A relatively newer method in the history of food safety and standard control is metal detectors. Becoming increasingly popular in comparison to X-ray processes, metal detectors in the food industry make for efficient, highly effective, and more economical machinery. If your company has been thinking about switching over, here’s why brands in the food and packaging industries should invest into metal detection.
How do Metal Detection Systems in the Food and Packaging Industry Work?
The technology used in metal detectors is primarily the same, meaning that all general purpose non-ferrous metal detectors work in pretty much the exact same way. Three coils are wound exactly parallel to a non-metallic frame, with the center coil connecting to a high-frequency radio transmitter. Two transmission-receiving coils sit on either side of the center coil, and due to the fact that the outer coils are the same distance from the center, they receive the same signal and produce a balanced and identical output voltage.
Once a metal piece passes through the system, the high-frequency field is disturbed beneath one coil, which changes the voltage and interrupts the balance. The system is then alerted that there is the presence of metal, which activates the rejection mechanism. In best case scenarios, the metal is removed at 100% while keeping the product intact.
Why Should a Brand Within the Food and Packaging Industry Invest into Metal Detection?
Given the unpredictability of renegade metal particles that can wind up in your pre-packaged food, metal detectors for the frozen food industry are a smart investment. As a way of helping you protect your brand, avoid lawsuits, and establish a reputation for high quality and unfailing standards, metal detection systems are your best bet. A single case of metal or foreign particles in your food items is enough to severely damage your reputation, thus investing in a relatively inexpensive method of food control not only protects your customers, but it protects your company as well. Early detection of metal contaminants leads to significant cost savings in the long run. As lower value contaminated materials are rejected, you won’t be disposing of finished products that are found as contaminated later in the process. Catching the problem early saves on resources, materials, and time.
These days, developing and maintaining verifiable inspection programs and regulations is not even optional. Investing in a system that is comparatively inexpensive, highly effective and has good technical performance will do wonders for your brand, and will ensure you’re complying with legal regulations.
How to Select the Right Metal Detection Equipment?
Determining what equipment is best for you and for your company is best understood by answering these questions. First, start by evaluating your inspection area. Take account of what you see – is it wet or dry? Are there any variations in temperature? These two questions will help you determine one of the most pressing details when it comes to metal detectors, as selecting one that is suitable for your operating environment is the ultimate requirement. If there is any water that enters into the electrical areas of the machine, it could cause severe damage. Water damage is the biggest cause of machine failure when it comes to metal detectors. Another question to ask yourself is if there is a wash down regimen in the plant, and if it is high or low pressure. The answer to this helps you determine if you need a machine that can withstand low-pressure wash-down, or high. Does the wash-down include caustic agents? Be cognizant of the specific alloys present, as certain types of metal detector machinery are more resistant to caustic agents. In a dry environment, is the finish of the metal detector painted? Over time, chips of paint can easily flick off of machinery and end up in your product. Removing the potential hazard of a painted surface in your product stream would be wise here.
How Sensitive Should a Metal Detection System Be?
Depending on individualistic needs, your company’s metal detector will vary. Not only will it vary by company and product output, but it will vary by location on the assembly line. Perhaps at one point you will be looking to check the bulk flow of product – here, a higher sensitivity rate would be required, both to do a thorough check through the volume, but also to ensure the product is in top quality before leaving the warehouse. A lower sensitivity might be needed when checking a primary function, and where there isn’t a huge threat of contaminants entering in the stream.
Early Detection of Metal Contaminants Can Lead to Significant Savings!
Metal detectors allow companies the ability for early detection of contaminants in batch food items. With their high sensitivity, efficiency, and almost perfect performance, brands can save significant costs when it comes to renegade contaminants. Early detection finds the problem at the source, allowing your company to determine where in the line the product first was infected. If the problem lies in the raw material, replacement of that particular material can be done easily, which is a large cost saving. Other machines and food quality control systems might not have the ability to detect minuscule contaminants so early on, resulting in the loss of finished products. Not only are ready-made products then wasted, but identifying the source of the problem is much harder, causing expenditure in problem-solving, time, and resources.
Brands in the food and packaging industries should take note of the many areas of benefit metal detectors provide. Investing in a system such as this allows for long-term gain and saved costs. For more information, contact Fortress Options.