End of Line Detectors
Most of the companys processes involve grinding and blending of ingredients from a number of sources. Although Quali Techs machinery is stainless steel, both ferrous and non-ferrous metals can show up in the ingredients. So a key element of its quality and safety efforts is the metal detectors. Theyre at the end of the line, the last quality check before our product goes into its container, says Hodgens. Above everything else, we measure the success of our metal detectors based on the production of safe product but there are other factors too, like maintenance and sanitation, he adds.
Quali Tech produces hundreds of products on each of its production lines, which handle up to one ton of product per hour. To eliminate possible cross-contamination, workers disassemble and fully sanitize the metal detectors during product changeovers.
Reliability Is Key
We have purchased metal detectors from a number of different manufacturers over the years, says Hodgens. We had issues with some of the designs and one required a lot more maintenance than we had expected. But we also had one from Safeline, purchased in 1995. It was like an island of sanity in all the chaos. Because it gave us no problems, it wasnt top of mind. It took us a while to realize just how reliably it operated.
"Zero Metal Free Zone" Technology
So last year, Quali Tech installed its third metal detector from Safeline. The purchased Gravity FlowHD detects and rejects all tramp metal contamination from dry, free-flowing bulk product lines. The unit features patented Zero Metal Free Zone (ZMFZ) technology, which reduces the length of the in-feed pipe and allows the reject device to be positioned close to the detector without interference or false rejects. The ZMFZ technology minimizes the overall height of the system while maximizing detection sensitivity.
Consistent Reject Mechanism
A cowbell style reject valve, which incorporates high speed pneumatics with a cushioned cylinder, assures accurate removal of contamination while minimizing system leakage. The reject mechanism on the Safeline unit is very quiet and smooth. Its a very good design, explains Hodgens. On most other systems, the reject device uses a lot of force to react quickly. That force translates to noise and vibration, which impacts the ability of the detector to remain stable over time. In contrast, the Safeline system is consistent and reliable. Everybody from maintenance to production to quality assurance knows they dont need to worry about the Safeline metal detector.
Sensitivity and Reliability
Hodgens says he believes the Safeline units offer the best detection sensitivity, as well as maintenance-free reliability and easy sanitation. Typically, there is a trade-off between sensitivity and reliability but not with this equipment. The Safeline metal detectors are very unusual we get a more durable unit that also performs more consistently at high levels.
Quali Tech has been operating its first Safeline metal detector 24 hours a day, five days a week for 12 years. During that time, the company made only one service call request, and that was their own doing a forklift operator ran into the keyboard. Also impressive was the service from Safelines local sales rep firm, Westlake Packaging.