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Metal detectors keep veg moving safely

28 March 2013

Processing up to 9 tonnes of fresh veg for the retail and catering sectors every day, seven days a week, demands the highest level of hygiene and safety.

Express Potato Supply of Weymouth has been doing this for many years and has a range of 25 individual products spanning 10 veg varieties. Some need hand cutting to meet demanding precision and there is always the risk of metal contamination, mainly from broken cutter blades, but also deliveries that may contain pieces of metal.

In a bid to eliminate the risk of product contamination with metal, Express Potato has replaced manual inspection of the processing equipment with automatic metal detectors from S+S Inspection.

Initially, managing director Nigel Lawrence planned to install a single detector through which all production would pass before bagging but this was changed to a metal detector at the end of each processing line to avoid wasted time with product having to wait at the detector.
 
S+S Inspection advised that its GLS Genius+ metal detector head would deliver the best cost/performance ratio and was compact enough to be fitted into the existing conveyor system. In all, S+S metal detectors were to be fitted to four process lines but, as this involved the conveyor being removed by the fabricator, the lines were modified and the GLS detectors installed one at a time to minimise the impact on production. To meet the needs of production, the fabricator recommended by S+S completed each line within only 24 hours from removal to reinstallation. Training and installation and initial set-up of the new equipment were provided by S+S Inspection.

According to Nigel Lawrence, the project, managed by S+S, caused the minimum of lost production and has delivered increased productivity by eliminating the machine downtime necessary for the physical examination of the machinery.  More importantly, the new metal detectors fully meet BRC requirements.


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