The Best Food Metal Detectors For Nutraceuticals

Food grade metal detection is an importantinspection tool that can be used in the nutraceuticals industryto identify metallic impurities in nutraceuticals. Nutraceuticals are products derived from food sources that offer additional health benefits beyond basic nutritional value. The term “nutraceutical” is a combination of “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical,” coined to describe substances that are not necessarily nutrients (like vitamins and minerals) but may have a beneficial impact on health, prevent chronic diseases, or contribute to the body’s normal functioning. The implementation of nutraceuticals into the food industry can be observed in functional foods, dietary supplements, and health & wellness products.

However, some stages of the manufacturing process can introduce risks of contamination, whether from human mishandling or mechanical faults. A metal detector for food manufacturing can inspect for metal debris concealed within food items, and intercept it before it reaches consumers.

Food grade metal detectors are crucial for safeguarding against both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, such as aluminium and stainless steel. Metal detectors can also serve to protect processing equipment during the production process. Even the smallest metallic particles can cause machinery to malfunction or break-down, leading to costly repairs and operational downtime.

Thankfully, in-line metal detectors can be integrated at various points along the production line and are adaptable to numerous applications. You can browse A&D’s range of food metal detectors here, or scroll down to learn more about how inspection systems can assist your business.

Where Along My Production Line Do I Place My Metal Detectors?

Metal detectors can be integrated at various stages of the production process. It is recommended to conduct product inspections at critical control points or in areas of higher contamination risk, to identify any machinery malfunctions, as well as conducting a final check before the finished product is shipped.

Usually there are three strategic locations for placing metal detectors in a production line:

Start of the Line: Installing a metal detector at the beginning of the line helps protect processing equipment from damage by metal objects such as tags, knife blades, or twist ties. However, relying solely on this initial checkpoint could allow for contamination to occur later in the production process.

End of the Line: Many facilities prefer this placement as a final safeguard before products leave the manufacturing plant and are dispatched to customers. This placement is effective provided the final product is not overly large or dense, which could reduce the metal detector’s sensitivity.

Various Critical Points in the Line: Metal detectors can also be positioned at designated critical control points along the production line to both protect machinery and ensure product safety. The specific locations for these detectors will depend on the plant’s unique operational setup.

What Are the Different Types of Metal Contaminants?

Metals are categorised as either ferrous, nonferrous, or stainless steel. The detectability of these metals depends on their magnetic permeability and electrical conductivity.

  • Ferrous: Ferrous metals, which contain high levels of iron, are both magnetic and conductive. This makes them readily detectable by standard metal detectors.
  • Non-Ferrous: Non-ferrous metals, which do not contain any appreciable amounts of iron, are non-magnetic but are still conductive, which means they can easily be detected with the right correctly installed metal detectors.
  • Stainless Steel: Although it’s considered a ferrous metal, stainless steel is high in chromium. As it’s neither magnetic or conductive, stainless steel can be the hardest of the three metal types to detect, especially if it’s gotten into a product that contains water or if the product has high salt content.

Factors That Lead To False Detections

There are two primary factors that can cause false positives in metal detection: environmental and product-related factors.

Environmental Factors: Metal detectors can sometimes be positioned nearother electromechanical machinery which can significantly increase the likelihood of electromagnetic interference across various frequencies. This interference may disrupt the electromagnetic field of the balanced coils found in single-frequency or multi-frequency metal detectors, resulting in false detections.

Product Factors: Certain product ingredients such as salt, iron, and moisture can affect the detector’s electromagnetic field and potentially trigger false alarms. This issue becomes more pronounced at higher inspection frequencies, which are generally used to identify smaller particles. Consequently, this can lead to substantial product rejections and operational downtime. In the context of nutraceuticals, the probability of false positives is higher due to specialised packaging and the presence of metallic and conductive additives in many supplements.

Measuring Metal Detector Sensitivity in the Food Industry

The spectrum of metal detector sensitivity comes with its own quantifiable metrics. Metal detector sensitivity is commonly measured in millimetres (mm), which indicates the smallest size of a metal sphere that the detector can reliably identify.

In Australia and New Zealand, the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Code provides the guide for metal detection standards for the food processing industry.

Key Requirements For Metal Detection in the Nutraceuticals & Pharmaceutical Industries

In order to make sure your food grade metal detector is running at an optimal level, make sure you’re adhering to the following core requirements:

  • Regulatory Compliance: Regulatory compliance ensures that metal detection systems meet specific industry standards such as HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) for food safety management and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) for consistent quality across various industries.
  • Sensitivity & Detection Limits:Understand what your detector is capable of consistently identifying in terms of the smallest possible metal contaminant. This is important for eliminating foreign metallic particles from products.
  • Product & Packaging Variability: Consider how different types of products and packaging materials may influence the metal detector’s response and its effectiveness in identifying contaminants.
  • Integration with Production Lines: Take the time and necessary steps needed to correctly integrate your metal detectors into your existing production lines without disrupting workflow or reducing efficiency. Ensure all nearby machinery are not interfering with the electromagnetic fields of the metal detector.
  • Validation & Calibration: This means making regular routine checks and adjustments so as to ensure that metal detectors operate correctly and maintain accuracy over time.
  • Data Logging & Reporting: This involves the systematic recording and analysis of detection data to track performance, identify trends, and maintain compliance with regulatory standards. A lot of modern metal detectors have data capture recording capabilities, so it’s best to discuss this feature with your system supplier prior to purchasing.

Why A&D’s Metal Detectors Are Best for You

A&D’s modular in-line metal detectors can effortlessly identify ferrous, non-ferrous, and stainless steel contaminants, while providing you with quality data capture capabilities to support your quality assurance reporting.

The AD-4976 Series Metal Detectors, rated with IP66 (SUS304), are well suited for the food and beverage industry as well as the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical sectors. Offering outstanding levels of high sensitivity, this series also boasts an intuitive interface, consistent repeatability, and automated monitoring capabilities.

Food metal detectors have different aperture sizes to accommodate a variety of product sizes, shapes, and packaging types.

Metal Detector AD-4976 450/250 Aperture

This large aperture is ideal for scanning bulkier or larger packaged products. It can accommodate larger boxes, bigger bags of food products like cereals, grains, or large blocks of cheese and meat.

Metal Detector AD-4976 350/250 Aperture

This aperture is slightly narrower than the 450mm width, making it suitable for medium-sized packages such as mid-sized bags or boxes of food products, smaller trays of prepared meals, or medium blocks of food products. It’s a versatile size that balances sensitivity and the ability to accommodate a wide range of product sizes.

Metal Detector AD4976350/100 Aperture

This model is well-suited to smaller food packages where the product packaging does not exceed the maximum pass height of 80mm.

This series is IP66 dust and water-resistant, and features a hygienic design that allows for the entire system to be gently washed cleanly. It can integrate into HACCP programs and offers an automatic sensitivity setting function. The 7-inch colour touch panel ensures easy operation, while the variable belt speed can be adjusted from 10-50m/min. With standard Ethernet I/O, the system can easily connect to a network via LAN. It includes an inspection history function that can store up to 100 inspection results in internal memory, with the option to expand capacity using USB memory.

Conclusion:

Metal detection inspection is a critical safety measurefor the nutraceuticals industry, designed to detect metallic contaminantsin food products. As metal particles and other similar foreign materials can inadvertently enter food products during production, food grade metal detectors act as a strong line of defence against food contamination that may result in expensive recalls and fines.

A&D’s in-line metal detectors can integrate smoothly into your production line with checkweighers and rejectors. Whether your application is in the food and beverage sector, pharmaceuticals, plastics, packaging, or other industries, A&D Inspection is dedicated to assisting you in delivering the highest quality products to your customers.

You can browse A&D food metal detectors here, or head over to our homepage to check out our other products and services. Got a question? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here, and our friendly staff will help you find what you’re looking for.

X-Ray Inspection vs. Traditional Methods – A Safety Comparison in Food Processing

A&D’s top of the line food inspection systems provide food packaging and pharmaceutical manufacturers with the modern technology they need to better oversee their food safety inspection procedures, thereby significantly enhancing the quality of their products and the satisfaction of their customers.

Utilising state of the art X-ray technology, food inspection has never been so thorough. Consistently reliable food X-rays will bolster your company’s productivity, reliability, and serviceability, thereby helping your organisation safeguard its brand image. Consequently, X-Ray food inspection enhancements create a foundation for future growth and expansion.

A&D is dedicated to offering the high quality contaminant detection systems to support your organisation’s food safety programs, ensuring the protection of your brand image and enhancing your company’s prospects for future success. Scroll on to read everything you need to know about the innovative world of A&D’s cutting edge food inspection technology.

Food Inspection Systems are More Important Than Ever

Over the past years, the prevailing connection between brand recognition and food safety programs has only grown stronger in the food and packaging industries. In today’s market, consumers and retailers are well-informed and prioritise the purchase of high-quality products. Any contamination issue can significantly impact a brand’s image, potentially affecting the long-term success of a business. To prevent contamination, effective food inspection systems require modern technology, as well as a company that’s devoted to using it.

Investing in X-ray inspection is critical for three main reasons:

  • It provides businesses with more dynamic inspection performance, instilling greater confidence in achieving compliance.
  • X-ray systems offer technical and marketing advantages over metal detection by detecting non-metallic contaminants.
  • Operational advantages deliver maximum inspection performance at high line speeds, emphasising reliability and online simplicity.

