Case Study

Automated Vision Inspection Equipment Ensures Uniform Meat Quality

Automated Vision Inspection Equipment Ensures Uniform Meat Quality

Salaisons Jouvin, a French company specializing in the production of cold meats, wanted to ensure its products were consistently of high quality, while simultaneously cutting costs. This case study explores how Salaisons Jouvin implemented vision inspection equipment to achieve its goals.

The installation of QVision equipment in the cold meat production line allows Salaisons Jouvin to ensure consistent and uniform product quality as well as cutting costs, guaranteeing the uniformity demanded by customers in order to satisfy consumers.

The TOMRA QVision analyzer for continuous analysis of meat composition ensures higher productivity, complete traceability, consistent product quality, a reduction in human error and smarter purchasing of raw materials.

Salaisons Jouvin is a French company specializing in the production of cold meats, and is recognized in the market for the quality of its products and its high level of customer satisfaction. The company’s production facilities in Nogentsur- Oise, Picardy, France, have a total area of 3,500m2, employ60 workers, and produce 2,700 tons of pork cold meats annually. Its star product, without a doubt, is its chorizo, which constitutes 95% of production and is marketed in several varieties.

With more than 25 years of experience, tradition and innovation go hand in hand at Salaisons Jouvin in the ongoing search for the best product quality. The company has jealously guarded the secret of its traditional recipes in order to offer a unique flavor, while at the same time evolving technologically in its production methods. A good example of the company’s passion for continuous innovation is the installation of TOMRA’s QVision analyzer in order to automate the quality control and analytics processes. This has allowed the facility to improve product quality while saving on costs and time.

According to Jean-Louis Jouvin, Salaisons Jouvin’s founder, president and general manager, “Our goal is to improve quality control of the finished product and the quality of raw materials. These are intimately linked and affect costs as well as consumer satisfaction. In this sense, the QVision analyzer is a good tool to reach our goal.”

Goal: Uniform, Consistent Quality
Large retailers and other distributors have very specific needs and requirements and Salaisons Jouvin’s first goal is to adequately respond to these. In order to do so, ensuring consistent quality is important, which is much easier for the company since they began using the TOMRA QVision analyzer.

“One of our priorities is to maintain consistency in our products throughout the year, from January 1 through December 31. Having raw materials sorted and batches analyzed allows us to correct our recipes and adjust our machines at any point in time so that the consumer’s perception of the quality remains consistent,” explains Jouvin.

Thanks to QVision’s precise measurement of fat, moisture, proteins and collagen, the manufacturer can precisely combine different suppliers in order to ensure product conformance, and can correctly assign different suppliers to different products to consistently achieve the desired quality even though different mixtures are used.

“Although raw materials can generally be evaluated visually, the same is not true of other factors, such as collagen. Jouvin indicates “What is most important is what can’t be seen!” “And the fat and collagen levels are clearly noticeable to the consumer. Both must be inspected in the interest of product uniformity and quality. In addition, uniformity also allows us to control the curing parameters.”

QVision doesn’t just ensure consistency in the quality, content and taste of their products through the year. According to Jouvin, another advantage is undoubtedly “the possibility of inspecting raw materials from our suppliers to ensure that they scrupulously comply with our requirements.”

QVision’s Ease Of Use And Integration In The Production Line
Initially the company engaged in manual production, using established recipes, which frequently required them to make corrections and discard a lot of the product.

“Before using QVision, we regularly had to carry out numerous time-consuming manual inspections. This involved a greater investment of time and diminished our response capacity. With automation, the checks are ongoing and dynamic. All materials from all suppliers are analyzed all the time,” Jouvin explains.

The QVision unit was installed at the front of the factory’s production line. After going through a slicer, a thick cut of meat is obtained initially, as this is the best way of maintaining traceability of suppliers’ products.

The QVision analyzer has a recipe editor which guides the machine operator when adding certain quantities of raw materials to batches. The QVision performs continuous analysis and provides the operator with information about the cumulative weight of the current batch. Afterwards, the operator must normally take corrective action to reach the target fat level for the batch (normally 1,000kg). To facilitate, or rather, to automate this task, the QVision has a personalized application, “Intouch”, which can make recommendations or guide operators, provided the selected recipe has been entered beforehand with the proportions of the individual ingredients. “This function is an excellent aid for operators. They feel freer because they know that the selected recipe will produce exactly the desired result,” says Jouvin.

Apart from being easy to use thanks to its intuitive interface and touchscreen, the QVision has an open and light design and is also easy to move and clean, which allows users to maintain standards for quality, cleanliness and general hygiene.

Complete Satisfaction With Results
The first contact Salaisons Jouvin had with TOMRA technologies occurred at the French agri-food expo CFIA in Rennes. The company had become aware of a need and TOMRA had the solution. Today, after experience with the new equipment, Jouvin considers the QVision to be a “natural tool to manage our resources, stock and curing chambers.”

The decision to purchase the QVision analyzer, as Jouvin himself acknowledges, was determined by: “the level of the technology, TOMRA’s accessibility and quick response times, as well as the ease with which the equipment can be installed, without technical limitations or local regulations.”

Regarding the expected return on investment, Jouvin insists that “in any food business, the quality of the finished product is a crucial intangible. Our decision to purchase the QVision was based on our sense and conviction that this tool would play an important part in our return on investment due to the positive image it conveys to our customers. Both our suppliers and customers are satisfied and trust the new QVision analyzer: the former because of the objectivity of the analytical method and the latter because of the consistency in quality that it affords,” concludes Jouvin.

A Cutting Edge Vision And Solution For The Meat Industry
TOMRA’s QVision system is a continuous analysis solution which uses sensors to measure fat, collagen, protein and moisture content in meat, whether fresh or frozen, as well as in different shapes and sizes (small cuts of meat, diced meat, ground meat).

The QVision analyzer uses interactance spectroscopy technology to analyze light in the VIS-near infrared range, penetrating deep into the meat and measuring products and production in real time. The equipment is able to analyze 30 tons of meat per hour and allows data access and management, generating daily integrated or exportable reports, thereby simplifying all of the processes.

The Qvision’s high capacity, simple handling, easy cleaning and low energy consumption make it the best alternative for analysis and process control in the meat industry. The system also generates important cost savings by reducing lean giveaway, thereby increasing profits.

In addition, the QVision allows complete traceability, higher productivity, consistent quality in the finished product, a reduction in human error and smarter purchasing of raw materials.

“Our goal is to improve product quality control and the quality of raw materials, and the QVision is a good tool to achieve this.” – Jean-Louis Jouvin, Salaisons Jouvin’s General Manger

About TOMRA Sorting Food
TOMRA Sorting Food, formerly Best and Odenberg, designs and manufactures sensor-based sorting systems for the food industry. The company has more than 7,500 systems installed at food growers, packers and processors worldwide.

The company offers high-performance automatic sorters, graders and peeling and process analytics systems for nuts and seeds, dried fruits, potato products, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and seafood. The systems ensure optimal quality and yield, resulting in increased productivity and efficient use of resources.

TOMRA Sorting Food is part of TOMRA Sorting Solutions, which also develops sensor-based systems for recycling, mining and other industries.

This powerful combination of technologies makes TOMRA Sorting one of the most advanced suppliers of sensor-based sorting solutions in the world, with more than 11,200 systems installed worldwide.

TOMRA Sorting is owned by the Norwegian company TOMRA Systems ASA, which is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Founded in 1972, TOMRA Systems ASA has turnover of approximately €650m and more than 2,600 employees.

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