$50 B Food Producer Installs Additional Systems
Eagle's Landing Business Park
Rochester, NY, 14623
Press release date: June 13, 2012
OptiGauge(TM) Precision Thickness Measurement
Rochester, NY- With the price of polymer resin skyrocketing, food suppliers are driving packaging costs down wherever they can. This drive can result in tremendous savings but can also have disastrous results if not done correctly.
With the price of resin increasing quickly over the last year, a $50B food producer decided to implement a Lumetrics® solution that produces a major reduction in the amount of resin used in processed meat packaging. The Lumetrics® OptiGauge(TM) is creating a savings of over $500,000 per line, per year - a payback of under six months. This savings was over twice the amount the customer expected.
OptiGauges(TM) are currently installed on five production lines in three different production facilities with this customer. Because of the tremendous savings, this food producer is finalizing plans to install additional systems on nine more production lines during the remainder of 2012. Lumetrics® worked with systems integrator FACTS to provide scanners and process control software as part of the custom solution. The system measures a three-layer top film and three-layer bottom film, making up the package. "With the data obtained from the OptiGauge(TM) our customer saves millions of dollars per year, per factory", said Lumetrics®' President John Hart. " Additionally by working with partners such as FACTS we are able to provide automated die control of the film, and control the multiple operations that contribute to the package construction."
Measurement of the various layers is critical to protecting the safety, shelf life, and appearance of the food products. Layers that are too thin can let in oxygen and harmful light rays which can contribute to "freezer burn", discolored food, and possibly dangerous contaminants. The OptiGauge(TM) system accurately displays all the layer thicknesses immediately and allows packagers to reduce the amount of material in the package without sacrificing product integrity. This helps reduce scrap and inspection costs at the same time that they increase yield and corresponding profits.
Prior to the OptiGauge(TM) this food producer would take random samples every 30 minutes from the packaging material while the line was operating. This sample would be taken to a laboratory and dissected to determine the different layer thicknesses. In this scenario a large amount of product could be packaged with incorrect protection resulting in costly reinspection and possible product disposal. Packagers typically "over engineer" their packaging by as much as 20 percent to prevent these type problems but this lead to excessive packaging costs.
The key to Lumetrics®' success is the OptiGauge(TM), a patented, non-destructive, light based technology designed by Lumetrics® for highly accurate measurement of multi-layer films and coatings. The OptiGauge(TM) uses a high powered Light Emitting Diode (LED) to identify different materials based on index of refraction changes between the materials. Complex algorithms then process the data to determine the thicknesses of each of the layers. The OptiGauge(TM) can be used with coextruded film, laminates, and coatings on many types of substrates.
In addition to films the OptiGauge(TM) is ideal for measuring other multi-layer structures including tubing, medical balloons, blister packages, and formed trays and bottles. Because the OptiGauge(TM) measures a spot size of 20 - 40 microns, the diameter of a human hair, it is ideal for non-destructively measuring those impossible to reach locations such as the corners of a blister pack or food tray. In multilayer structures those corners are the places where voids and thinning occur, and can cause problems. The OptiGauge(TM) allows companies to understand their processes and correct problems before they occur.
Lumetrics® provides both online and off-line measurement systems for the food packaging, medical, ophthalmic, and other industrial markets. Lumetrics®' engineers provide a complete evaluation of a customer's problem, and then propose solutions which help reduce scrap, increase yields, and improve quality.
Lumetrics® has developed a proven, accurate, non-contact measurement system designed to reduce production cycle time and enhance quality control. Lumetrics® products are used primarily by manufacturers of medical devices, optics, flexible packaging, and industrial materials. For more information about Lumetrics®, visit www.Lumetrics.com .
FACTS, Inc. is a global engineering services company that supplies on-line measurement, process control and information management solutions to the plastics, converting, and rubber processing industries. For more information about FACTS, visit www.facts-inc.com .
Eagle's Landing Business Park
1565 Jefferson Road, #420
Rochester, NY 14623
Tel: (585) 214-2455
For More Information:
Vice President, Marketing & Business Development
585-214-2455 x 102