Synergies established between Antares Vision and FT System to accelerate the ambitious ongoing projects and further increase about their presence in the markets.
(video: FT System)
Safety of food and beverage has always been a vital factor whose importance is progressively increasing for both producers and consumers.
Thanks for the content:
Davide Antonioli, Nicola Franzelli, Paolo Gilberti, Fabio Marezza, Ferdinando Salaris
“The contemporary serious health problems that hit the world are entered in the processes of end users’ choices. We know our approaches, the expectations and wishes we have when we select a branded product rather than another. Safe products and safety during the production systems are critical issues, we explain how technology protects food and beverage products, manufacturers together with the end consumers”, in this way Davide Antonioli (Communication Department of Antares Vision) introduces the meeting on Safety of Food and Beverage Products.
Products safety start from tracking, inspection, and managing of data
To explore these issues, Industrial Meeting met Antares Vision and FT System, providers of cutting-edge technological systems, at the service of producers and consumers.
Antares Vision designs tracking and inspection systems mainly for pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry, and with the acquisition of 100% of FT System, an important Italian firm based in Alseno (Piacenza, Emilia Romagna), international leader in control and inspection in beverage, it takes a step towards its strategic diversification of activities.
We explored some topics concerning production and packaging of food and beverage together with Nicola Franzelli (Strategic Account Manager of Antares Vision), Paolo Gilberti (Antares Vision and FT System Business Development Manager) and Fabio Marezza (Key Account Manager of FT System).
Food and Beverage: data and systems with Antares Vision and FT System
“The strengthening of Antares Vision with the acquisition of FT System last September must be seen in order to develop towards new markets“, explains Nicola Franzelli, and “The mission of Antares Vision is to protect the product through the entire production chain, from raw materials to the final consumer“.
Today, production cannot exist without inspection, control, and management systems.
“Those available for the production chain are constantly evolving. They analyze the data available for a completely controlled process in the interest of producers, end consumers and their purchasing habits. ”
Antares has an important presence in sectors such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices, just to name a few. With the acquisition of FT System, it enters the food and beverage market, with specific skills also in distinct niches such as those of soft drinks, wine, and alcoholic drinks with interesting growth trends in different countries.
The history of the product: tracing and monitoring of production processes from the raw material
The starting point is safety of food and beverage. What does this mean for Antares Vision and FT System whose attention on this topic has always been at the center of their proposal.
We start from the point where “when we talk about food safety, we talk about tracking systems, monitoring of production processes, how we can relate the information collected. For example, what are the raw materials used, their quality, how the final product that the consumer buys packaged was made, expecting that its quality is guaranteed together with the guarantee of its protection and safety of food and beverages “, explained Nicola Franzelli.
The traceability of the production process combined with the correct packaging guarantee the quality of the food product.
In this FT System has a great experience, it has long been consolidated in the world of bottling and preserves. “These are production areas where inspection is necessary to mark the different moments of production such as, for example, the correct capping of bottles, the correct level of the product, the control of leaks, leaks of cans and containers, etc. On the other hand, if we treat solid foods it is important to accompany the producers with our technology so that they can work with technologically unique solutions on the market on which Fabio (Fabio Marezza) will provide us with more details for monitoring the integrity of the products packaged in thermoformed trays.“
Allergens, the label, and the packaging: great importance for the consumer
Fabio Marezza explains the approach of FT System regarding the concept of food safety and its guarantee. Indeed, “there has been a change of direction on what the concept of food safety is, raising the centrality of the consumer. For example, it is of great importance that a product does not contain certain allergens or that what is stated on the label matches the product. This has been talked about years, while other activities are more innovative. For example, until now it has been difficult to understand if a product inside the package was intact or if the expiry date indicated on the label was correct. Thanks to the technologies developed by FT System, today it is possible to prevent problems that could also cause serious deficiencies in food safety, unthinkable until a few years ago.”
FT System entered the market with an extremely innovative approach on safety of food and beverage by developing its technology which is today at the forefront and which protects the production and safety of food that arrives on supermarket shelves.
Can you understand the life of the product by analyzing the deterioration of the packaging?
“Yes, of course“, explains Fabio Marezza. “For example, in the trays that we find on fresh food counters that today have more and more value and importance, there are the correct conditions for a good conservation of the products. For this reason, FT System developed a system that inspects and analyzes the quality of gases contained in the packaging during the production. Any gas leak is detected to protect and guarantee the packages that end up on the shelves and that in this way can maintain all the required organoleptic characteristics. The importance of gas is explained by the labels indicating that the product contained must be consumed quickly once opened“.
“Until recently, to be sure that the conditions of correct packaging were met, fairly empirical solutions were used“, explains Fabio Marezza, “for example, it was necessary to check the tightness of the closures to verify that they had been well made taking a photo to check for any defects. Today there are systems like ours that do not make the aesthetic verification but analyze that the gases do not come out of the pack, that the percentages of gas contained in the packs respect the right proportions by carrying out direct checks on each single packaged product“.
The difference with the techniques of the past. Advantages with modern systems
“In the past, destructive sampling tests were performed with a probe that perforates the packaging to analyze and verify the state of the gases inside. The fact that today these checks can be performed non-destructively on the production line not using destructive techniques represents a turning point of great interest“, explains Paolo Gilberti (Business Development Manager of Antares Vision).
Destructive sampling cannot identify the defect throughout the production and when the consumer finds a defective product, he could mistakenly associate it with the manufacturer, his brand and interrupt the purchase of his products.
“A defective product involves two actors: the producer and the consumer: if for the producer a single product placed on the shelves is an infinitesimal share of its production, for the consumer every single purchase has a different importance: when he takes it from the refrigerator he wants intact with all the qualities that have been told to him and if the product was defective he would feel betrayed by the brand he trusts”.
The advanced FT System solution inspects and verifies every single product.
“All the products of the lines that use this technology arrive on the defect-proof shelves, eliminating the risk that the consumer will find those defective products that have avoided the old destructive test of the sample “.
How does monitoring and verification process for introduction of gas into the package technically work?
There are two fundamental moments that affect every single package.
- The first is the measurement and verification of the correct introduction of gas into each tray, so that the product contained in the package is preserved for the period indicated on the label;
- The second step is to verify that no package has defects that cause the gas mixture to escape and therefore compromise the characteristics of the product.
“This solution has been successfully present for about two years and the verification of every single package is particularly appreciated by manufacturers, not only by the most innovative ones. The precursors of this technology have chosen to promote the technology they use in their production systems towards distribution even before to the final consumer who must never suspect that there may be defects during the production process“, explains Paolo Gilberti (Antares Vision and FT System Business Development Manager). This system offers greater protection than that required by the same legislator, it goes beyond the current regulations, bringing the customer to the center of interests.
From safety of food and beverage to tracking of individual products going beyond the concept of batch
The support for processes by Antares Vision and FT System is mainly divided into inspection phases of the entire line, tracking phase and data analysis.
“Tracking used in production is linked to the batch, which is still quite important for its size. We track the single element and no longer the whole production batch. This allows the management of a series of specific and interesting features”.
For example, “it allows to avoid the interruption of the sale if a contaminated product is found avoiding the withdrawal of important and expensive batches. In addition, there are further implications which may seem secondary but which in fact are not. Currently the sampling used is destructive, which means quintals of product, of packages that are literally thrown away every year with wasted resources and additional costs related to the disposal of the waste itself. In addition, using our approach it is possible to use those concepts on limited carbon footprint production” explained Paolo Gilberti “with attention to environmental protection in which the consumer is increasingly interested”.