Metal detectable (MD) volta belts for the food industry

Consumer safety has become a prominent issue in recent years due to heightened public awareness, increasingly stringent legal regulations, and the challenging responsibility of managing an automated food processing line. The ever-changing demands and pressures for superior food safety are driven internally by managers along with external pressures from consumers, industry regulators, and global associations.

Often called “farm to fork”, the path from raw food to a finished and packaged product is one that has hazardous contact points. Before consumers have their food on their tables, that food has come into contact with harvesting equipment, slaughterhouses, freezers, cold storages, a wide array of transportation means, and various processing machinery. Although most contaminants (much of which is ferrous) are removed in early processing stages, trace contaminants can still remain in foods. Thus, metal detection is often used as a last line of defence in most processing facilities.

Food routinely makes contact with conveyor belting and with the widespread use of fragile modular belting, concerns arise over plastic contaminants being deposited into the flow of food due to wear and tear. Volta firmly stands behind the safety and stability of all Volta food grade belts as a solution for alternative inferior belting types. Our ultimate goal is to eliminate any concerns and fears held by processors and consumers regarding food safety.

Metal detectable plastic is an important necessity to all types of food processors. Many would never consider allowing pens, electric ties, and plasters within the hygienic zone if they were not detectable.

While Volta Belting’s materials are resistant to cuts and breakage, food grade metal detectable belts have been developed to meet high demands and to give quality assurance and production teams the confidence in knowing that their products will meet the strictest food safety requirements.

Detectability is determined by contaminant type, size, the size of the detector’s aperture, the orientation of the detectable material, and the frequency at which the detector is calibrated. Small particles may pass undetected if the food product has a similar phase angle to the contaminant (dry and moist products produce different signals), or if the particle passes through the center of a sufficiently large detector.

APEX Upgrade extends metal detector capabilities for food industry

A cost-effective way to extend life and improve functionality for select Thermo Scientific metal detector platforms is now available via the Thermo Scientific APEX Upgrade.

Thousands of units based on the DSP3 architecture currently installed in food and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities worldwide now can be upgraded to APEX electronics and software in a few short hours for less than the cost of a new metal detector.

On-site or factory installation of the APEX Upgrade by a Thermo Fisher Scientific field service professional can help processors meet new, more stringent quality standards with the ability to detect smaller diameter metal contaminants. In addition, the improved sensitivity reduces rework and scrap caused by occasional false rejects. Maintenance and training also can be simplified via a common user interface if the plant has both APEX and DSP3 platform metal detectors.

Thermo Fisher designed the APEX metal detector upgrade to eliminate the need for setup adjustments by employing Thermo Scientific Intellitrack XR (IXR) software. Intellitrack features a signal processing approach that addresses the unique challenges of detecting smaller diameter metals in products that higher product effect. This occurs when a product has a conductive property, which affects the magnetic field generated by the metal detector. This is typically found in high salt, high moisture product environments.

The new streamlined, design simplifies installation and improves reliability.  Thermo Fisher designed the food-grade ABS control panel to easily handle shock, vibration, water and various cleaning solutions.  An innovative, touch-panel keypad has no moving parts which improves long-term reliability.

”We wanted to provide processors with a cost-effective way to enhance the life of their older Thermo Scientific metal detectors by providing a quick path to enhanced functionality.  We believe the APEX Upgrade capability does just that,” said Bob Ries, lead product manager, metal detection and X-ray inspection, Thermo Fisher Scientific. 

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