Five Inspection Challenges Overcome with Metal Detection

Food processors face many pressures on their production lines. Maintaining a hygienic production area, adhering to stringent regulations and standards and maximizing uptime are just some of the key challenges in the industry.

Fortunately, innovative inspection technology helps to overcome these challenges so food processors can maximize productivity and ensure they produce the highest quality products to meet retailer and customer requirements.

In this article, we look at five key inspection challenges that food processors face, particularly in the meat, poultry and seafood sector, and how to overcome them using the latest metal detection technology from METTLER TOLEDO. This solution can however, equally apply to other challenging metal detection applications including dairy, bakery, ready meals and pet food inspection.


#1 Reducing Waste

As with most food production companies, meat, poultry and seafood manufacturers are under constant pressure to maximize productivity. One way to do this is to reduce, or better still eliminate, false rejects and unnecessary product waste on their production lines.

Historically metal detectors have struggled to maintain the highest sensitivity levels without suffering from some level of false triggering. This is particularly common on production lines where the product signal can vary due to the different moisture content of each inspected product.

The Profile Advantage metal detector from METTLER TOLEDO significantly reduces the occurrence of false rejects through its patented Multi-Simultaneous Frequency and Product Signal Suppression technology. This innovative technology dramatically reduces the size of the signal created by the product, which in turn means the metal detector can detect up 50 percent smaller irregular-shaped metal contaminants, and more importantly virtually eliminate false rejects.


#2 Maximizing Process Efficiency

In a world where uptime and productivity is key, food manufacturers are looking to equipment suppliers to come up with innovation that addresses both issues. With this in mind, product inspection equipment needs to be operating as effectively as possible in terms of detection capability, whilst minimizing the occurrence of downtime.

The Profile Advantage metal detector is not just designed to detect more and smaller pieces of metal; it is also designed to support customers to maximize production line uptime and improve their overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Here’s how:


  • Intuitive clustering technology means that a single product setting can be used for multiple products, reducing the set-up time during product changeovers.
  • Condition monitoring continuously monitors the metal detector’s performance, providing an early warning of any potential issues so they can be addressed during periods of planned downtime, before potential downtime is incurred.
  • On-board OEE reporting documents the metal detector’s availability, reliability and quality as part of the overall production line performance.

Ensuring manufacturing processes are robust, efficient and streamlined adds value to a business and enables manufacturers to develop the edge over their competition. Profile Advantage metal detectors provide a vital building block to establish improved processes and manufacturing efficiency.


#3 Complying with Food and Operator Safety Standards

In a competitive industry governed by strict standards, regulations and legislation, the stakes for manufacturers are high. Inspection devices sit at the heart of any well-designed production process, and manufacturers need complete peace of mind that they are meeting all compliance requirements.

Globalization of food trade networks has driven the need for international food safety standards such as the Global Red Meat Standard (GRMS). Retailer Codes of Practice, local legislation and trade associations such as the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) add further complexity.

With added regional complexities to food safety standards, it is important that appropriate product inspection equipment be installed across all critical control points. Not only to ensure that all standards are met, but to further reduce product waste.

Whilst ensuring that all products comply with food safety standards, operator safety is equally important. To protect operators during production and support safe maintenance practices, attention must be paid to every detail of the design of the metal detection system. This includes shatterproof round-edge guards, safety valves and guarded in-feed and out-feed rollers that remove the risk of finger traps.

Most modern metal detection systems are designed to comply with globally-recognized and accepted electrical and mechanical worker health and safety standards, and come with a full risk assessment.


#4 Maintaining a Hygienic Production Line

Meat, poultry and seafood manufacturers have to meet stringent hygiene standards to ensure both food safety and food quality. The risk of biological contamination in facilities that process animal proteins can be reduced by using equipment designed to support demanding hygiene procedures.

All METTLER TOLEDO Safeline metal detection systems are designed and constructed for operation in harsh environments, with the metal detectors themselves sealed to IP69K and beyond. However, the metal detector is only part of the story. The product handling system is also extremely important and we design bespoke solutions for customers. Designs often include open angle-iron frame construction, specialist hygienic feet, ultra-hygienic transport belts supplied with sealed edges and welded joints, and belt lifters to allow cleaning to be carried out quickly and more importantly, effectively.


#5 Protecting your Brand

Food contamination can have disastrous consequences for manufacturers. Not only by putting consumers in danger, but also by the impact this can have on their brand and reputation. Manufacturers rely on high performing product inspection equipment to ensure their products are free from contamination and remain consistently safe and of a high quality for consumers. With METTLER TOLEDO Safeline’s Profile Advantage detecting up to 50 percent smaller irregular-shaped metal contaminants than traditional metal detectors, there is only one clear choice for food processing companies with challenging inspection applications.


Calculate your Savings

In addition to help meeting these key challenges, using inspection technology such as the Profile Advantage metal detection system from METTLER TOLEDO, can also provide significant productivity benefits and cost savings. Calculate how much you could save using METTLER TOLEDO’s free ROI calculator:

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