In short, ensuring the safety of food processing is essential to safeguarding public health. This is because food inspection methods play a pivotal role in providing a systematic and rigorous approach to identifying and mitigating potential hazards throughout the production process. From a corporate standpoint, it also safeguards your brand against poor reputation and/or potential litigation.

Read more detail on – An Ultimate Guide Choosing a Complete X-ray Inspection

Traditional Methods in Food Inspection

Traditional methods such as visual inspection, metal detectors, and manual sorting have long been relied upon in the food processing industry to ensure product safety. Visual inspection involves human operators visually assessing the quality and safety of products, relying on sight and touch. While this method is intuitive, its effectiveness is influenced by human factors, and it may be less consistent compared to automated systems.

Metal detectors are commonly used to identify metallic contaminants in food products. While effective in detecting metal, they can sometimes have limitations in detecting non-metallic contaminants, such as certain plastics or glass. Additionally, metal detectors may not pinpoint the exact location of the contamination, making it challenging to isolate and address the issue effectively.

Manual sorting, where workers manually inspect and remove defective or contaminated items, is another traditional method. This approach heavily relies on the attentiveness and efficiency of human operators. However, this can be labour-intensive, time-consuming, and may not be as precise as automated systems, leading to the possibility of oversight.

Despite their historical significance, these conventional approaches present inherent limitations and potential safety gaps. Human subjectivity and variability in visual inspection, the narrow focus of metal detectors, and the manual labour-intensive nature of sorting processes may compromise the overall effectiveness of these methods. As the food industry evolves, there is a growing need for advanced inspection technologies to address these limitations and enhance the safety and quality assurance processes in food processing. In contrast to these more traditional methods, X-ray food inspection has emerged to offer a more advanced technology to help companies ensure the safety and quality of their food products. Food X-ray inspection systems offer a comprehensive solution by detecting a wide range of contaminants, including metals, plastics, stones, and other foreign materials, irrespective of their composition. These systems provide a level of precision and versatility that surpasses the limitations of visual inspection, metal detectors, and manual sorting. With the ability to identify both metallic and non-metallic contaminants and pinpoint their exact location, X-ray food inspection has become an indispensable tool in modern food processing, providing enhanced safety, regulatory compliance, and consumer confidence in the integrity of the food supply chain.

Ensuring Consumer Safety: How X-Ray Inspection System Enhances Food Quality

Tighter regulations in the realm of food safety serve as a collective benefit, aiming to shield consumers from potential health hazards, uphold the reputations of retail outlets, and prevent manufacturers from distributing contaminated products that could lead to costly repercussions such as lawsuits, recalls, or even operational shutdowns. Distinguishing itself from other screening processes, X-ray inspection stands out as a superior method for identifying physical contaminants; while metal represents a primary source of physical contamination that is easily caught by metal detectors, there is, regrettably, a myriad of other hazards – such as rubber, bone, wood, stone, plastic, and glass – that can find their way into food. As such, the indispensability of X-ray inspection in ensuring food safety is becoming more evident for food manufacturers all over the world. While not every manufacturer may need to invest in sophisticated X-ray technology, ongoing technological advancements in this field ensure that staying at the forefront of food safety remains an attainable goal for those who do.

Key Safety Parameters in Food Inspection

Food safety inspections are conducted to ensure compliance with the food safety standards set by regulatory authorities. A thorough food inspection will typically emcompass;

  • Conducting physical inspections
  • Reviewing records
  • Identifying violations
  • Addressing potential hazards

Some of the key safety parameters that must be noted during a rigorous food inspection include;

Overall Cleanliness and Hygiene: To prevent the spread of harmful microorganisms and avoid contamination and foodborne illnesses, maintaining cleanliness and adhering to proper hygiene practices is of utmost importance.

Storage of Raw and Cooked Ingredients: Uncooked food, including meat, poultry, and raw vegetables, can carry harmful pathogens. To prevent the transfer of pathogens to the general public, it is imperative to keep uncooked ingredients separate from cooked ones.

Thorough Cooking: Thorough cooking stands as one of the pivotal aspects of food safety inspections, and food must be cooked at a required temperature in order to kill harmful microorganisms, particularly when preparing large quantities.

Maintaining Optimum Temperature: Similarly, in order to ensure safety, food must be stored at the correct temperatures in order to prevent the proliferation of harmful microbes.

Correct Implementation of Water: Water, including ice cubes, may harbour harmful chemicals and microorganisms, and as such, it is essential to store and use it properly so as to correctly mitigate potential contamination risks.

Where to Find the High Quality Food Safety Inspection Machine

At A&D, our commitment lies in adopting a consultative approach to assist you in choosing the technology and configuration tailored to your brand and required applications. Our high quality food inspection systems are equipped with the leading edge technology that your business needs to enhance your food safety inspection procedures, elevate the quality of your products, and guarantee heightened customer satisfaction. You can also browse our many other products via the A&D website. Do you need help finding something specific? Don’t be afraid to contact us via the A&D contact us page, so that one of our friendly staff members can assist you directly.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of 100% Product Inspection?

What is 100% Product Inspection?

100% product inspection is a comprehensive quality control process where typically every product in a production batch is thoroughly assessed to ensure every single product item is in adherence to predefined standards. A&D’s in-line automated inspection systems can assess every product at various production stages before it departs from the warehouse.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of 100% Product Inspection

This systematic approach helps to identify and correct defects, deviations, or inconsistencies whilst at the factory stage to prevent substandard products from reaching the market and customers.

A&D product inspection systems inspects every product in the production line, ensuring that both your products and production line operate at the highest possible quality standards.

Why is 100% Product Inspection important?

With rising market standards and consumer expectations, manufacturers and packers must constantly contend with the challenge of improving product consistency without compromising safety standards or competitive pricing. As such, enhancing your brand and boosting ROI go hand in hand. Implementing a 100% product inspection is essential if you want to form a foundation of quality assurance, and to prevent the intrusion of defected and substandard items into the market, which in turn boosts customer satisfaction and builds trust in the brand.

100% product inspection helps your company’s compliance with industry regulations, thereby mitigating the risks of legal issues and ensuring that all products align with safety standards. Early identification and resolution of issues will enhance operational efficiency, contribute to cost savings, and provide a competitive quality advantage in the market.

Additionally, through analysis of the captured inspection data, companies can explore and investigate innovative opportunities in production, which may lead to improvements in your overall supply chain, thus bolstering your overall brand integrity.

Advantages of 100% Product Inspection

The advantage of 100% product inspection is underscored across industries, not only as a crucial aspect of quality control, but also in some cases as a legal necessity, particularly in sectors where meticulous reporting and analysis are imperative for meeting safety standards in Australia.

The incorporation of automated inspection systems into your operations can yield multifaceted benefits for your company, ranging from elevated quality control, error detection and prevention, data capture, increased operational efficiency, streamlined processes, and optimised workforce allocation.

Real-time monitoring of production trends facilitated by data capture enables the swift identification of deviations or adherence to standards, while also ensuring compliance with supermarket protocols that mandate the implementation of comprehensive inspections to meet regulatory requirements.

The 100% product inspection process is advantageous in complying with government and retail regulations whilst elevating quality control, preventing mistakes, increasing production speed and efficiency, improving data capture and analysis, and optimising overall workforce productivity.

Disadvantages of 100% Product Inspection

Ensuring quality protection is paramount through all stages of production from raw ingredients through to finished consumer products. The scrutiny of each product and component during a 100% inspection consumes considerable time, and demands substantial resources. The expenses associated with initiating and sustaining comprehensive inspection practices can be steep, creating hurdles for a number of businesses to rationalise such investments.

The common alternative is to use the process that was ubiquitous before the advent of automated systems – sample testing. With sample testing, manufacturers typically extract 5%-10% of the product from the production line and manually inspect it.

However, this method is extremely labour-intensive, and poses a risk to the company as more than 90% of the product remains uninspected, which may leave your company open to risks and hefty government fines should any of the products fall below safety standards. As such, sample testing is not really a viable foolproof alternative.

Although it is understandable for a new or struggling business to avoid a 100% production inspection due to high investment costs, it is strongly advised that a company implements it whenever feasible. This measure is crucial not only for ensuring compliance with government regulations but also for guaranteeing consumer safety. Our customers have affirmed that the 100% inspection at different production stages not only saves their line employees time and minimises errors, but also results in reduced charge backs, fees, lawsuits, and expensive recalls.

When Should You Conduct a 100% Product Inspection?

Conducting a 100% product inspection is crucial at various key points in the production process to ensure optimal quality and compliance. It’s recommended that it begins with inspecting the incoming raw materials in order to guarantee that they meet established standards. Throughout manufacturing, we can then implement inspections at various stages to detect and rectify defects before they progress. Once packaged, we can conduct a final inspection to verify compliance with all quality standards before distribution.

Why Choose A&D Inspection?

With over four decades of experience in technological innovation and knowhow of precise measurement and control products, A&D Inspection provides tailored quality assurance at critical control points for diverse manufacturing industries. Our inspection systems have become integral for numerous companies across industries with Australia as well as all over the world. Our checkweighers, metal detectors, and X-ray systems are versatile, suitable for various industries, including those involving direct food contact or challenging environments.

A&D’s unwavering commitment to precision has positioned us as leaders in delivering innovative solutions worldwide. We prioritise accuracy and reliability in every facet of our products and services. You can find out more about A&D 100% Product Inspections here, and if you would like to make an inquiry about implementing product inspection for your business, you can request an expert’s opinion here.

