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Metal detectors: consider this

04 August 2019

MDS offers advice about some of the features to look out for when considering specifying metal detectors.

Product effect: Single frequency metal detectors may not be able to accommodate much product variation. Three frequency versions allow for the inspection of a greater range of products on the same detector. Multi-spec frequency models can work simultaneously to filter out product signals more efficiently than single frequency ones. As a result, the number of false rejects is reduced.

Auto learn: An efficient auto learn feature will give the best sensitivity and the least number of false rejects with a minimum requirement for manual adjustment. This will provide high reliability to product variation. Initially a programmed number of products are selected and the detector is then able to inspect each individual product and establish the frequency for the product effect conditions.

Environment: Consider the operating environment that the equipment will be required to work in. Some environments require wash down and water intrusion can cause damage to the metal detector. Choose a solution that is IP65 and IP69K wash down rated which will provide reassurance that the metal detector will be able to withstand low and high direct water pressure.

Products and packages to be inspected: The sensitivity of the metal detector will be affected by several factors including:
• The temperature of the product – this can cause a variation in signal even though there is no metal present. Warm bread, for example, will give off a different signal than bread at room temperature.
• Products packaged in foil – A false signal can be triggered due to the packaging material.
• The density of a product – Product density will have an effect on the signal so do take this into account when scanning a variety of products.

Is the detector to be integrated with other equipment? Depending on the metal detector requirements, there may be a need to install more than one machine on a production line. When planning a line, do consider whether there would be sufficient space available to include an additional metal detector if this becomes a requirement.

Warranty: Many metal detection manufactures offer a one-year warranty. Do consider carefully whether this is long enough. Some companies, including MDS, offer two-year warranties on MS21 metal detectors, at no extra cost.

Test samples: Regular testing of the performance of all metal detector sis essential to ensure regulatory compliance needs are adhered to as well as to confirm the safe functioning of the detector. Question your supplier about the variety of test pieces that can be provided to assist with meeting industry and auditing requirements.

Data: How sophisticated are the data gathering capabilities of your chosen metal detector? Does it allow you to connect up multiple detectors? And can it record every event that occurs? Is it able to provide automatic reports in an exportable HTML format?

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