Mettler-Toledo Product Inspection is offering critical assistance to food manufacturers as they gear up for the food industry’s fast-approaching digital transformation, with the release of a new, significantly updated version of its ProdX product inspection management software. Depending on Industry 4.0 principles of secure machine-to-machine communication, and in preparation for connectivity to the most recent data-protective block chain technology, it provides full digital track and trace and real-time food safety compliance.

Peculiar improvements include:
Security features, such as improvised password rules to impose the use of strong passwords which must be centrally verified by the software
• Security across firewalls, with improved Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture (OPC UA) encrypted machine-to-machine communication, including tags for performance test results, seamlessly shared with high-end systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
• Automatically logged performance test data to fulfill food safety regulations
• Full assistance for batch changeovers which means that an individual product can be automatically traced via its unique serial number
• Fail-safe testing regime for product inspection, ensuring due diligence and compliant performance

Peter Spring, head of product development for ProdX, Mettler-Toledo Product Inspection stated- “Food manufacturers are under rising pressure to satisfy strict food safety rules and regulations. The increasing need for continuous real-time monitoring of food safety compliance will enforce a cultural attitude change in how manufacturers adopt food safety measures.”

“ProdX from Mettler-Toledo allows manufacturers to get ahead of these necessities and operate a cost-effective digital solution that offers real-time food compliance, digital traceability and full integrity of data, as well as complete product inspection management. The need for digital food track and traceability is coming – the most recent version of our proprietary software makes sure that manufacturers are ready for it right now,” Spring further said.

Improved security features make sure that food manufacturers can express full accountability and transparency, with individual password control, centrally validated and connected to each machine operator or team leader’s role and access privileges. Data is captured automatically and is tamper-proof within ProdX 2.4, including metadata, i.e. when, who, where and what was inspected, promising the integrity of the data in the system. In this way, the new software exceeds the requirements of British Retail Consortium Global Standard (BRCGS) Food Safety Clause 6.3.3, which sets up global minimum legal, operational and testing standards for the operation of online checkweighers.

It is positioned to intensely change the manners in which the food manufacturers manage food safety. Rather than manual data input and box ticking, measures such as regular compliance performance tests can be automated, and the results are logged digitally without human intervention. This fail-safe testing regime means that food manufacturers can prove, with the correct documentation that their product inspection equipment has continuously met compliant performance standards throughout production, at the batch level, or even individual item level.

New regulations and standards on compliance and lucidity in the food industry supply chain – for example, the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) new rules on digital track and trace – make the ability to quickly and precisely track and trace batches of food products more significant than ever. Spring goes on to describe the significance of product inspection management software stating, “Food manufacturers must be ready for these alterations and digital technology gives the answer. Implementing such a digital transformation can be expensive and it also requires sound planning. Mettler-Toledo’s ProdX product inspection management system is ready to go now and is continually progressing to keep ahead of evolving food safety compliance requirements.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has also underscored the necessity for a much greater degree of digital food safety monitoring, with onsite access for auditing often limited. Product inspection management software like Mettler-Toledo ProdX allows a significant proportion of current onsite checks to be handled digitally. Additionally, it regularly keeps a track of critical control point data down to batch levels for full track and trace capabilities and, in the event of a product recall, for instant product retrieval.


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