Foreign Body Detectors
Minebea Intec designs and manufactures industrial foreign body detectors and foreign body detection systems for the inspection of food and other products. First and foremost is the protection of humans: Contaminated goods are detected and ejected by the systems; consumer protection is the most important asset here.
Furthermore, machines in production chains are also protected by the detectors: Foreign bodies in the product stream can cause machines to be damaged during further processing. Legal regulations also make the use of such devices mandatory for the plant manufacturer in some cases.
The systems can detect various types of foreign bodies. A distinction is made between metal detectors and X-ray inspection systems. Industrial metal detectors are based on a coil that generates an electromagnetic field in the search tunnel. Each passing product leaves a specific pattern. As soon as deviations are detected, this indicates contamination. Special round coils such as Vistus Freefall detect foreign objects in the falling product stream, such as bulk materials, snack food for example. With the Flexus® Combi, Minebea Intec even offers a combination of checkweigher and metal detector: This gives users maximum quality control in a minimum of space.
What are the areas of application for foreign body detection?
The protection of production facilities, on the other hand, is a typical concern of the chemical industry, Plastics, rubber, recycling and wood industry. In the chemical industry for example, metal detectors are used for the inspection of reprocessed plastics to avoid damage to cost-intensive moulds.
All products contaminated with foreign bodies are reliably discharged from the production or packaging line by our inspection products. This ensures that the final product is not contaminated and minimizes the risk of product recalls. But It is not only consumer protection that plays an important role: production equipment can also be damaged by foreign bodies in the product during further processing. Metal detectors therefore play a doubly important role in production.
The use of X-ray inspection systems in the food industry has increased considerably in recent years. The systems have proven to be a good investment in product safety, integrity and quality. Their ability to detect foreign bodies in products and reliably reject them from the production or packaging line promotes compliance with industry standards such as HACCP, IFS and BRC, protects brand image and helps avoid costly product recalls.
What tasks are detection systems used for?
In addition to consumer protection, foreign body detectors are also used to ensure product quality and integrity. Minebea Intec solutions ensure both consumer and machine protection through maximum detection performance. The products can be found at various points in a production chain and form the critical control points: The devices can be used to inspect loose materials and goods in the incoming goods area in order to eliminate contaminated raw material.
Another important instance is the check of packaged goods before the goods reach despatch. Metal detectors and X-ray inspection equipment ensure product quality here. But X-ray systems such as the Dymond series are not only used for foreign body detection. Standard tasks, which are traditionally attributed to checkweighers, are also performed by modern systems. These include completeness checks, fill level checks, the geometric detection of, for example, cavities or cracks in the product and even the approximate calculation of the product weight.
Which properties of foreign body detectors are important?
The selection of the right foreign body detector depends primarily on the product to be inspected. The following applies to X-ray equipment: the thicker and denser the product, the more X-ray energy is required. The contrast and ultimately the sensitivity of the system must be kept in mind according to the customer's requirements. Flexibility results from different detector resolutions: This influences the minimum foreign body size that can be detected by the system.
The sensitivity of a metal detection coil, on the other hand, depends essentially on its operating frequency and the conductivity of the product (product effect). For production lines with different products and product effects, the use of devices with multi-frequency technology such as the Vistus series is recommended. For many customers, the dimensions of the search coil are also important: in many production plants, for example, there is limited space; here, compact devices such as the Vistus fit the bill with it‘s compact dimensions and consistently good detection results. If you need more information about metal detection and X-ray inspection systems, we recommend our whitepapers.
How the right technologies can provide effective protection against recalls to the food industry
Any recall of food products from the retail trade represents a threat to the manufacturer's reputation and poses a risk of considerable economic damages