Company Insight

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How to reduce financial and reputational risks in uncertain times

As manufacturers grapple with a new reality during a COVID-19 world, it is more important than ever that costs are controlled and productivity is optimised, with minimum risk to the business. Product inspection systems implemented at CCP's (Critical Control Points) act as both a strong line of defense against physical contamination as well as a measure for reducing business costs. We share some insights into the financial and reputational gains to be had for food manufacturers as we enter a new year.

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eemingly small measures – implemented without compromising product safety – can have a profound effect: imagine the difference that an improvement of just 4% in manufacturing and packaging productivity would make to your business, especially when allied to correspondingly enhance sales revenues and reduced labour costs. 

Step 1: Reducing metal detector testing and false reject rates

These kinds of results were realised by a US snack manufacturer, simply by implementing two simple product innovations within the product inspection testing regimes of its production lines. The company invested in metal detection equipment with a reduced test mode which, through continuous monitoring of contamination detection sensitivity, enables fewer production line stops for testing. This alone increased its production line efficiency by 2.9%.

The incorporation of an automatic test system on the metal detector means that tests can also be completed in seconds, rather than minutes. Consequently, production line efficiency at the snack manufacturer was improved by 1.3%.

Further production inspection features have included advanced x-ray inspection software that has minimised False Reject Rates (FRR), reducing waste and rework costs. Its FRR has gone down from 7 in every 10,000 packs to just 2 in every 10,000.

Meanwhile, advanced checkweighing systems are also helping the manufacturer to significantly reduce product giveaway and streamline product set-up times – plus, provide real-time data collection.

In summary, the manufacturer has been successful in reducing the Total Delivered Cost (TDC) of a packaged good – a measure that goes beyond Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). TDC includes operational costs such as those of the physical product, packaging, labour for production and quality checks, waste product and packaging, and transport. As a means of improving production line efficiency while lessening business risk, reducing TDC should therefore be an important strategic consideration for manufacturers.

Step 2: Further risk reduction

Protecting a manufacturing business in the current climate calls for other factors to be considered too. These include:

  • Renting equipment to overcome CAPEX constraints
  • Testing technology before investing
  • Maximising the operational life of manufacturing equipment
  • Keeping spare parts onsite to reduce downtime

CAPEX may be constrained or entirely frozen right now. Renting is therefore a great option, allowing you to bring in additional product inspection technology at short notice, to ensure that all products complete the same strong quality assurance checks. This means you can increase production capacity thereby meeting spikes in demand without committing to a large investment.

Post-purchase, there are numerous ways that you can extend the operational life of your product inspection technology. Regular preventative maintenance programs ensure components and systems are refurbished or replaced in a timely manner thereby helping to avoid unnecessary downtime; hardware and software upgrades can also help to future-proof your technology investment.

For manufacturers, all these protection measures are relatively quick and easy to put in place, and their benefits are manifold, including higher levels of efficiency and productivity, and greater levels of quality and waste control. Ultimately by reducing the financial and reputational risks to your business in these uncertain times you can help to future proof its success.


The Product Inspection division of METTLER TOLEDO is one of the leading providers within the field of automated inspection technology. The division includes the following brands: Safeline Metal and X-ray Inspection, Garvens and Hi-Speed Checkweighers, and CI-Vision and PCE Track & Trace. The product inspection solutions improve manufacturers’ process efficiency and help them comply with industry standards and regulations. METTLER TOLEDO systems ensure consistently higher product quality, helping protect both consumers as well as the reputation of manufacturers and their products and brands.

For more information about Product Inspection solutions by METTLER TOLEDO, please visit here

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