A&D’s intelligent inspection technologies continually help manufacturers enhance and manage the quality and consistency of their production lines. A&D Inspection’s product range includes checkweighers, metal detectors, X-rays, dropdown rejectors, pusher rejectors, flipper rejectors, air jet rejectors, carton checking machines, and much more. You can browse the full range of A&D products here. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly, by hitting us up on the A&D Contact Us page.

Your Guide To Checkweighers and Checkweighing

What is a checkweigher?

Are you looking for a consistent and reliable way to weigh your products? Checkweighers are automated machines that have been designed to ensure that products are weighed with both efficiency and precision. As such, checkweighers have become common sight additions in modern food manufacturing and packaging lines. Not only can checkweighers reduce the risk of underfill or overfill, but controlled inspection can also flag any quality and safety issues. Delivering consistent quality products is essential to protect your brand and your bottom line, and modern checkweighers have become a valuable investment for companies looking to improve their manufacturing and packaging operations.

There are different types of checkweighers, and while all of them serve the same primary function (ie. weighing products), some differ in terms of methodology and design. One of the more popular designs used in manufacturing environments is the checkweigher conveyor, a design that consists of a static conveyor belt, a load cell, and a digital display. Products can be manually placed on the weighing module, and the checkweigher will then measure the weight of each product as it is passed over the load cell.

An in-line checkweigher is the term used to refer to a checkweigher that has been integrated into a production line. As products automatically move along the conveyor belt, the in-line checkweigher uses various sensors to detect, measure and sort the product based on the packed-size weight. The in-line checkweigher compares the weight of each product to a pre-set target weight range to ensure the weight of a packaged product matches the weight printed in the label. If the product falls outside of this range, it is sorted or rejected from the production line. Checkweighers can also be programmed to reject products that are outside of acceptable weight ranges or that have other quality defects or safety issues.

What products can you inspect on a checkweigher?

Checkweighers are used in a wide variety of industries and have become a significant tool in ensuring that products are weighed and inspected accurately to meet your specified limits. They help companies comply with regulations and improve product quality and traceability. Here are just some of the many industries where checkweighers are ubiquitous…

Food Industry –

Checkweighers are widely used in the food and beverage industry to guarantee that packaged consumer foods meet the required weight standards set by government regulations. Manufacturers must ensure that their products are at the correct weight, and checkweighers play a critical role in achieving this.

Construction Industry:

Checkweighers are used to weigh materials such as cement, sand, and gravel to ensure that they meet the specified weight and quality standards.

Logistics & Distribution Centres –

Checkweighers are used to weigh packages and parcels to ensure that they are within the specified weight range for shipping and distribution.

Agriculture & Farming – Checkweighers are used to weigh harvested crops to ensure that they meet the weight specifications and are priced accordingly.

The Waste Management Industry – Checkweighers are used to weigh waste materials such as scrap metal, paper, and plastics to determine the pricing for recycling and disposal.

The Pharmaceutical Industry – Checkweighers are employed across the pharmaceutical industry to verify the correct dosages of medications, a function that can literally be the difference between life and death when it comes to assessing individual tablets and capsules and rejecting those that do not meet the acceptable weight range.

The Chemical Industry – Checkweighers are used to weigh chemicals and other raw materials to ensure accuracy across the manufacturing process.

The Cosmetics Industry – Checkweighers are used to weigh various cosmetic products such as lotions, creams, and makeup to ensure that they meet the specified weight standards.

How does checkweighing improve a production line?

There are many advantages with adding Checkweighers into your manufacturing process. The use of checkweighers can help with quality control, product uniformity, finding missing components or foreign objects, boost cost savings as well as enhancing overall productivity.

One of the key benefits of checkweighing is reducing product giveaway, ie. the amount of product that exceeds the stated weight limit due to overfilling or variation in product density. While this may sound like a small thing, it can translate into significant volume and cost savings for manufacturers, especially in industries such as food and beverage where the cost of raw materials is particularly high and margins are very tight. By accurately weighing each product and rejecting any that are outside the specified weight range, checkweighers can significantly reduce the amount of product giveaway, which can save manufacturers’ bottom line and resources.

Checkweighing can also help manufacturers ensure compliance with regulatory standards, such as weight and measurement regulations, as well as quality control standards such as HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices). Non-compliance with these regulations may incur pricy fines and legal penalties, as well as reputational damage. Checkweighers can help manufacturers circumvent such risks by providing accurate and reliable weighing data, guaranteeing that the products meet the required specifications and standards.

The return on investment (ROI) for checkweighing equipment can be considerable. In addition to the direct cost savings from reducing product giveaway and avoiding potential fines for non-compliance, checkweighers can also provide valuable data insights that can help you reduce waste, optimise your production processes, and improve the overall quality of your products.

Checkweighers can also prove instrumental in improving a company’s sustainability efforts by reducing the amount of waste product and materials.

The range of checkweighers offered by A&D Inspection

A&D Inspection offers a variety of inspection systems that have been designed to meet the needs of various Australian manufacturing and packaging companies. Our in motion checkweighers as well as static checkweighers are designed to deliver consistent quality to protect your brand and your bottom line.

Check weighing

Accelerate your productivity with the highly-efficient A&D Intelligent 2kg Checkweigher. This in motion checkweigher has been specially designed to weigh, classify and segregate products based on weight, and is versatile with its dual range capacity and high repeatability. This A&D checkweigher can also help evaluate trends with the stored data accumulation, and its unique modular structure and design allows for simple in-line integration or relocation in the production line.

Check Weighing

If you’re after a freestanding gravity system be incorporated into a new or existing work station, you may want to look at something like the EZI-Check Carton Checking System, a freestanding gravity roller checkweigher with fast stabilisation, that can accurately check cartons for missing or damaged products.

All A&D Inspection checkweighers are built to meet Australia’s high safety standards, and are constructed using quality materials to ensure compliance with food safety regulations. You can view our in-line checkweigher range here.

The Final Word

Checkweighers play a critical role in improving the efficacy, quality control, and compliance of manufacturing and packing industries. Checkweighers can provide a considerable ROI, making them a valuable investment for manufacturers looking to boost their profits. If you’re ready to optimise your company’s productivity with a checkweigher, you can get in touch with our friendly staff here or you can explore the range of in-line checkweighers here.

The Importance of Metal Detection in Preventing Food Contamination

Food Safety is a crucial concern for consumers and food manufacturers today. Australian food standards and regulations are world class, and most food manufacturers do everything possible to avoid all types of contamination to produce safe products for sale.

Occasionally however, food contamination can occur whether it be biological, chemical, allergenic or physical. In terms of physical contamination in the food production, metal is one of the most commonly found contaminant materials. 

Metal can be introduced at different stages of production, as it is heavily used in food processing machinery, handling equipment as well as supplementary tools and utensils.

Why is Metal Detection Crucial for the Food & Beverage Industry?

There are three main types of metallic contaminants that a food metal detector can sense: Ferrous (mild steel / cast iron), non-ferrous (lead / copper / aluminum), and stainless steel. All these metals have distinct magnetic conductive properties and can be detected to varying degrees using metal detectors.

Ferrous metals containing iron are generally the easiest to detect because of their strong magnetic properties. Conversely, non-ferrous metals which lack iron are not magnetic but they still have high conductive properties, making them fairly easy to detect as well.

The presence of stainless steel in food is usually the most challenging to detect as it is non-magnetic and has poor conductivity.

Environmental and product conditions such as moisture and high salinity can also interfere with a metal detector’s ability to effectively detect contaminants.

metal detection equipment

With the right metal detection equipment, food manufacturers can ensure the safety and integrity of a wide range of food products, by detecting foreign metal contaminants during the production phase, and ensure that these contaminants are removed well before it gets to the supermarket shelves.

Installing food metal detectors at vulnerable points in the food processing stages can help eliminate even the smallest metal contaminants in products.The use of Metal Detectors also guarantees the regulatory food safety compliance legislation set by FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) is met.

Compliance with the FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand)

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is a statutory authority in the Australian Government that regulates and develops various food standard protocols. They strongly suggest using a range of inspection equipment for all Australian-based food processing industries to eliminate foreign contamination in food items.

Explore Our Range of Food Metal Detectors

A&D is one of the leading food inspection equipment manufacturers in the world that produces and supplies superior, quality food safety processing equipment. Over many years, A&D has managed to develop modern, intuitive, and innovative food-grade quality systems that provide effective in-line food inspection.

With a wide range of inspection products, from X-ray machines, check weighers, metal detectors and data capture. A&D is one of Australia’s principal suppliers of food safety inspection equipment.

Here is our range of A&D Inspection metal detectors:

1.  Metal Detector AD-4976

A&D Metal Detector -  AD-4976

Source: A&D Inspection

Manufactured with modern touch-screen technology, this metal detector is one of the premium machines in its group. Ideal for production facilities with risk of metal contamination, A&D Inspection’s industrial grade in-line metal detection system can detect most ferrous, non-ferrous, stainless steel contaminants whilst also minimizing false rejects.
Our modular intelligent design coupled with our stainless steel construction and wash down rating, allows for easy maintenance and sanitary cleaning.

Key Features

  • Automatic sensitivity setting function.
  • IP66 Rating for protection from dust and water.
  • Variable belt speed of 10-50m/min.
  • Inspection history function with a record of 100 inspection results.
  • 7-inch colour touch panel for easy operations.

Designed to generate maximum output, this highly productive metal detector is ideal for ensuring safety for the food and beverage industry. It comprises an in-line metal detection system that can identify most metal contaminants and provide safety for your food. The machine has a modular intelligent design with extremely low maintenance needs, making it perfect for the food and beverage industry.

