Founded in 1972, De Spiegeleire produces fresh, artisanal pâté preparations for butchers, catering and retail customers. As a second-generation family run business, David De Spiegeleire took over from his father in 2003. The company has grown into one of the most important pâté producers in Belgium. Initially De Spiegeleire produced pâté blocks, but since 1999, slices of pâtés have also been available in a horizontal flow pack. The pâté in this consumer packaging is prepared in many variants and sold to large European retail customers. 

As an international player, quality is important to De Spiegeleire, which holds quality certifications such as the International Food Standard (IFS) certificate and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) certificate. It is the increasingly stringent requirements of customers—who have low tolerance for defective packaging—that drives the processor to improve its quality procedures. This is why the company recently invested in a 100% seal inspection system for its flow-pack packaging line to eliminate open or leaking packages. 

Because the business produces millions of units every year, a full manual inspection is impossible and too costly. The processor turned to Omori Europe, a packaging machine supplier and partner of Engilico, for a solution. After checking with other references, the team felt confident that the SealScope inspection system was the technology to adopt.  

This flexible packaging inspection system has sensors mounted on the sealing bars of the packaging machine, measuring the distance or vibration when closing the sealing bars. The measured signal is compared to a reference measurement signal of good seals. Folds or product in the seal are detected and ejected from the conveyor. Because the sensors are integrated into the packaging machine, there is no extra floor space required and no need for special adjustments to the production line. Another advantage of the nondestructive seal inspection is that if the product in the rejected packages is still intact, it can be repackaged for less waste.

SealScope system
Distance sensors on the sealing bars detect whether the sealing area has folds or contains product or other material. Photo courtesy of Engilico

“The choice of SealScope is perfectly in line with our quality policy,” says David De Spiegeleire, managing director. “Our pâté itself is authentic, but our machinery is modern and our production process is fully tailored to our customers’ high quality requirements.” 

The system complements the quality controls and systems that De Spiegeleire has in place, such as weight control, metal detection, and gas and sample analysis. The system tracks production data per variety, such as the number of good and rejected packages. Because every package is measured, one can also observe trends in the production process. This also allows maintenance or fine-tuning of the packaging machine, which can prevent sudden production stops or manufacture of defective packages. 

“One hundred percent seal inspection of packaging is necessary to meet our customers’ quality requirements,” Jeroen De Spiegeleire from the technical service department says. “It gives us a high level of confidence that each product is inspected individually.” 

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