans are a common problem. Despite Baliarne’s rigorous quality control procedures, including using magnetic separators and passing the beans through a de-stoner machine, stones can still be present. As well as impacting on the perceived overall quality of the coffee, the stones can also damage the blades in domestic grinders and professional grinders for espresso machines if they go undetected.

Prior to the installation of the Ishida x-ray inspection system, quality checks for stones were carried out by hand but operators were not able to detect all the stones, leading to frequent consumer complaints. Having already used Ishida weighing equipment for a number of years, Baliarne turned to the company to help solve this problem.

Initially, the IX-EN-2493 was tested on the packed product, but the number of bags still containing stones proved to be too great, so the decision was taken to inspect the bulk product prior to the bagging of the coffee beans. “From that moment, we have not had any further instances of stones in the beans,” confirmed Peter Paciga, Baliarne’s production director.

IX-EN-2493 features Ishida’s unique genetic algorithm (GA) technology

This uses image data analysis over a number of generations to achieve an extremely high level of inspection accuracy with the machine being ‘trained’ to spot particular foreign bodies. In addition to the supply of the x-ray system, Ishida project managed the installation, designing the infeed, gantry and elevator that takes the product for bagging. A special diverting reject system quickly removes any rejected product to minimise losses. Baliarne reports that the machine is easy to set up, operate and clean.

The beans are packed into pre-made bags but Baliarne is now introducing packs for the foodservice sector as well and if demand continues to grow, the intention is to create a fully-automated inspection and bagging line. As part of this, the Ishida x-ray has the capacity to check up to 30 tons of coffee beans each day.

“The highest product quality and safety are essential for us to maintain our premium brand image,” concluded Peter. “The Ishida IX-EN-2493 has enabled us to deliver this. The machine is very reliable and user-friendly, and Ishida provides great service and support.”