Equipment Snapshot: Gravity flow (GF) metal detectors are an essential part of the processing of any dry granular or particulate product, and are used in many diverse industries, from food and pharmaceuticals to plastics—wherever dry products are gravity-fed into mixtures. As product falls freely through the metal detector’s inspection zone, the unit detects metal contaminants and the contaminated portion of the product is quickly segregated from the main product flow and removed. METTLER TOLEDO has been for years a global leader in this critical and widely used inspection process.
Now METTLER TOLEDO Safeline has introduced multiple improvements to its GF metal detector line that further increase productivity, enhance brand protection and improve product and process quality while keeping operators safer. These improvements are aimed at making metal detection a smoother, safer, less disruptive process that adds to the profitability of operations.
The four new improvements are the RT (Reduced Test) Mode; the ATS (Automatic Test System; e-Drive technology to increase the detection of smaller and spherical contaminants; and Emulation, which enables the remote monitoring of detector performance using hand-held wireless devices.
RT Mode enables a significant reduction in the frequency of metal detector testing. A company currently testing metal detector function every two hours can extend this to every 12 hours with RT, providing the extended test period is still within the customer's quarantine period for that product. On-board technology continuously analyzes the performance of all critical components within the system to ensure that they are in a good operating condition. This continuous tracking and identification of any elements that may lead to a reduction in system performance eliminates the need for frequent testing throughout production runs. RT Mode identifies any issues that can potentially affect the performance of the metal detector before the system goes out of specification, reducing operator involvement and alerting users.
METTLER TOLEDO developed ATS to keep downtime to an absolute minimum. At the touch of a button, ATS automatically introduces three test pieces into the metal detector's aperture in a controlled manner via a pneumatic system—one ferrous, one non-ferrous and one stainless steel. A four-test sample option is also available, to include testing for aluminum. ATS improves the efficiency and repeatability of performance testing to enhance quality processes.
New eDrive technology drives greater power to the transmit coil of the metal detector, enabling it to detect significantly smaller real life metal contaminants. When fitted with eDrive, Mettler Toledo’s latest throat metal detectors and gravity fall systems also deliver up to 20 percent greater spherical sensitivity. This translates into significantly improved wire length detection capabilities, for enhanced product quality, increased consumer satisfaction and greater brand protection.
The fourth new improvement is Emulation. Using VNC (Virtual Network Computing) technology, Emulation allows operators to mirror the Human Machine Interface (HMI) of one or more Profile metal detectors onto remote networked devices, including mobile phones, tablets and laptops. The customer downloads a free application from the app store and links it directly to the metal detector. This enables quality personnel to log in from any location and remotely monitor the current status of the detector, view any setting changes that have been made, and review access log statistics without having to be directly in front of the metal detector.
Emulation also enables line operators to monitor the performance of metal detectors that are typically located high above production lines, eliminating the need to climb ladders and work at dangerous heights. Safety is a concern of all manufacturers, and this feature has been an especially popular improvement.