Key Features

  • Standard Ethernet I/O allowing easy networking via LAN.
  • Variable belt speed of 10-50m/min.
  • 100 Inspection history results in internal memory.
  • Ability to increase memory with a USB stick.
  • Suitable for the HACCP program.

2.  Metal Detector 4971

A&D Metal Detector -  AD-4971

Source: A&D Inspection

Safety and reliability are top priority in A&D’s line of metal detectors, whether you integrate them with a checkweigher or are looking for a stand-alone system.  The A&D Metal Detector can be tailored for your application, and the variable frequencies can detect the finest particles of ferrous and non-ferrous contaminants while eliminating false rejects and reducing costs. This model is suitable for packages that do not exceed 80mm in overall height.

Key Features

  • Standard QA reporting available.
  • IP65 standard protection from dust and water.
  • Detachable conveyor belt for easy cleaning and maintenance.
  • Inspection history function with a storage capacity of 100 results.
  • Easy operation with a 7-inch touch screen.

Do you Need to Invest in a Metal Detector?

Metal detectors are integral to QA procedures in today’s food manufacturing industry. Metal detectors ensure that your food plant is manufacturing consistent, quality foods for consumers and following the guidelines set out by FSANZ and Australian supermarket giants (Coles, Woolworths, Costco, Aldi etc).

Metal detectors can significantly improve the detection levels of metal contaminants, and their automated nature provides greater efficiency for your production workflows. In addition, operators can easily generate QA (Quality Assurance) reports that help with measuring and documenting the quality standards of the finished goods.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it worth buying a metal detector?

Prior to automated systems, many manufacturers frequently employed ‘sample testing’ to detect abnormalities, and they underestimated the effectiveness and efficiency of employing a metal detector in their factories.

Sample testing can be labour intensive and expose the company to greater risk compared to automated systems as only a subset of products are inspected.

Metal Detectors provide an effective measure to safeguard their food from unwanted contaminants, provide brand protection, and reduces the risk of expensive recalls or potential lawsuits.

2. Is metal detection a preventive control?

Metal Detectors are used to validate a product is free from metal contaminants, including ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Metal detection can be considered a preventive control to protect your food items against these undesired contaminants.

Food processing equipment can be vulnerable to aging, deterioration due to chemical reactions with cleaning products, and other environmental materials. Hence, a metal detector becomes a great preventive control.

3. Should manufacturers consider running product tests prior to selecting the right metal detector?

It is essential that product testing is carried out prior to any purchase to determine the product effect, and the ability of the particular metal detector being able to detect metal contaminants effectively.

Conclusion

The importance of metal detection in preventing food contamination cannot be understated.  Packaged food manufacturers should carefully choose the right inspection system to get the best possible performance and consistent quality in their processing line.

Investing the time up front to carry out product testing to understand the product effect (i.e. moisture and salinity levels) should be executed prior to selecting the right metal detection system.

A&D Inspection is one of Australia’s largest suppliers of food safety equipment, having a range of food safety systems that can help you manufacture the best quality foods for your customers.

Explore Our Finest Food Safety Equipment Product Range Now

An Ultimate Guide Choosing a Complete X-ray Inspection

The food inspection industry is rapidly evolving, and the X-ray food inspection market is no exception. E-commerce sector is having a significant impact on the X-ray food inspection market, as more and more products are being sold online. Businesses need to be able to ensure that their products are safe for consumption. Consumers are becoming more discerning, and they want to know that the food they eat is safe and high quality. This is driving demand for X-ray inspection systems, which can detect even the smallest defects in food products.

New regulations are being introduced all the time, and businesses need to be able to comply with them. The X-ray food inspection market is expanding rapidly as a result, as businesses seek to ensure that their products are compliant with all applicable regulations.

Aug 09, 2022 (Alliance News via COMTEX) — The global X-Ray food inspection equipment market size was US$ 1,461.2 million in 2021. The global X-Ray food inspection equipment market is forecast to grow to US$ 2341.4 million by 2030 by growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1% during the forecast period from 2022 to 2030.

Ref : marketwatch.com

X-Ray-food-market-size

On the Basis of Types:

The research report analyzes key factors such as production, revenue, price, size, advancement, future forecast, and market growth rate of each type, primarily split into:

  • Packaged Product Inspection Equipment
  • Bulk Product Inspection Equipment

On the Basis of Application:

The research report analysis the market segmentation, regional analysis, manufacture overview, and major applications/end users:

  • Processed Food
  • Animal Food
  • Plant Food

Ref : digitaljournal.com

The Best Approach for selecting an appropriate X-ray inspection system

When it comes to quality assurance, manufacturers must go the extra mile to ensure that their products are up to standard. This means investing in systems like X-ray inspection systems, which can help identify and correct problems with products before they reach consumers.

To ensure product safety.

One of the primary reasons for investing in an X-ray inspection system is to maintain product safety. By identifying and correcting potential problems with products early on, manufacturers can help avoid any potential safety hazards later on.

Solution : ProteX X-ray AD-4991-3530

ProteX X-ray AD-4991-3530

The ProteX X-ray AD-4991-3530 is a reliable system that can help manufacturers maintain product safety. This system is designed to detect even the smallest defects in food products, so businesses can be sure that their products are safe for consumption. With the ProteX X-ray AD-4991-3530, businesses can have confidence that their products meet all applicable safety regulations.

To improve product quality.

Another major benefit of using an X-ray inspection system is that it can help improve product quality. By detecting and correcting defects early on, manufacturers can produce higher quality products that meet or exceed customer expectations.

Solution : ProteX X-ray AD-4991-2510

ProteX X-ray AD-4991-2510

The ProteX X-ray AD-4991-2510 is a system that can help manufacturers improve product quality. This system is designed to detect even the smallest defects in food products, so businesses can be sure that their products are of the highest quality. With the ProteX X-ray AD-4991-2510, businesses can have confidence that their products meet or exceed customer expectations.

To reduce manufacturing costs.

Finally, one of the biggest benefits of using an X-ray inspection system is that it can help reduce manufacturing costs. By identifying defects ahead of time, manufacturers can avoid having to spend time and money fixing them later on.

Solution : ProteX X-ray AD-4991-2515

ProteX X-ray AD-4991-2515

An X-ray inspection system can help manufacturers reduce manufacturing costs by identifying defects early on. The ProteX X-ray AD-4991-2515 is a system that can help manufacturers reduce manufacturing costs. This system is designed to detect even the smallest defects in food products, so businesses can be sure that their products are of the highest quality. With the ProteX X-ray AD-4991-2515, businesses can have confidence that their products meet or exceed customer expectations.

Key steps for a manufacturer should follow when considering whether to purchase an x-ray system:

Conduct a Hazard Analysis

When considering investing in an x-ray inspection machine, manufacturers should conduct a Hazard Analysis for every product they produce, assessing the risk of contaminants being present. By doing so, they can identify where best to allocate their resources in order to maintain safe and contamination-free products. Additionally, this process can help identify potential hazards that may not have been considered otherwise, and allow for the development of preventive measures to mitigate these risks.

Identify Critical Control Points (CCPs)

An x-ray system is an important tool for detecting contaminants in food. When selecting a location to install an x-ray system, it is important to consider the critical control points in the production process. The x-ray system should be placed in a location where it can best detect contaminants in food. A CCP is a step or process essential to ensuring the highest levels of product safety; it’s the point at which control must be applied to reduce the risk of contamination to acceptable levels.

Define commercial and operational needs

It is important to first define your specific commercial and operational needs. Some questions you may want to ask yourself include:

  • What specific foods do you need x-rayed?
  • What are the maximum dimensions of the food items you need x-rayed?
  • What are the minimum dimensions of the food items you need x-rayed?
  • What is the maximum weight of the food items you need x-rayed?
  • What is the minimum weight of the food items you need x-rayed?
  • What is the thickness of the food items you need x-rayed?
  • What is your budget for this project?

Assess the x-ray system’s key functions

The food x-ray system meets all of the key functionality requirements that were set for it. This system is able to quickly and accurately detect foreign objects in food, which helps to ensure the safety of the food supply. Additionally, the system is easy to use and provides clear images of the food products that are being scanned.

  • Is it easy to use?
  • Can operators be trained quickly to use the x-ray system?
  • Does it enable quick product changeovers?
  • Does it allow easy storage and retrieval of date-and-timestamped
  • Images and data, for full traceability?

The food x-ray system’s key functions are to ensure that food is safe for consumption and to detect any foreign objects that may be present in the food. The system is also able to identify any abnormalities in the food, such as contamination or spoilage.

 Consider final factors

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a measure of how effectively a machine is being used. OEE is calculated by dividing the amount of time the machine is running by the amount of time it should be running, and then multiplying that number by 100. This number tells you how much of the machine’s potential output is actually being achieved. The Food x-ray system must have an Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of 95% and a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of $2,000 per year. This system is a great value for the money and is highly effective in detecting food contaminants.

How accurate is A&D’s ProteX X-ray system to detect foreign objects?

A&D’s ProteX X-ray system is a great choice for a complete X-ray inspection. It uses advanced technology to detect a wide variety of contaminants and hazards, so you can be sure your product is safe for your customers. With its fast and accurate detection capabilities, the ProteX system is an ideal choice for complete X-ray inspection. This machine is able to quickly and accurately detect foreign objects in food, which helps to reduce the risk of contamination.

