Ada Company Has Tools
For Food Inspection

August 13, 2007
| By Pete Daly |
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ADA — Peninsular Technologies LLC, which made its mark in internal pipeline inspection technology, has expanded its international vision inspection business with the introduction of the DigiSight Inspection System for food processing, beverage, pharmaceutical, homecare products and other consumer goods.

Lee Morgan of Rockford has been hired as vice president of Integration & Project Management for DigiSight, while John Kelly, of Green Bay, Wis., has joined as vice president of business development.

The DigiSight Inspection System is designed to integrate throughout a manufacturing line, keeping an electronic "eye" on operations to ensure quality control while also storing digital video data for tracking the product after it has been inspected. Standard applications include inspection of labels, capping, fill level, date codes (Optical Character Recognition, Optical Character Verification), case packing, palletizing and raw product inspection. Custom inspection applications with multiple communications integration are available as well.

Two DigiSight pilot systems were installed in the first quarter of 2007 at a Midwest food processing operation, which Morgan declined to identify. Peninsular Technologies provides training, support and warranties on the systems it sells and installs.

"Food packaging is probably the most important thing going on right now" in visual inspection systems, said Morgan, referring to recent national news about several processed food recalls mandated by the federal government.

The DigiSight system "helps identify problems in the factory so (affected product) doesn't leave the factory," he said. New high-speed technology permits digital video inspection of 15 bottles of food per second. The system can be designed to run unattended. The camera is integrated with the processing machinery computer and can shut down the line if it detects any problem.

Morgan has 25 years experience with process controls engineering, system integration, electrical engineering and system installations, and has worked with companies such as Gerber, Kellogg, Country Fresh, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Parmalat, Pharmacia and Upjohn, using inspection equipment from Allen-Bradley, Modicon, Square-D and Omron. He will direct the integration of vision systems into customers' existing process and production systems, manage vision system installations and assist in automated inspection system development and customization.

Kelly’s background includes 15 years as owner of Kelly Pickle Co. in Wisconsin and prior employment with Dean Foods as a project manager. He has experience in sales, product development, food safety, OSHA, labeling, new product roll-outs, and capital improvements.

Peninsular Technologies was founded in 1998 by Gary McAleenan, its CEO. Today the company has patented vision inspection systems operating throughout North and South America, Europe and Australia. Initial applications focused on internal video inspection of oil pipelines, waste management systems and utility-based applications, using Peninsular’s PipeTech software.

McAleenan said the company’s expansion into food processing and other consumer goods markets is not only a natural progression for the company, but something that is sorely needed in the marketplace.

“There are a number of inspection systems available to industries, but none designed to integrate throughout the manufacturing line, communicating critical data at any desired stage of the process," said McAleenan.

Morgan said Peninsular Technologies has about a dozen employees and is conducting business throughout the United States.

Although the West Michigan economy is weak, that has little or no effect on the DigiSight business because Peninsular is marketing it across the country. Morgan said the company is working with some major "co-packers" — companies that process and pack food and other consumer items for private labels.

"West Michigan is a great place to be. There's no reason to leave," said Morgan. "We can conduct this business nationally from here."

More information is available at www.DigiSight.com.

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