Product recalls are increasing in frequency.
Over the last five years, 58% of consumers have experienced a “product recall”, in some shape or form. In the last year alone, product recalls are up 25% overall, industry-wide. The majority of recalls have involved biological contamination. But recently, foreign material has been the leading cause of recalls, according to the FDA. They run the gamut from plastic, wood, rubber, glass, or metal.
Part of this rise is a result of the ease with which the message gets out that there’s a contamination. The advent of social media means the number of complaints – made publicly, and sometimes loudly – by customers has risen tenfold. Of course, customers are right to point out issues; but often, the severity can be misconstrued or blown up before the company has a chance to respond.
These recalls are costly: about $10 million on average for retrieval (direct costs alone). There are companies that have spent well in excess of $30, $40, $50 million dollars on one single recall. (These are usually companies that do a lot of exporting to multiple countries around the world.) They, of course, want to do everything possible to maintain the integrity of the brand.
Ultimately companies are concerned about the impact on direct cost, but also the indirect cost – damage to brand, loss in sales, drop in share price, fines or litigations.
The indirect costs, totaled up, are estimated to be about 2/3 of the total cost of retrieval.
Having a large recall may be unlikely; but if it does happen, it could be catastrophic for the brand.
Particularly, those working with glass products in the food and beverage industry are concerned about foreign contaminants and recalls. They need assurance. They need to do whatever they can to protect their product and their brand.
This is where Peco-InspX comes into its own.
The best way to mitigate the presence of foreign contaminants in your product is with one of our inspection machines. They can be placed directly onto the production line and store saved images for greater verification. If you ever were to go into a litigation, you could defend yourself very effectively by showing the images – proof of what actually left the factory versus a customer’s potentially faulty claim.
To decrease the chances of a product recall:
- Do a full bottle inspection at the end of the line, versus just an empty bottle inspection (EBI). You need to see what’s in the food or beverage as well as what’s in the container.
- Use our software to monitor the filler valves and make adjustments in real time.
- Verify container integrity – for instance, is there a seam defect? A dent?
- Save and store images for later verification, in case of customer complaint
At the end of a production line, it makes sense to put an X-ray machine after labeling. Whatever you’re inspecting, at the end of the line you can make adjustments to the overall production line. There are a number of different applications especially when using a top-down machine.
An investment into an X-ray inspection machine can save millions of dollars down the line; and save reputation and brand integrity.