Additionally, the system is easy to use and provides clear images of the food products that are being scanned.

When looking for a complete x-ray inspection system, the A&D ProteX X-ray system is an excellent option. It has five features that make it a great choice for businesses of all sizes.

Accurate detection of the smallest contaminants.

Accurate detection of the smallest contaminants

Precise detection of the smallest of foreign contaminants is key when choosing a complete x-ray inspection system. By ensuring that all areas of your product are inspected, you can minimize the risk of any undetected defects reaching your customers.

Types of contaminants X-ray can detect.

  • Metal
  • Non-ferrous metals in foil, including stainless steel
  • Glass
  • Bone (calcified)
  • PVC plastic
  • TFE (Teflon) plastic
  • Ceramic or concrete
  • Flavor/sugar clumps

 Estimation of the mass of the product

 Estimation of the mass of the product

When choosing a complete ProteX X-ray inspection, it is important to estimate the weight of the product in order to determine if it meets desired weight parameters. If the weight falls within the desired range, then the product can be approved and sent on its way.

It can quickly and easily measure the weight of an item without needing to take it out of the packaging. This makes it a fast and efficient way to get an accurate reading of a product’s weight.

Shape detection features

Shape detection features

By using ProteX X-ray to inspect products, businesses can ensure that their products are consistent and meet all the required specifications. This can help businesses avoid product

recalls and save money in the long run. It is helpful in finding inconsistencies like incomplete, cracks or broken products.

Screening Function Feature

ProteX X-ray can help to confirm product integrity and reduce the number of false rejections. By using an x-ray inspection system, you can quickly and easily identify any potential defects in your products. This can help to improve quality and ensure that your products meet all safety requirements. It is important to consider the needs of your business and the products you are trying to protect. A system that is too basic may not provide the level of security you need, while a system that is too sophisticated may be more than you need and could lead to more false rejections.

Best Food X-Ray Inspection Series in Australia

With over 50 years of experience in x-ray inspection, A&D has the knowledge and expertise to help you find the perfect system for your needs. We offer a wide range of systems, from entry-level models to high-performance systems, so you can find the perfect fit for your application. Our team of experts are always available to answer any questions you may have about choosing and using an x-ray inspection system such as ProteX X-ray AD-4991-3530, ProteX X-ray AD-4991-2515 & ProteX X-ray AD-4991-2510.We take a consultative approach, working with you to identify your specific needs and recommend the best system for you.

X-ray Inspection Detects a Wide Variety of Contaminants

Product Inspection

A&D’s advanced technology in the ProteX X-ray Series is best-in-class, designed with users and businesses in mind.

Detecting hazardous foreign contaminants in food and beverage production is one of the main reasons why food manufacturers implement X-ray inspection as their final critical control point.

By inspecting final products with X-ray technology, food and beverage manufacturers are able to ensure that all of their packaged products are free from hazardous physical contaminants that could pose a safety risk, or cause a large-scale product recall.

Product inspection is critical in quality control and ensuring optimal quality assurance results. X-ray systems are incorporated into a production line and can inspect the product’s content to judge whether they are consistent throughout production batches.

This type of overall quality assurance helps food and beverage manufacturers enhance the production quality and brand image by rejecting non-conforming packages from the production line. It also helps to identify where the low-quality products originate from.

Some key features the A&D ProteX X-ray systems have are:

  • Advanced Algorithms
    Built for more than just containments, we also provide mass estimation, shape detection, and component verification.
  • Compact Design
    Our equipment is the smallest in class to allow for easy in-line integration with minimal reconfiguration of existing equipment.
  • Easy to Read Display
    A 15-inch color touchscreen provides users with a vibrant screen for viewing high-resolution imagery.
  • Streamlined Product Setup
    Minimal inputs from the user makes setup and changeover quick.
  • Quick-ship Available
    For manufacturers who need product inspection systems within a couple weeks.
  • Accelerated ROI
    Reject classification allows the operator to see trends in real time and correct issues upstream from the X-ray.
  • Service Simplified
    Local service to ensure maximum uptime.

A&D’s ProteX X-ray system uses advanced technology to detect a wide variety of contaminants and hazards, such as:

METALS: Metal, including ferrous, non-ferrous, and stainless steel can be detected via X-ray, even when inside foils and aluminum cans.  This is important in almost all manufacturing industries, as components can break at any point during production, and should that happen, the product should be rejected before final packaging.

X-ray inspection of metals

FLAVOUR AND SUGAR CLUMPS: Unlike some of the other contaminants, flavor or sugar clumps may not be much of a health hazard, but they do negatively impact the experience consumers have with your product or brand.  X-ray detection can find inconsistencies such as these to improve your consumer’s experience when it matters most.

X-ray inspection of clumps

GLASS: Glass contaminants, including glass shards, can be particularly important to detect when producing products with glass containers, especially in the food and beverage and other consumer packaged goods industries.

Glass

PVC AND TFE PLASTICS: Due to the use of plastic in a variety of packaging and manufacturing applications, detecting PVC and TFE (Teflon) plastic is very important. From gaskets or plastic handles lost during production, to plastic fragments that may break during packaging of your product, detecting PVC plastics can be an important part of your X-ray processes. 

In addition to simply detecting physical contaminants in packets, today’s X-ray systems can be applied to multiple purposes. They can act as multi-tasking protectors of the integrity of your products and subsequently the quality of your brand.

The ProteX X-ray system provides product inspection functions that cannot be accomplished by metal detection or checkweighing alone:

  • Measure product mass
  • Check fill levels
  • Seal integrity
  • Identify faulty, irregular shapes
  • Spot component inclusions / absences

X-ray systems have a minimal footprint, with a single unit performing multiple tasks as opposed to using several different machines. Additionally, with a single set-up screen, line changeovers are quicker and easier, reducing the risk of errors and keeping production downtime low.

Metalised packaging and quality control

In food and pharmaceutical packaging, foil trays, aluminium trays, aluminium foil, foiled bags and sachets are commonly used. 

Metalised packaging is used for many reasons as they provide a complete barrier to light, moisture, oxygen and bacteria, and in turn helps to increase shelf-life and to improve the presentation of the food.

However, metalised packaging is often not compatible with conventional metal detectors and so it is unlikely to meet supermarket and retail requirements. When using a metal detector, metalised packaging creates a large product signal which can force the metal detector to operate at inferior sensitivity levels than mandatory.

The solution to this is an X-ray inspection system. X-ray inspection machines excel at detecting high-density foreign objects in most products, even if they have metalised packaging.

Ice Cream Inspection

X-Ray inspection is fundamental to quality control and delivering on brand promises.

Additionally, the ProteX X-ray system provides additional product inspection functions that cannot be accomplished by metal detection or checkweighing alone

Missing Product Detection
In scenarios when the total weight of a product is acceptable, X-ray can be used to visually inspect and reject a product if there is missing product inside the package.

Shape Detection

Shape Detection
X-ray can be used to find inconsistencies in products that should be rejected, like broken or incomplete products.

Package Check
In instances where the product shifts during the packaging process, it may be important to check the seal of the product.

Seal Detection

Masking
Products with clips and oxygen absorbers can be masked to check for presence and avoid a false detection.

Masking
Ice Cream Test Inspection

Features and Benefits of the A&D ProteX X-ray include:

  • Automatically records every packet across the line
  • Ability to export production reports, statistics via USB
  • Lightweight and compact design allows for easy integration into production lines
  • Can preset and store up to 10 different groups with up to 100 products
  • Simple and intuitive operation via a 15-inch colour touch screen
  • Can be supported with A&D Ready Remote Support to minimise down-time
  • Protected from dust and water to IP65 standards

Conclusion

Applications for X-ray go far beyond merely detecting contaminants within packaging. They can be deployed as complete systems for quality control of packages coming off the production line, checking for contaminants, as well as defects in packaging, shortfalls in fill quantities, and abnormalities in the placement of contents, all of which are extremely useful functions of x-ray systems.

These x-ray systems come in various forms with different levels of functionality, so explore which one could be best for your needs. Local support, conveyor speed, licensing, industry specialisation, system integration and availability of spare parts should all be considered.

If you need assistance or have any questions not covered by our FAQ, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and speak to one of our team.

X-ray inspection, metal detection or both – which to consider?

X-ray inspection, metal detection

Hygiene and safe operations are imperative for all Australian food processing companies. In addition to bacteria such as salmonella and listeria, foreign objects can also cause contamination in food products.

Even with stringent processes and procedures in place, there is always the chance that foreign objects can make their way into products that can cause harm.

There are two primary methods for ensuring the quality of your product production line and detecting these foreign objects: food metal detectors and x-ray inspection systems.

Which of these systems is best for your food processing operations?

This article will explore the paybacks of each and when they should be applied for maximum benefit.

Product recalls in Australia

Product recalls in Australia

All food processing organisation would like to believe that its operations are completely fool-proof and that a product recall is unlikely to occur. But the bottom line is, despite our best efforts, food products can become contaminated and product recalls have been on the rise in recent years.

 2011201220132014201520162017201820192020Total
Undeclared allergen24181627393335463251321
Microbial contamination13251226  12219203027195
Foreign matter161171477916511103
Other423463108121062
Biotoxin4123155423241
Chemical/ contaminant520101124622
Labelling112122161219
Total6760427681726910087109763

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) co-ordinated 763 product recalls between 2011 and 2020 which included a peak of 109 recalls in 2020 alone (compared to 67 recalls in 2011 and 42 in 2013). This increase is also linked to many companies becoming more aware of product safety and initiating these recalls voluntarily to avoid any harm coming to their consumers.

