Thinkage, a BOC food ventures company, has introduced a new quality assurance system which replaces paper-driven reporting in food plants with computerised technology.
The system, part of Thinkage's existing Think Gates range, was launched recently at the International Poultry Exposition in Atlanta, US.
"The system is based upon proven Think Gates state-of-the-food monitoring technology," said Mark Grace, president of Thinkage. "It provides processors with information gathering and reporting tools to accurately and economically manage and execute the entire quality assurance process and to minimise human error."
Grace explained that most current quality assurance programmes rely on data that is manually collected and subsequently recorded on to paper forms or entered into a database or computer program. The collection and recording systems are prone to human error, and can seriously compromise product quality and safety, negatively impact yield and reduce customer satisfaction, he said.
"Typical quality assurance approaches involve manually recording hundreds of temperature, weight and defect data points each day. By using electronic input devices on the plant floor, the Think Gates Quality Assurance Reporting System can gather that information and automatically enter it into a single, secure, retrievable repository, improving both the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of quality assurance data collection and storage," Grace said.
"Having all the data in a single repository optimises management of all aspects of production. Processors can access and analyse quality control and quality assurance data with confidence. Customer reports, HACCP inspection results, product specifications and corrective action workflow are all available from a single, reliable source."
The Think Gates Quality Assurance Reporting System can stand alone or be integrated with the rest of the Think Gates technology range. "The system can serve as a low-cost, easy-to-install introduction to total product control, and should the processor choose to add the full Think Gates technology offering, plant-floor display devices will instantly make the collected data available to both quality assurance and production personnel for real-time analysis and correction," Grace said.
Thinkage specialises in optimising operations of food processing plants and food supply networks, and is the first of several food ventures established by the US arm of the BOC Group, which is investing in high-growth, entrepreneurial companies whose products and services complement BOC's existing temperature, atmosphere and microbe control technologies.