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Differing Opinions on Metal Detection

metal detection management bolts screws blades machines

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#1 Andy_Yellows

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 06:27 AM

Hi all,

 

Recently we've carried out 2 recalls in within a week of each other (the last gap between 2 recalls was over 6 months) due to a piece of blade and a bolt coming loose from separate veg preparation machines. Our Prep Supervisor, myself (QA + Food Safety Officer) and various other members of staff throughout the business are in favour of looking into having some form of metal detection implemented but our MD is against it due to cost. I definitely see it from his point of view as we normally only get an issue of this nature once or twice a year (on a bad year) and it would involve him shelling out for a new staff member to oversee the inspection but I just wonder if these 2 incidents are a form of wake up call that we might not be so lucky next time. The blade and bolt were found by the customer before we knew the pieces were missing. We've upped our level of machine checks but that still isn't 100% fool-proof.

 

It's easy to say "well it's cheap when you compare it to a lawsuit when someone swallows a bit of blade and dies" but we've tried that line already. Can anyone think of a more compelling argument or is this something where we just have to accept the decision and let what happens happen?

 

Regards,

 


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#2 1friedseaweed

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 06:36 AM

Try to convince them regarding the aims of the company. Please tell them what's your aim too. For e.g "Zero Recall" or "Zero Fatalities Risk". 


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#3 GMO

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 08:21 AM

 

Recently we've carried out 2 recalls in within a week of each other (the last gap between 2 recalls was over 6 months) due to a piece of blade and a bolt coming loose from separate veg preparation machines. Our Prep Supervisor, myself (QA + Food Safety Officer) and various other members of staff throughout the business are in favour of looking into having some form of metal detection implemented but our MD is against it due to cost. I definitely see it from his point of view as we normally only get an issue of this nature once or twice a year (on a bad year) and it would involve him shelling out for a new staff member to oversee the inspection but I just wonder if these 2 incidents are a form of wake up call that we might not be so lucky next time. The blade and bolt were found by the customer before we knew the pieces were missing. We've upped our level of machine checks but that still isn't 100% fool-proof.

 

 

I would say to him the following.

 

You think two recalls a year is good?  In my experience in the food industry I've had one in 14 years.

 

Recalls are expensive and I would convince him by properly costing this out as best you can.  The costs include:

 

Lost product

Reputational damage

Fines from customers

Possibly their lost product depending on whether you sell B2B

Increased insurance costs

Complaint costs

 

But I would also think about the potential for escalation

 

Yes legal action, did you know I once had a foreign body issue which threatened to go to court and it cost tens of thousands of pounds?

If he doesn't have insurance, which I doubt he does to be honest, he could lose the lot

Lost custom

The complaints you know about are probably the tip of the iceberg

The moral cost is...?

 

If you can't convince him, I would consider looking for another job.  This business won't be here in a couple of years time.  We had one supplier who I was forced to use who didn't have metal detection.  We had one issue with them and if I'd had my way, we would have delisted the product.  In the end they are now (finally) installing metal detection after I made it very clear that we were looking for a replacement and I'd stopped all NPD with them. 

 

Other convincing arguments could be...

 

Second hand metal detectors can be effective and not all that expensive

It doesn't have to be an extra person.  The most effective metal detection is performed by the line operatives or senior line operatives IMO.


 


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#4 redfox

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 09:27 AM

Hello Andy,

 

Investing on metal detector is a one time cost burden. But a twice incidents of metal inclusion is a substantial leverage for your argument. We are using now a not so expensive MD but it works. We dont think that there were really metal inclusion in our raw material until we used MD. Very helpful and could raise your confidence level that your product is metal-free.

 

Could you wait another blade in to your product again?

 

Regards,

redfox


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#5 Andy_Yellows

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 09:38 AM

Thanks for all your responses so far. Does anyone mind me asking how much the one-off cost of a "not so expensive" metal detector would be as if I can give the boss a relatively cheap quote he might be talked round. Part of me is thinking of putting some kind of presentation together to show him my argument in a different way but I fear I may be getting above my station a bit if I do that.

 

Cheers,


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#6 redfox

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 09:50 AM

Hello Andy,

 

We are using MD from China but it works. Weve been using it for a year but no problem in operation and sensitivity. Our specimen size is Fe: 1.5mm/non-Fe:2.0mm/SUS:2.5mm. Cost is7-8k USD. The expensive ranges from 15-25k USD.

 

 

regards,

redfox


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#7 JohnWheat

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 10:57 AM

Future proof and get a decent Loma etc. Depending on product/aperture size around 30-40k


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#8 Charles.C

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 11:01 AM

Hi Andy,

 

If you-know-what occurs in June, there may shortly be a rush of 2nd hand units on the market. This happened in the depths of the Economic Recession a few years back. X-Ray units also. We paid a fraction of the numbers previously quoted.

 

IMO, GMO's post is the compelling one (apart from the job maybe).

 

Based on yr data, I would imagine that BRC are going to be increasingly hard to persuade that a MD is unnecessary also (assuming you use BRC that is).


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#9 JohnWheat

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 11:10 AM

What's happening in June Charles


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#10 Charles.C

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 11:17 AM

What's happening in June Charles

:off_topic:

 

I Spy Something beginning with B ?

 

(or not of course) :smarty:


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#11 Robert Rogers

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 06:54 PM

If the facility wishes to obtain BRC certification, BRC 4.10.3.1 states:

Metal detection equipment shall be in place unless risk assessment demonstrates that this does not

improve the protection of final products from metal contamination. Where metal detectors are not used

justification shall be documented. The absence of metal detection would only normally be based on

the use of an alternative, more effective method of protection (e.g. use of X-ray, fine sieves or filtration of

products).

 

IMO It would seem with history of recalls for metal contamination, justification as to why metal detectors are not used would be difficult


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#12 Andy_Yellows

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 07:04 AM

Thanks for your input everyone,

 

We aren't looking to obtain BRC accreditation in the near future but I still believe from a moral perspective my point stands. I won't give up just yet


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#13 GMO

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 07:08 AM

Thanks for your input everyone,

 

We aren't looking to obtain BRC accreditation in the near future but I still believe from a moral perspective my point stands. I won't give up just yet

 

If you supply business to business this would still be an expectation.  If you supply retailers even more so.  Are you on the SALSA scheme?  Ultimately as I said before, it will be difficult to continue as a business without it and 2 yearly recalls are not acceptable.  Make absolutely sure you document and keep copies of all of your requests to get this in with your boss.  If the **** does hit the fan, you need to protect yourself.  Put it in writing in an email, then email any response to a personal email address.


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#14 Tamale

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 01:23 PM

Andy,

 

The decision makers in such matters are motived by costs vs. profits. In other words show them the money.

 

To do this calculate how your bolt, blade etc. inspections costs in a year, dont forget to add the extra inspections you mention. To this add the costs of the recalls you had. Be meticulous, count lost time, yours and other staff time, product lost, lost profit, cost of product replacement, transport costs and the like. This will give you what is called the price of non conformance. Also, with a MD you should be able to minimize your inspections, factor in the savings.

 

Get a ball park estimate for a metal detector, deduct the cost of non conformance from the cost of the MD. This is called the cost of quality, in other words, what it costs to do things right the first time. 

 

The calculation result is the true cost of the metal detector and that is the number the decider needs to work with.

 

Believe me this works.

 

Tamale


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