Ability to check for wider range of contaminants, product weight and volume helps convenience food manufacturer secure new business


Ireland-based Swift Fine Foods is reporting 30% increased customer satisfaction since upgrading to Loma Systems’ (www.loma.com) high performance X5 Spacesaver and X5C Compact X-ray Inspection Machines from conventional metal detector technology. Further reinforcing its commitment to food safety, the ability to check for a wider range of contaminants, product weight and volume has already helped secure new business for the convenience food manufacturer.

Firmly established in the premium food market, Swift Fine Foods produces quality ready meals, soups and convenience foods for retailers. It also supplies caterers in the healthcare sector. Swift Fine Foods is the largest manufacturer of ready meals in Ireland, with a state of the art food manufacturing facility in Lough Egish, Co Monaghan, where they are focused on continuous growth.

An increasing challenge for Swift Fine Foods is the multiple sources of contamination that can be introduced during production. For example, vegetables arriving in bulk are cleaned thoroughly but there is still a need to check for contaminants like grit. Plus, some recipes bring the risk of bone contamination that would have negative consequences for retailers and healthcare customers.

Having successfully used metal detectors to inspect up to 180,000 meals and 12 tonnes of food service and healthcare products on its production lines each week, Swift Fine Foods approached QPM, Loma’s distributor in Ireland, to discuss how its inspection techniques could be improved beyond metal detection at its manufacturing facility in Co Monaghan.

Loma’s distributor QPM conducted a full audit of Swift Fine Foods to determine the right solution for Swift Fine Foods’ product lines.  As a result, QPM recommended the X5 Spacesaver to detect various contaminants, check product weight and integrity. Plus, the machine’s fail-safe functions ensured Swift Fine Foods were compliant with retailer codes of practice.

Following the initial successful installation of the X5 Spacesaver, Swift Fine Foods introduced Loma’s X5C Compact X-ray Inspection Unit to all lines as it offered a small footprint. The X5C X-ray systems were supplied with pusher reject mechanism onto a gravity roller rack with the necessary fail-safes in place.

Paddy Grimes, Director at Swift Fine Foods comments: “This project was a considerable investment across all our product lines. We explored various Check & Detection suppliers and selected Loma’s X5 Spacesaver and then X5C as the best option. The support from Loma and QPM has been highly professional, with the Loma team ensuring the right inspection equipment for our business.

“Financially the Loma proposal stacked up and commercially we are in a very strong position as we can tell our customers all our lines are fully checked for contaminants, which has resulted in new contracts. This is critical considering we work with leading retailers and healthcare providers where safety is a key concern.”


Capable of detecting bone, glass, dense plastic, rubber, stone as well as metals, Loma’s X5 X-ray Inspection Systems are constructed from stainless steel and offer easy cleaning and low maintenance and serviceability. The machines feature intuitive washdown compatible touch screens and those with conveyors have quick release belts that can be completely removed without tools and eased for cleaning.

“I would wholeheartedly recommend Loma, their distributor QPM and the Loma X5 range. The machines are first class, the support excellent, plus I’m delighted the machines do everything we specified and a bit more,” Paddy concludes.

Automation Update