Case Study

Goya Foods Relies On Eriez Feeders And Metal Detectors For Quality Assurance

Eriez Metal-Detector

Goya® is a big business with an intensely loyal customer base. The company’s success is based on high quality food products that represent the best of Caribbean, Mexican and Central and South American cuisine. To help ensure the quality of its products and maintain plant productivity, Goya utilizes systems from Eriez® and Frazier & Son which incorporate state-of-the-art material handling and metal detection equipment.

Founded in 1936, Goya Foods is a multi-national family-owned business. Its 2,500 employees worldwide produce more than 1,200 products, including condiments, pantry items, beverages and frozen foods. These items are available in local grocery stores and supermarket chains worldwide. Its manufacturing and distribution centers are located in more than 15 facilities across the country as well as the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.  

Goya’s philosophy is best summed up by its slogan: If it’s Goya, it has to be good. When Goya opened its 138,000 square foot facility in Houston, Texas, the company wanted to incorporate new manufacturing and packaging technologies that would further enhance the Goya reputation for quality.

This Houston plant was very strategic to continued growth. Goya planned to capitalize on its changing demographics and proximity to the Port of Houston and Mexico. The entire Goya Foods of Texas family, along with its quality products, sets the company apart in the industry.

Goya began a search for high-performance manufacturing and packaging technologies. Their mission was to set up processing lines that would be efficient while still maintaining the purity and quality that customers demand.

Mark Frazier of Texas-based Frazier & Son had been working with Goya for a number of years, manufacturing and installing bucket elevators to fulfill Goya’s material handling needs.  

For more than 60 years, Frazier & Son has been designing, engineering and manufacturing bucket elevators for integration with net weight scales.  According to Frazier, the company’s conveyors keep their customers’ production lines moving with speed and safety. The amazing versatility of the equipment enables it to handle practically any type of material. Frazier says, “Our bucket elevators and conveyors can be customized to suit almost any application.”

When Goya asked Frazier to bid on part of the line for the new Houston facility, Frazier & Son enlisted Erie, Pennsylvania-based Eriez as its primary partner. Eriez is a recognized leader in advanced technology for magnetic, vibratory and inspection applications. The company’s magnetic separation, metal detection, materials feeding, screening, conveying and controlling equipment have application in the food, process and packaging industries. Eriez manufactures and markets these products through twelve international facilities located on five continents.

Frazier explains, “We sat down with the people from Eriez and brainstormed how we might combine our elevators with Eriez vibratory feeders/screeners and metal detectors. We came up with an integrated system that would allow Goya to move a product – beans – easily and safely throughout the process.”

“We challenged each other to think outside the box. I call it ‘imagineering’ and it’s good for both companies,” Frazier says.

The result is a product line that moves the beans through the plant quickly, screens for contamination and scans for metal contamination in a smaller footprint than Goya previously thought was possible.

Goya’s plant handles more than 180,000 pounds of beans per day. They arrive via rail and truck and are processed, bagged and shipped directly to supermarkets worldwide. Consider that this results in almost 40 million pounds of beans per year that might pick up metal contamination from a truck bed, a hopper car, or anywhere in the farmers’ fields. Goya uses the Eriez Model HD66 Vibratory Feeder/Screener in combination with Frazier’s bucket elevators. The beans are bagged and then run through an Eriez metal detector. 

Goya can now process the beans in its plant with the knowledge that any metal contamination will be eliminated. They have a materials handling system that is also an investment in preventive food safety as Eriez’ HD Screener helps remove unwanted fine contaminants.

Goya was so impressed they installed 12 similar systems at other facilities in Texas, California and Florida.

The high quality system is made possible by the superior products employed in the process.

Eriez High Deflection (HD) feeders/screeners offer superior capabilities. Difficult to feed fine materials such as flour, leafy products like lettuce, and sticky substances such as candies move smoothly and quickly. According to the company, the unique patented armature design allows for more feed capacity and a 75 percent reduction in power consumption.

The extremely sensitive Eriez metal detector detects ferrous, nonferrous and stainless steel metal contaminants and employs digital controls that make operating the device simple and effective.

Eriez Director of Sales and Product Management Jeff Kaveney says, “This is a winning situation for all three entities. Goya gets the assurance of efficient, safe product movement and they can rest easy that their reputation for high quality, pure foods will remain intact.”

According to Kaveney, there are innumerable opportunities for contamination to be introduced in food products, such as beans, as it moves from the field to the processing facility. He says, “Goya has invested heavily in food safety to eliminate impurities in the products they deliver to supermarkets around the globe. Eriez is proud to play a role in Goya’s purity strategy.”

Frazier explains, “Frazier and Eriez’ unique partnership allowed our companies to demonstrate the concept that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Although we both provided our own unique equipment to Goya, it was our collaboration that made this process work so well.”

About Eriez

Eriez is recognized as world authority in separation technologies. The company’s magnetic lift and separation, metal detection, fluid recycling, flotation, materials feeding, screening, conveying and controlling equipment have application in the process, metalworking, packaging, plastics, rubber, recycling, food, mining, aggregate and textile industries. Eriez manufactures and markets these products through 12 international subsidiaries located on six continents. For more information, call (814) 835-6000. For online users, visit www.eriez.com or send email to eriez@eriez.com. Eriez World Headquarters is located at 2200 Asbury Road, Erie, PA 16506.