Food recalls in Australia

Protecting your brand and avoiding product recalls

Product recalls can harm your brand in many ways. Firstly, and most obvious, are the safety issues that come with contaminated food products. Fragments of plastic, metal, wood, glass, or other foreign materials can cause great harm to consumers.

If a consumer is harmed by these products and the company found to have been negligent in its operations, the potential for a company to be implicated in a lawsuit can cost millions and have serious consequences by damaging the company’s reputation.

However, product recalls can be damaging in other ways. Labour costs and costs to reproduce the product, all add up to a considerable amount of time and money, and ultimately can be incredibly damaging to a company’s bottom line.

It is not just the wallet where food processing companies are hit, their image is also impacted as well. Product recalls are generally reported by the media and can tarnish your reputation. Consumers will associate your brand with defective or dangerous products and are likely to discontinue purchasing from your company.

This is amplified in the modern age by social media which can lead to contracts with retail chains and stores being terminated. So, as you can see, there are not just the direct costs associated with product recalls, but numerous indirect expenses as well, adding up to a large sum of money and damage to your brand.

Food safety inspection systems – foreign body detection methods

To prevent dangerous foreign objects and contaminants from making their way into food products, it is essential to include monitoring devices on the production line to detect them before they reach retail shelves and the hands of the consumers. The two primary systems are x-ray inspection systems and metal detectors.

Choosing the right systems for the right application is vital for the safe operations of your food processing company, and also for your customers. The first step is assessing your production line and identifying the possible contaminants that could potentially get into the products.

If metal is the only possible foreign object that could contaminate your products, then metal detection systems become imperative. Because these inspection systems are specialised for metal detection, they are going to pick up even trace amounts of metals that are low density (like aluminium). This includes ferrous metals (that contain iron) and non-ferrous metals along with all stainless steels, whether they are magnetic or not.

If there is a chance that a variety of different contaminants can infiltrate your food products, x-ray inspection systems are the best solution. They will be able to pick up a range of various materials including stone, glass, plastic, rubber and even bones.

These systems have a range of other benefits as well, including the ability to measure mass, count components, identify missing or damaged products and can also inspect seal integrity.

Metal detection or X-ray inspection?

There is no method that is superior across all food preparation, packaging and processing operations because each operation is different. Metal detection and X-ray inspection systems have their capabilities, benefits and applications. Sometimes metal detection is the best solution, sometimes it is food X-ray detection systems, and at other times a combination of both across multiple critical control points that will deliver the safest outcomes.

Metal detectors are the right choice for companies where the individual product packaging does not have any metal/foil components, and where metal is the only contaminant that is likely to impact the food processing operations. This is especially true for operations where aluminium is used because it is extremely light and trace elements are more likely to be discovered through metal detection than X-ray inspection. This is also the best solution for operations that are gravity fed. If you have sensitive equipment that can be damaged by metal fragments, metal detection systems are also advisable.

X-ray inspections are the best solution when there are multiple potential contaminants besides metal. It’s also highly useful for inspecting products that may have metal packaging. Using X-ray systems will also give you the ability to inspect for broken or faulty products and packaging.

When should you use both? Often, contracts with retail outlets will require you to use both methods so they can be assured of a safe product. It also ensures you are meeting all regulatory requirements and standards and providing the safest possible product for consumers.

Factors to consider when choosing a solution

Determining what contaminants could be present is the first step, so a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) audit should be conducted, or a Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC) for companies that are packaging seafood or juice.

Choosing the right technology may depend on the location of CCPs. Depending on the production process, specific foreign bodies can pose different risks at different locations on the line. A different technology at the location of each CCP can be the best solution.

Sometimes the nature of the product line will dictate which system is required. For example, gravity-fed lines will need metal detection while food X-ray inspection will be required for products that are packaged in metal.

No matter which solution you choose, some considerations should be applied to both. Choose a solution that is reliable, easy to use, efficient for product changes, and can be routinely tested. To reduce the risk of recalls, it is crucial to invest in hygienically designed equipment for product inspections. The technology should be easy to clean and durable enough to withstand regular cleaning without corrosion or degradation.

Waste management should also factor in your decision and investing in the latest technologies to be installed at the right CCPs will help to eliminate unnecessary waste production and protect your machinery from being exposed to products that could damage them causing costly repairs and delays.

Choosing the right supplier – A&D inspection

Whether you require metal detection, X-ray systems or both technologies, choosing a reputable supplier is essential to ensure your solutions meet all regulatory requirements, are safe and easy to clean and maintain.

A&D inspection equipment has been engineered to meet all stringent standards and requirements, have secondary alarms as fail-safes, use the latest technologies and software and are constructed to be rugged and durable for busy production lines. Speak to our team about solutions tailored to your requirements and drastically reduce the chances of falling victim to a costly product recall.

Top X-ray Inspection Systems in Australia

ProteX X-ray AD-4991-3530

x-ray-systems

ProteX X-ray AD-4991-3530 – Advanced inspections such as shape detection, mass estimation, piece counting and more. Sanitary design complies with hygienic standards and is easily cleaned.

ProteX X-ray AD-4991-2515

x-ray-systems

ProteX X-ray AD-4991-2515 – Advanced inspections such as shape detection, mass estimation, piece counting and more. Sanitary design complies with hygienic standards and is easily cleaned.

ProteX X-ray AD-4991-2510

x-ray-systems

ProteX X-ray AD-4991-2510. X-ray inspection in food packaging and pharmaceutical applications is growing exponentially because of the versatility it provides.

The increased dynamic inspection capabilities provide great confidence and increased quality.

Top Industry Grade in-line Metal Detectors in Australia

Metal Detector AD-4976 350/170 aperture

1. Metal Detector AD-4976 350/170 aperture

Metal Detector AD-4976 350/170 aperture

This industrial food grade metal detector is suitable for packages that do not exceed 80mm in overall height.

Aperture Size: 350 mm (W) x 170 mm (H)

2. Metal Detector AD-4976 350/100 aperture

Metal Detector AD-4976 350/100 aperture

This industrial food grade metal detector is suitable for packages that do not exceed 80mm in overall height.

Aperture Size: 350 mm (W) x 100 mm (H) | 13.7” x 3.9”

3. Metal Detector 450/250 aperture

Metal Detector 450/250 aperture

Our AD-4971 Series Metal Detectors are all IP65 rated (dust and water resistant, IP69K optional), which makes them ideal for the food and beverage industry as well as nutraceutical and pharmaceutical markets.

Aperture Size: 450 mm (W) x 250 mm (H).

4. Metal Detector 450/170 aperture

Metal Detector 450/170 aperture

Our AD-4971 Series Metal Detectors are all IP65 rated (dust and water resistant, IP69K optional), which makes them ideal for the food and beverage industry as well as nutraceutical and pharmaceutical markets. Aperture Size: 450 mm (W) x 170 mm (H).

5. Metal Detector 350/250 aperture

Metal Detector 350/250 aperture

Our AD-4971 Series Metal Detectors are all IP65 rated (dust and water resistant, IP69K optional), which makes them ideal for the food and beverage industry as well as nutraceutical and pharmaceutical markets. Aperture Size: 350 mm (W) x 250 mm (H)

6. Metal Detector 350/170 aperture

Metal Detector 350/170 aperture

Our AD-4971 Series Metal Detectors are all IP65 rated (dust and water resistant, IP69K optional), which makes them ideal for the food and beverage industry as well as nutraceutical and pharmaceutical markets. Aperture Size: 350 mm (W) x 170 mm (H).

7. Metal Detector 350/100 aperture

Metal Detector 350/100 aperture

 

The most compact, food grade metal detector, this system is suitable for packages that do not exceed 80mm in overall height.

Aperture Size: 350 mm (W) x 100 mm (H) | 13.7” x 3.9”

A&D Australasia attends the Hort Connections 2021 Conference in Brisbane

“Celebrating the international year of fruits and vegetables”, was the theme for the recent Hort Connections 2021 conference.

Held in Brisbane from 7-9 June, this event recognises the horticulture industry and the important role fruits, vegetables and floral industries play in nutrition, health, wellbeing, and global food security.

checkweighers

The conference saw growers, packers, produce processors, other business and industry leaders share trends and common interests. This event is one of the biggest in the Fresh Produce industry with over 3,500 delegates from across the supply-chain attending from 35 countries.

checkweighers

A&D Australasia attended this 3-day event to showcase our premium product inspection solutions. These include the ProteX X-ray System that uses cutting-edge X-Ray technology to ensure food packaging manufacturers improve and manage the quality of their products, inline Checkweigher to allow business to meet regulations, maximise efficiency and reduce give-aways and industrial grade inline Metal Detectors to detect contaminants in packaging.

Here are some photos taken at the Hort Connections 2021 conference.

checkweighers
checkweighers
checkweighers
checkweighers

Advanced A&D controller for Newtec Denmark

Advanced A&D controller for Newtec Denmark

Newtec Denmark have been manufacturing weighing systems for fresh produce applications for many years, including a very popular gravity roller weigher of which there are thousands in use around the world. A lot of these machines are quite old so don’t have some of the data capture capability that many customers require in these connected times.

Advanced A&D controller for Newtec Denmark

A&D Australasia have designed a replacement “box” using the advanced AD4413-CW controller that allows existing Newtec users to upgrade their system with minimal disruption and maximum upside. This unit utilises the proven and reliable mechanical/pneumatic assembly of the Newtec system but provides ethernet and usb reporting and connectivity plus the many advanced benefits of the touch screen AD4413 system.

