Mettler-Toledo Safeline Limited, a market leading provider of metal detection systems for vertical packing applications, has launched a series of enhanced features for Profile Throat metal detectors and Gravity Fall systems. These enhancements allow manufacturers to benefit from increased productivity, enhanced brand protection and improved product and process quality. The four elements are aimed at making metal detection a smoother, safer, less disruptive process that adds to the profitability of operations.
Reduced Test (RT) Mode is the first area of improvement. RT enables a significant reduction in the frequency of metal detector testing. For example, a customer who was 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 the product concerned. On-board technology permanently checks the performance of all critical components within the system, analysing them 100% of the time to ensure they are in a state of good health. As the system is able to track and identify any elements that may lead to a reduction in performance there is no need for such frequent testing throughout production runs. Reduced Test Mode will identify any issues that could potentially affect the performance of the metal detector including operator involvement and alert users before the system goes out of specification.
Mike Bradley, Head of Sales at Mettler-Toledo Safeline, commented: “We have a customer in the UK that was testing their “throat” metal detectors every two hours. Now, since applying Reduced Test Mode, they test every 12 hours, which gives them a major productivity benefit. Testing still takes between three and five minutes, but now they only have to do it twice a day. This particular customer has in excess of 24 metal detectors, so the overall savings in time alone were substantial.”
In order to reduce that five minute testing window, the Automatic Test System (ATS) was developed to keep downtime to an absolute minimum. 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 – at the touch of a button. A 4-test sample option is also available, to facilitate testing for aluminium. ATS improves the efficiency and repeatability of performance testing to enhance quality processes.
Mike Bradley continued: “The whole process now takes less than 30 seconds to test the metal detector. It still stops production, but just for 30 seconds as opposed to five minutes. In addition, it only takes one person to run the test, whereas in many existing situations it takes two people. ATS, therefore, provides improvements in productivity and operator efficiency. Operator safety is also significantly enhanced as the ATS reduces the need for operators to work at height to conduct performance monitoring tests, making the whole process virtually risk-free.” He adds: “Food manufacturers who install Safeline’s latest metal detectors for vertical packing applications will experience a lower total cost of ownership, and benefit from improved Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).”
In terms of performance, new eDrive™ technology drives greater power to the transmit coil of the metal detector, enabling it to detect significantly smaller real life metal contaminants. Fitted with eDrive, Mettler-Toledo’s latest throat metal detectors and gravity fall systems deliver up to 20% increased spherical sensitivity. This translates into significantly improved wire length detection capabilities, for enhanced product quality, increased consumer satisfaction and greater brand protection.
The fourth element is called Emulation. Using VNC technology, Emulation allows operators to mirror the Human Machine Interface (HMI) of one or multiple Profile metal detectors onto remote networked devices, including mobile phones, tablets and laptops. The customer downloads a free of charge application from the app store and links it directly to the metal detector. This means quality personnel can log in from an office, for example, 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.
“Often, metal detectors are installed in inaccessible places on the line. By enabling operators to control the device remotely it gives easier access to run performance monitoring sequences or adjust settings for product changeovers if required to improve overall efficiency. Emulation essentially supports a ‘top-floor to shop-floor’ monitoring system that can be connected via Wi-Fi or an existing network. In addition, the ability to access and control the detector remotely means operators no longer have to risk working at height to access the control panel. Safety is a very high priority for our customers and Emulation has been developed with this firmly in mind,” concluded Mike Bradley.
The latest Throat metal detectors and Gravity Fall metal detection systems featuring these four enhancements will on display at Mettler-Toledo’s stand at interpack 2017 (Hall 11, Stand B55). For more information, visit www.mt.com/md-pve-news
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