Case Study: X-Ray Inspection for a Major Tomato Processor

Our Client:Free Product Testing

Our client is a contract manufacturer of tomato products including ketchup, pastes, soups, sauces and salsa. They sell directly to supermarket stores throughout North America.

Manufacturing Issue:

Case of salsa with glass defect This client was finding pieces of glass measuring down to 1.5mm in size in their jar diced tomatoes, enchilada sauce and salsa products. The in-line x-ray and metal detectors that they had in place were unable to detect the glass contaminants. 200,000 cases of their salsa product ($10.2M in value) were on quality hold because of this problem.

The TQC Approach:

Our approach consisted of four key steps:

  1. Customer sent us case samples for each of the products  for complimentary testing. Test results were a positive detection for glass contaminant 1.5mm in size.
  2. We provided the client with two quotations: one for performing the inspection at their facility and one for reworking the product at our facility. The client decided  to perform the inspection at their facility in California.
  3. Our technicians worked closely with the client’s Senior QA managers to complete the inspection at their facility affording them full transparency throughout the entire rework process.
  4. We inspected 200,000 cases of jars and extracted only those cases containing the contaminated product, ultimately finding defects in approx. 0.1% of their product.

Benefits Achieved:

Our client saved over $10M worth of product by avoiding product disposal. They successfully shipped the now customer-ready tomato based products to their supermarket They retained 98.6% of the product’s retail value by contracting us to rework their products.