Advanced A&D controller for Newtec Denmark

A&D can also facilitate remote support using VNC & Team Viewer over an active internet connection. Another example of A&D’s “Inspection Simplified” ethos.

One of our customer’s testimonial about this product can be found here.

Weighing Locomotives

CFCLA Australia is the leading provider of leased locomotive and rolling stock to rail operators around Australia. Its Islington maintenance facility, located in Adelaide, has purpose-built workshops to perform a complete range of services, including engineering design, overhaul and maintenance of locomotives.

The Islington facility also serves the maintenance of track plant and equipment, and has a business unit focused on manufacturing and maintenance for the defence industry in South Australia.

The objectives

CFCLA’s customer had an existing A&D AD4406 indicator connected to four non A&D compression load cells to give them the total weight reading of train carriages.

They reached out to A&D Weighing, as their customer needed them to provide individual corner weighing results and end-to-end weighing results. The process was to weigh the carriages prior to being gutted and refurbished, and then weigh them again once the refurbishment was completed.

The A&D solution

Our team provided CFCLA with four new individual indicators connected to their existing load cells, to allow them to achieve their corner weighing. Our team calibrated each indicator / load cell combination to 40t x 0.02t. This also increased their total capacity to 160t, allowing them to weigh large locomotives up to 130t in weight. The load cells were positioned using jacks on either side of the carriage.

We can’t wait to see The Ghan once the refurbishments to their luxury platinum carriages have been completed.

A&D Weighing is committed to helping our customers achieve their goals, and is always ready to provide customised solutions according to various requirements.

ProteX X-ray Wins 2018 Best Identification Technology Award

January 3, 2018 – A&D Inspection is pleased to announce that they have won Automation Inside’s 2018 Reader’s Choice Awards in the Best Identification Technology category for their new ProteX X-ray Inspection System.

Automation Inside’s Reader’s Choice Awards were introduced to acknowledge major innovations and superior products that utilize automation technology.  As a nominee for the awards, A&D Inspection was proud to be among top manufacturers for the coveted award.

Automation Inside is a leading global resource for buyers in the automation industry.  They offer a variety of publications and information on companies whose products help manufacturers improve efficiency, quality assurance, and process control via automated devices.

The ProteX X-ray system was nominated due to its host of useful features that are designed to ensure maximum efficiency all while simplifying the inspection process:

AND Inspection
  • Compact design for easy integration
  • Large and easy-to-read display
  • Advanced algorithms to test for more than just contaminants

ProteX X-ray Features Advanced Imaging and Easy Integration

VIDEO: As seen on ProFoodWorld.com

protex x-ray front view

October 23, 2018  – Straight from Pack Expo 2018, hear highlights about the new ProteX X-ray inspection system from A&D Inspection.  Benefits include:

  • Not just contaminant inspection – masking, shape detection and more included at no extra cost
  • Small footprint – 20% smaller than the competition
  • Ease of integration
  • Quick shipments

Click here to see the video, or to learn more about how ProteX X-ray can help you achieve 100% product inspection in your facility, contact us.

AP Custom Ramp and Barriers

Australia Post is the main provider of parcel delivery within Australia, and with the increase of online orders, we are seeing a dramatic shift happening in the postal industry. The number of parcels being moved around Australia has exponentially increased in the last 5 years.

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To keep up with postal demands, A&D were recently contacted by Australia Post to assist with streamlining part of their weighing process at one of their distribution facilities.

The customer’s objectives were clear:

  • Improve the current process of recording the weight of large trolley bins.
  • Ensure it can work within the facility’s space limitations.
  • Ensure it is robust to withstand heavy parcels.

The A&D Weighing team went to work and constructed a custom base manufactured specifically to weigh Australia Post’s large trolleys whilst being mindful of the facility’s space limitations. A RS-232 option was also installed in the AD4406 indicator to provide weight data output to their data system.

The customer advised A&D that the cumulative weight of the various express post parcels in the trolleys generally did not exceed 500kg. In this instance however, the scale was set to 600kg x 0.2kg to future-proof the scale for possible heavier bins if required.

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The operators can simply wheel the trolleys into place via the small ramp in front of the drop centre scale. The ramp was specifically designed to ensure a smooth transition onto the scale, and the protective highly visible yellow barriers were also made by A&D to prevent people from walking over the scale.

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The A&D solution:

  • Improve the ease of recording accurate weights.
  • Lower OH&S risk for operators pushing heavy trolleys onto platforms.
  • Incorporate safety barriers to remove likelihood of tripping hazards occurring.

Australia Post appreciated being able to come to A&D to get all aspects of the job done by one contractor, and A&D Weighing continue to prove that economical, Australian designed and manufactured solutions are a vital resource for local industry.

Weighing Animals with a Portable Trolley

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The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources recently contacted A&D Weighing to create a customised portable trolley for a Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) facility.

Australia currently enjoys very good animal health status, and is free from a number of cat and dog diseases. To ensure this continues, animals entering the country have to undertake a period of quarantine on arrival. Once the animals arrive at the quarantine stations, they will be checked and weighed.

A new PEQ facility in Mickleham, Victoria contacted A&D Weighing requesting a simple method to weigh incoming animals, primarily dogs, at their kennels rather than bringing them into a building, to avoid cross contamination and possible infections.

Their requirements were:

  • To quickly and accurately weigh animals whilst they are on the trolley.
  • In cases where the animal may be aggressive, it should be possible to weigh the animal whilst they are secured in a cage.
  • The weighing solution needed to be able to weigh animals in extra large cages.

The SD-200 trolley scale is fully portable and easy to manoeuvre, making it convenient to be moved around as and when needed. Its sturdy construction also allows it to handle large cages and heavy animals.

Animals don’t usually stay still whilst being weighed, which is why it is important to use a highly stable portable trolley scale. The SD-200 scale comes with a battery operated LCD display that is clearly visible, which means quarantine officers will be able to get the weight measurements quickly.

As the facility needed a scale to accommodate larger animal cages, this meant that a larger weighing surface than the normal SD-200 would be needed. As such, A&D manufactured an extra large stainless steel platform to suit.

A&D Weighing is proud to be part of this project and to be able to assist in a customised weighing solution.

A&D Technology Reducing Downtime Costs

Grain sampling stations are located in some of the most remote locations on earth, so on-site technical support and downtime contingencies can be a costly affair. With valuable and sensitive instrumentation centric to the sampling process, technicians have to be diligent and well trained to ensure long term reliability is achieved.

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Unfortunately, from time to time “Accidents Happen” and the simplest of mistakes can lead to large repair costs and extended down-time, exacerbated by the remote location of grain sampling labs. Aside from an accidental “coffee spill”, the dusty nature of grain labs play havoc with electronic instruments. Once fine dust starts to build on circuitry, it’s only a matter of time before performance is compromised.

A&D’s precision balances mitigate many of these risks by having IP-65 dust and moisture ingress protection on their legal-for-trade FZ-WP balance range. Historically, adding this level of protection to a 1mg or 10mg weighing instrument results in significant cost increases over non dust/waterproof versions. A&D Japan’s R&D division has changed that situation with the FZ-WP with pricing actually lower than past models used in the grain industry. These precision models are already popular, with over 200 units deployed to grain sites in the last 24 months. A&D have added a square weighing pan as a specific add-on to suit grain testing requirements, and have approval certification from the National Measurement Institute in Sydney (NMI cert. 6/4C/269) ensuring legal compliance with Weight’s & Measures regulations. A&D report that their short but effective YouTube video tells the simplest of stories and creates significant interest for this new level of protection in precision weighing instruments.

Desorption kit for volumetric approximation of produced gas

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The desorption kit consists of a quick-latching Camlock canister and water reservoir connected by some tubing. A sample of material from which gas is evolving is placed in a sample holder which, in turn, is placed in the body of the canister. The camlock lid is locked in place, and the accumulating gas increases pressure inside the water reservoir. Water is displaced and collects in a beaker for estimation of produced gas volume.

Gas may be produced at varying rates and gas expulsion trends could be a critical part of a project – a technician may be required to monitor and record the displaced water volume at high rates of expulsion, which can be a demanding and restrictive task. The ideal solution would be to include equipment that can accurately measure gas production and send data directly to a laptop or data logger. In this example here, A&D can provide that solution and significantly help to save time and effort.

A beaker placed on the weigh pan allows the scale to measure the increasing weight of water, and stream data directly to your laptop via RS232 or USB cable. In this application, our software allows the user to set the preferred acquisition rate.

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This type of solution can be applied in the resources industry with coal seam methane and unconventional gas exploration being prime candidates. Samples of fresh coal, drill cuttings or sidewall cores can desorb gas at measurable rates and the displaced water (mL) is a close approximation to the evolved gas volume (cc).

The kits are portable, straight-forward to use and disassemble for transport if necessary. The range of A&D scales complement the kits and allow the operator freedom to perform other duties rather than visually document the produced volumes. For a setup like this, you can use the EW-i Series Portable Triple Range balances, which can be approved for trade in accordance the National Measurement Institute of Australia.

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Customised Platform Scale for the RAAF

A&D Weighing were proud to support Gould Instruments (one of our long term Dealers based in Townsville, QLD) to develop a solution to help ensure the weighing accuracy of shipping boxes at RAAF Townsville.

