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Dual lane checkweigher and twin aperture metal detector doubles down on waste

10 April 2022

Fortress Technology has custom-engineered a twin aperture metal detector and dual lane Raptor checkweigher to offer a space-saving product inspection solution for a dairy company, helping to halve waste. 

Receiving shredded cheese pouches directly from a dual head bagger, the custom-designed solution has unlocked space and cost savings. 

The twin lane conveyor configuration, consolidates a single Fortress metal detector – divided into two apertures and two independent weight verification Raptor checkweighers for optimised quality control. Each technology and lane has its own air blast reject mechanism to isolate metal contaminants and weight rejects, helping to reduce and minimise good product being wasted by over 50%.  Measuring just 3m in length, Fortress also integrated a radius conveyor into the metal detector infeed.

The special dual-lane version of the multi-aperture metal detector comprises a single unit split into two smaller dedicated apertures for each lane that act as independent metal detectors. For optimal metal detection sensitivity the two compact apertures – measuring just 102mm in height by 254mm wide –means that the packs pass individually right through the centre point of the metal detector. 

Fully integrated with the dairy plants’ upstream and downstream equipment and matching the 120-140 ppm output speed of the dual head vertical form fill seal (VFFS) bagging system, the compact geometry of the customised radius conveyor facilitates the positioning and orientation of product packs as they smoothly round the corner towards the metal detector. Providing optimal spacing between product packs as they are presented to each metal detector aperture helps to avoid congestion, bottlenecks and flexible packaging formats overlapping which could lead to sensitive weight verification checks being distorted.

As each lane is programmed to run independently, the design helps to minimise interruption to the packing process during product switchovers or if one lane stops working or requires maintenance. Additionally, the design gives the plant extra inspection and weight verification capacity, as two different product lines, pack sizes or SKUs can be run simultaneously adjacent to each other. 

Air blast nozzles located between the two outfeed conveyors efficiently and independently remove contaminated product into lockable reject bins equipped with reject confirmation and bin full sensors. With heavier products, Fortress would typically suggest using a pusher, drop conveyor or retracting belt mechanism.

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