Are you risking your brand through inconsistent metal detector testing?

Food manufacturers are under significant pressure to increase productivity, reduce food waste, and meet strict food safety standards. Testing your processing equipment can create additional pressure, particularly around maintaining productivity on your production line. However, effective testing is the difference between your metal detector working and detecting unwanted metal and metal passing through your production line, undetected. Is in consistent testing worth the risk?

New testing innovations from Mettler-Toledo can help ease the burden of testing in high volume, dry product applications and ensure your metal detector is working correctly, every time.

Routine performance monitoring testing is a challenge for food manufacturers

GFSI-based food safety standards and retailer codes of practice require frequent performance monitoring tests to verify that product inspection equipment is working correctly. The frequency can vary depending on the application, and how long the product stays on site before it is shipped to its destination.

The challenge that users of Throat (VFFS) and Gravity-fed metal detectors face is how can they truly guarantee centerline (worst case) sensitivity of their metal detectors when conducting performance monitoring tests? Without that guarantee, it means they cannot be sure they are reliably protecting their customers and their brands. Additionally, every time a test is carried out, there can be an impact on productivity and labour costs. Tests often require a stop in production for multiple minutes, and two operators are often required to physically carry out the tests. The higher the frequency of testing, the bigger the impact it has on productivity and profitability, and the larger the volume of associated product waste.

How the latest metal detection innovations make routine testing easier

Automatic Test System (ATS) from Mettler-Toledo is designed to improve the accuracy of tests and reduce the time it takes to carry out the tests. Mettler-Toledo’s innovative Reduced Test (RT) Mode technology enables a significant reduction in the frequency of testing required.

Award-winning and approved by a major UK retailer, ATS is a non-invasive method of testing and is the only way that Mettler-Toledo believes guarantees centerline sensitivity, ensuring maximum brand protection. It eliminates the random nature of Throat metal detector testing by providing a controlled and repeatable process. It also removes the risk of cross-contamination, as the test pieces do not come into contact with the food being inspected. ATS also reduces the time taken to conduct testing from three to four minutes to less than 40 seconds. As well as improving productivity and product safety, labour costs are reduced, as only one operative now needs to carry out testing. Worker safety is also enhanced due to the reduction of ladder climbs and removal of the need to work at height when conducting the routine performance monitoring tests.

RT Mode’s intelligent software continuously checks the performance of the metal detector to ensure it is always working to, or better than, the manufacturer’s specification. RT Mode ensures the metal detector is always functioning correctly, and alerts any status changes that may lead to a drop in performance before the metal detector operates out of specification. One manufacturer used to test every two hours before introducing RT. They have now reduced testing to every 12 hours. They are reaping the benefits of increased productivity and labour efficiencies, as well as reduced product waste.

Drivers for change

Mike Bradley, Head of Sales at Mettler-Toledo’s metal detection business says, “Product quality and productivity are two of the key drivers for our customers, alongside cost reduction. If a business can reduce costs and increase operator efficiency to allow them to carry out more production related functions, rather than test functions, there is a direct correlation with profitability. Our latest testing enhancements deliver productivity benefits, whilst ensuring maximum product quality and brand protection, aligning with the main business focus of many of our customers.”

To find out more about ATS and RT and to calculate your productivity savings from using these new features, visit


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