Meeting the challenge of expanding product ranges

Food & Beverage Industry News discovered Heat and Control is helping to educate the Australian food and beverage industry around the advantages of the CEIA metal detection system.

Food processing is a fiercely competitive market and consumer demand for new and different product varieties just keeps growing. Expanding a product range can present challenges when it comes to choosing the right inspection equipment to cope with a variety of product characteristics.

As the complexity of packaging and processing lines increases — processors are seeking strategic partnerships — to optimise their inspection process and run multiple products through the same lines.

Choosing the right metal detector can be a complex process. Especially when product characteristics such as salt content and temperature variations are involved. This is where it becomes critical to choose the correct model of metal detector — because you need to be sure it will cope with these variations.

Heat and Control packaging and inspection systems manager, Robert Marguccio, said many processors are expanding their product ranges, to remain competitive and/or capture new markets.

“The pandemic saw many processors putting in additional production lines,” said Marguccio.

“Doing so allowed them to pivot their operations and meet demand for new and different products.

“But it’s not just traditional food products that is driving demand. There’s a renewed interest in wellness and many consumers are turning to nutraceutical products.

“As production increases, many operators discover their standard metal detector is no longer able to cope with the variety of products running down their new lines, especially with the addition of a nutraceutical line.”

Choosing the right metal detector is an important choice and should be based on the type of product you intend to run.

But there are high-performance inspection systems – which can successfully manage the variation of products produced and a range of new systems have come to market which are based on cutting-edge multi-spectrum technology.

CEIA is the world’s largest manufacturer of metal detectors — and the only company to make metal detectors using a patented cutting-edge multi-spectrum technology.

Their innovative technology uses multiple frequencies simultaneously — meaning that they can increase sensitivity — reduce false rejects — and detect thin metal fragments.

“The CEIA THS/MS21 is the world’s only multi-spectrum metal detector. It has unique detection capabilities and extreme sensitivity of magnetic, non-magnetic, and even 316 stainless-steel metal contaminants, and is available in a USDA-approved design.

Marguccio said the system is suitable for nearly all variations of food product characteristics — and can detect foreign objects while operating simply, efficiently and at high speed — at the same time, collecting and retaining important production run data.

“Integrated auto-learn functionality allows these metal detectors to be easily set up for new products all the while ensuring high levels of sensitivity,” said Marguccio.

“With minimal manual adjustment, the metal detector can quickly learn the properties of any new product and informs the user on how many passes it needs in order to understand and map the new product.

“MS21 can self-calibrate itself on a continuous basis and logs the result in the data stream confirming the unit is operating at its optimum level.

“If there’s a problem in its calibration, the unit raises an alarm, which can be audible, and visual highlighting that there is a noncompliance.

“This feature not only saves on the possibility of a contaminant escaping detection but more importantly reduces the risk of a potential expensive recall, along with damaging a product’s brand.”

This equipment’s auto learn function outperforms other metal detectors which experience difficulty inspecting non-homogenous products. Inferior, traditional metal detectors commonly trigger ‘false positives’ during metal detection, usually when food composition and mineral levels incorrectly indicate the presence of metal.

This leads to a perfectly good product being rejected and the loss of a profitable, saleable product.

Most currently available metal detectors are only able to use one frequency at any one time. Processors using a limited frequency unit must reduce the unit’s sensitivity to prevent false reject signals caused by salt, moisture content, and other product effect conditions that may produce a signal on the metal detector which is close to the product signal.

As the CEIA multi spectrum technology utilises multiple frequencies at the same time it can understand the product effect better than any other to then allow maximum metal detection performance, and therefore outstanding detection capabilities.

CEIA has also released a new range of high-performance metal detectors which can be used in nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications.

These systems provide extremely high detection sensitivity for contaminating metals – whether ferrous, non-ferrous, or stainless steel – for products such as powders, capsules, tablets, and liquids.

As operations continue to expand past core product ranges, the right equipment is critical to optimising production and ensuring quality control.

Marguccio said finding an equipment supplier with extensive experience, who understands — and can explain the various concepts behind the technology — is the quickest and easiest way to expand your line.”


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