Raptor gets its retail-spec wings

Fortress Technology’s 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 easy-to-follow animated metal detector test screens.

Designed to ensure full compliance with retailer Codes of Practice (COP), the fully-integrated Checkweigher and Metal Detector is currently Fortress Technology’s most in-demand machine. Prioritising food safety, the Raptor Combi features state-of-the-art metal detection infeed, outfeed, reject, bin full and bin door lock sensors, covering every phase of the inspection process.

Accurately inspecting and weight checking products and pack formats ranging from 50g 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. Lastly, the reject sensor will track the placement of potentially contaminated product into the BRC-approved bins.  

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

Compared to other combination systems on the market, the retail-spec Raptor Combi always prioritises metal detection performance and automatically addresses application-specific product effect.

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

“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,” reports Nathan Tankard from the European Technical Support team.

Each Raptor Combination machine is equipped with 500 product settings, which can be expanded if required. A single HMI screen, comprising simple animations, walks operators step-by-step 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. The screen is so user friendly, this system doesn’t require an extensive knowledge of metal detection to operate,” notes Nathan.

Optional Contact 4.0 instantly 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 – typically hourly – a visual alert is issued. Steps cannot be omitted. If not performed to the set parameters, this is also flagged by the Raptor Combi 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. It’s a seamless and failsafe process that registers every sensor activity, any faults or setting changes, with every event time and date stamped,” explains Nathan.

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. For operational continuity, the menu and functional set up typically looks and feels exactly the same.

Instant HACCP and COP compliance was a key rationale for Dutch food processor Soupy choosing their Raptor Combi metal detector and checkweigher. Soupy director Jan Schipper highlights: “We especially value the pre-set automatic test procedures that provides feedback to our quality manager. It automatically meets the requirements set by large retail chains.” 

The Raptor Combi is built from a robust 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.

Lost Password