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UK firms join forces to retrofit leak detection onto conveyors

By staff reporter , 09-Jul-2008

UK-based Witt Gas Techniques said that it has teamed up with a conveyor supplier to retrofit its leak detection system into existing and new food modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) lines.

According to Carl Long, Witt general manager, teaming up with cobalt conveyors will provide added value to its range of products and a complete turnkey system for packaging companies needing to install leak detection components as part of their quality control programmes.

Leaks in packaging are often a double-whammy, allowing the inert gases used to extend shelf life to escape while allowing oxygen and possibly contamination in, which causes goods to spoil.

Carl Long said that the agreement with Cobalt Conveyors will enable Witt "to take a product from a packaging line through our leak detection system and return the same product to the line or reject it if a leak is found."

The gas safety and analysis equipment supplier claims that its Leak-Master Mapmax micro-leak detection systems for rigid and flexible MAP lines can operate at speeds up to 15 cycles per minute and can test either single packages or complete cases of products, with a response time of approximately one second.

Shelf life

MAP is used extensively in the food industry to extend shelf life. Typically, air is removed from the space above the food and inert gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen are flushed in.

The Leak-Master, according to the company, monitors small leaks of CO2 from packaging without harming the products and so those that are not fully sealed can simply be re-introduced onto the packaging line when fixed.

One stop shop

Simon Turner, managing director of Cobalt Conveyors said that joining forces with Witt will provide its food industry clients with a 'one stop shop' for tailored conveyor systems that meet their particular material handling requirements.

He said that the company, established in early 2008, can provide a range of services to the food industry from the replacement of a roller to integration of additional pieces of equipment to a conveyor system such as palletisers, shrink wrap machines or robotic pick and place systems.

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