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Loma Systems launches new SureTune metal detector

12 January 2015

High performance IQ3+ ST system offers new Access Log to support CFR21.Part 11, Enhanced Tracker and Intelligent Product Validation system

Continuing to set new benchmarks for food industry inspection, Loma Systems has launched its IQ3+ SureTune (ST) metal detector. This high performance unit is packed with new technologically advanced features, all specially designed to make the company’s flagship IQ3 model fully compliant and best in class. 

Loma’s exciting ST metal detector offers a series of new patented features which have been developed to make it ideal for high speed food manufacturing lines and co-packers. These include a new Access Log to support CFR21.Part 11 user traceability; an Enhanced Tracker to compensate for product variations and AutoBalance to compensate for changing environmental conditions; and an intelligent Product Validation System, which now memorises defined test intervals by product and the individual retailer’s code of practice. 

Even more robust and reliable, this ‘new generation’ model continues to lead the way in tackling key industry challenges and standards, notably food inspection Codes of Practice and user traceability.  Its breakthrough innovations, including a new touch screen display and software upgrades, can be seamlessly retrofitted to existing Loma IQ3 systems on request.  

Intelligently adjusts to environmental variants 
Variations in atmospheric temperature and product moisture remain a common challenge in harsh food environments, especially those handling frozen to thawing foods. These fluctuations can cause a metal detector head to drift, affecting its detection performance and generating false product rejects. Loma has solved this by integrating its patented AutoBalance and Enhanced Tracker technology  into the IQ3+ST. 

“Our AutoBalance technology optimises the metal detector head at each of its 70 frequencies enabling it to retain its stability and detection capability despite changes in environmental conditions. The system can be configured for sub-zero, chiller and ambient food packaging environments.”

Slight changes in atmospheric temperatures also affect food composition during the production and packing process. This can incorrectly result in false detector readings, leading to higher product wastage. 

Enhanced Tracker is a new software feature that reads the average signal, compensating for product fluctuations. David uses frozen products to illustrate this point, although the same principle applies to freshly baked goods that cool as they move along the manufacturing and packing line. “Throughout the day, products can slowly thaw. This affects the molecules, which disperse and start to move around, giving off a bigger signal. Because detectors are programmed to pick up these signals, it could result in a false product rejection, increasing waste. We have created a software solution that intelligently tracks the product signal and reads the average, optimising detection capabilities whilst minimising false product rejects.” 

Supporting CFR21.Part 11 and traceability standards
Data integrity in today’s food processing environment is essential and activities of system operators fully traceable. Above all, manufacturers must be able to demonstrate accountability to retailers. The IQ3+ST comes with an in-built electronic tracking Access Log, providing an accurate audit trail that complies with food traceability standards and supports CFR21.Part 11. 

Simple to use and maintain, everyone who operates or overrides an activity on the IQ3+ST must log in using a personal ID.  The system’s Access Log holds up to 500 events, which can be instantly recalled on request.

Users can now set defined product tests
Until now, regular product testing using test pieces was either on or off, dependent on the product and different retailer’s codes of practice and standards. For manufacturers serving multiple customers, this presents a challenge and can add to operational overheads. Recognising that customers set different test parameters,

Loma has introduced the facility to programme test alerts by product, select the frequency and store in the system’s memory. 

“This is especially beneficial for contract packers running high speed lines and supplying a number of different customers, some of which won’t insist on the same level of test rigour as others,” comments David. “The system now alerts operators when to observe and conduct this test in line with each retailer’s defined code of practice.”

With a large European customer base, Loma has also added more universally recognised icons to the system’s interface, ensuring even simpler ease of use. The IQ3+ ST continues to offer MaxDrive, an enhanced field strength feature to benefit suppliers of dry goods, and a built-in EnviroScan to distinguish and filter external vibrations and electrical interference that can impair detection performance.

For customers seeking to establish a quick and robust food safety process, the IQ3+ ST will be available through Loma’s QuickShip™ programme. This means a food-grade certified system, with all of the latest features, could be installed and fully functional on customer sites within two weeks. 

As with all IQ3 models, the ST benefits from standard IQ3+ features, such as IP69K rating, designed specifically to withstand high pressure cleaning in harsh environments. Constructed using top-quality 304L stainless steel, corrosion risks are reduced, making them the safest choice for food environments. All systems have the capacity to learn the characteristics and variable frequency settings for up to 100 different products and offers unsurpassed levels of contaminate detection in a temperature range of -10ºC to +40ºC (14ºF to 104ºF) and up to 95% humidity.

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