The primary objectives were clear:

  • Supply a weighing solution that can weigh bulky shipping boxes up to 3T.
  • The scale needs to have a low profile footprint of 2.5m x 1.5m.
  • The scale needs to be robust and suited to the outdoors.

Our A&D engineering team went to work and designed a low profile, three tonnes capacity pallet scale manufactured from galvanised steel to withstand demanding outdoor conditions. This scale is then simply connected to an elevated waterproof indicator where weighing measurements can easily be seen by the operator.

Large Capacity Pallet Scale

This is another example of A&D Australasia continuing to provide high-quality weighing solutions to industries in Australia and New Zealand.

Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-operative

When it comes to commercial weighing equipment, there may be plenty of fish in the sea, but world-class processing solutions is a far rarer catch.


The achievements Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-operative have accomplished is a great success for the seafood industry and we love sharing our clients’ stories…

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The Company

In 2014, A&D Weighing commenced work with the Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-operative Ltd (LEFCOL), one of Australia’s largest fish receivers located in Eastern Victoria. The primary catch they receive is Eastern School Whiting, a lesser known relation of King George Whiting. LEFCOL receives about one third of the national school whiting catch, which totals 1200 to 1300 tonnes per annum, and are now developing commercial quantities of value-added products.

The Challenge

The huge volumes at hand would need to be matched with custom filleting equipment, which LEFCOL had managed to source successfully. However, the job was far from complete. LEFCOL first needed to procure a custom grading system to grade the huge volumes of whiting they were receiving each day.

During their research, LEFCOL found that existing seafood feed-in technology was far too expensive and didn’t work effectively in sorting fish with a variation in size of almost 70% (from 15-25cm long). They needed an automated system that was not only accurate, but fast and capable of grading thousands of fish each day.

The A&D Weighing Solution

By gaining an intimate knowledge of the nature of LEFCOL’s operations, we were able to design and manufacture a custom checkweigher specially optimised to grade the whiting they were receiving, factoring in everything from their size and shape, to variations in their firmness during winter and summer.

The A&D EZI-Check checkweighers have fast moving conveyor belts which can quickly capture the weights to within one gram. Air jets triggered by the weights then sort the fish into predetermined categories – currently four, with options for up to six. Depending on the weight category they fall into, fish can either be sold for bait or pet food, set aside for automatic filleting, or sold fresh to domestic wholesale markets.

The Result

Thanks to A&D Weighing’s custom checkweigher and other complimentary processing equipment, LEFCOL can now grade up to 200 fish per minute. Not only are they able to get the whiting from net to plate faster and fresher than ever before, the checkweigher’s ultra-precise measurements encourages fishermen to catch and target larger fish. This allows LEFCOL to generate better profits from the fish they process, while smaller fish are given a chance to grow.

There’s no doubting it, A&D Weighing equipment is the reel deal. If you’re in the market for weighing equipment specially customised to your product, get in touch today.

Redsun – Taste the warmth!  

When you taste the beautiful sweet tomatoes that Phuong & Van Le grow at their family farm 40km north of Adelaide, you can tell they put their heart & soul into what they do.  Sweet, bright & bursting with flavour, their advanced glasshouse facility produces some of the best tomatoes you will ever taste and it’s no surprise they have been on our supermarket shelves for several years.  Phuong is a natural green-thumb and when he’s not focussing on their commercial crops, he’s keenly nurturing his hobby plants in the form of Asian family favourites like Bitter Melon & Custard Apple.

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Running a major glasshouse facility is a massive task, especially with a young family.  Phuong & Van know that having the right processing & measuring systems in place is paramount to success.  Three years ago when they were undertaking a rapid expansion, Phuong was one of the first people in Australia to invest in A&D’s EZICheck™ inline weighing system and it has served them well; automatically checking and recording hundreds of thousands of punnets, ensuring only optimal weights leave the premises.

When it comes to weighing equipment there is a lot of choice out there and Phuong sums it up when he says “we don’t buy scales, we invest in peace of mind and A&D delivers just that”.  Reliability is a given with any Japanese equipment but with A&D it’s the combination of simple, efficient & reliable technology with local advice & backup whenever you need it. 

In the last few years, A&D have now installed over 300 Checkweighing & metal detection systems across Australia into companies both large & small.  If you’d like to see one of these systems first hand then get in touch with your local A&D office or Authorised Partner.  A system can be brought straight to your site for an in-depth test & analysis.

A&D EZICheck System Customised for Leading NZ Automation Company

A&D Australasia’s Inspection Systems Division was recently approached by Reynolds Group Ltd, one of New Zealand’s leading suppliers of complete end-of-line solutions for the manufacturing sector. Reynolds Group has an enviable reputation for delivering world-class industrial technology with complete, turn-key systems, so they expected nothing short of a premium solution.

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The primary objectives were clear:

  • Supply an end-of-line weighing system that can weigh 10kg of whole capsicums packed in reusable plastic crates or cardboard boxes.
  • Intelligent storage of product information with easy extraction for quality assurance.
  • The checkweigher needs to easily integrate with existing established lines and equipment.
  • System design needs to be robust with food grade stainless steel (easy to clean and maintain).
  • System controls including the large colour touch screen interface needs to be user-friendly.

Large Capacity Checkweigher
Using A&D Japan’s popular touch screen intelligent checkweighing controller, the A&D Australasia design team went to work to produce a high capacity checkweigher. The complete system – which consists of an infeed conveyor, weighing conveyor, control unit, and a push ram rejecter, has a throughput of over 30 pieces per minute with +/- 0.02kg accuracy.

This large capacity checkweigher was built, tested, inspected, delivered and training completed within budget and time-frame.

The benefits of this inspection system are significant:

  • Real time monitoring of product weight deviations, and efficient weighing technology significantly increases the speed and precision of the entire production.
  • Improves QA & QC reporting – able to record and store the weight of every product.
  • Audio guidance support via the user-friendly touchscreen interface facilitates smooth production runs.
  • Moderates overfilling and wastage to improve profit margins and reduce giveaways.
  • Outstanding value for money and peace of mind.

This is an example of A&D Australasia continuing to provide high-quality inspection solutions to industries in Australia and New Zealand. Contact us to find out how we can help you with your requirements.

Analysing moisture in fertilisers

A&D ML-50 moisture analyser

 

Maintaining the right amount of moisture content in fertilisers is very important to the grading and quality of the fertilisers. Issues can arise if the final product is either too wet or too dry and can lead to significant product quality issues.

Always looking to improve their processes, Neutrog – an organic fertiliser manufacturer based in South Australia, contacted A&D Weighing.

To start, a small sample from Neutrog’s production was collected and some preliminary tests were conducted by A&D Weighing Moisture Balance on these samples. The results of these tests and real-time graphing displays were then shared with Neutrog.

 

The key features of the A&D Moisture Analysers are:

• Fast and uniform heating
• Moisture content of up to 0.001% resolution can be measured
• High repeatability and various selectable heating modes available
• Five year warranty, and more

Based on the results of the preliminary tests, Neutrog purchased the A&D ML-50 moisture analyser, and are now able to analyse their organic products quickly and effectively, producing superior quality products.

A&D Weighing is an Australian leader in the supply of electronic weighing scales, balances, metal detectors, checkweighers and analytical equipment. Browse our website to view our full range of weighing equipment, as well as many other products and services or contact us on 1800 241 343 today.

Ramping Up Our Weighing Expertise

The Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) is Adelaide’s largest hospital with over 680 beds and will become even larger once construction for Adelaide’s new health and biomedical precinct is completed. Recently, A&D were engaged by the RAH to provide a custom weighing solution for weighing heavy liquids, waste products and general goods.

Reviewing RAH’s requirements and utilising our weighing expertise, the engineering team designed a scale ramp that would provide the following benefits:

  • Heavy objects can be weighed quickly and accurately
  • Minimise the chance of injury to hospital staff
  • Have a suitable size footprint to fit in the designated area of the hospital

The platform ramp scale has a large capacity of 3000kg x 1kg and is manufactured from heavy duty stainless steel for easy cleaning and durability. The ramp is also angled at 7 degrees incline to ensure minimal chance of the liquid drums tipping over or spilling.

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This is another example of A&D’s weighing innovation and we are proud to be a part of this success story with yet another inventive weighing solution.

A&D supporting the Royal Adelaide Hospital

A&D Weighing – Specialists in Australian weighing equipment & weight scales, have teamed up with the Royal Adelaide Hospital to design a custom made in-ground bed scale. Medical treatments requiring patient’s weight to be correctly measured on a regular basis has increased in demand in recent years, and for many patients who have movement and mobility restrictions, this weighing process has always posed a challenge for both the patient and medical staff.

Making the process easier, A&D weighing has manufactured a 2m x 1.5m recessed platform scale that is able to seamlessly fit into the designated area of the hospital and has a high weighing capacity of 1 tonne. This heavy duty steel scale is easy to operate and is connected to an A&D AD-4406 indicator for fast and easy patient readings.

Recessed Scales

With this new scale, Hospital staff can safely and easily wheel the hospital beds into position causing minimal discomfort to patients.

A&D Weighing is an Australian leader in the supply of electronic weighing scales, balances, metal detectors, checkweighers and weighing systems. To discover our full range of weighing equipment, as well as many other products and services, browse our website or contact us on 1800 241 343 today.

Scaling up the battle against cane toads

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Recently we were contacted to assist in the research of one of Australia’s biggest pests – Collingwood Supporters. OK; Cane Toads!

Cane toads are regarded as a prototypical case of a feral species (others being rabbits, foxes, cats) and are considered a major threat to our Australian ecology as the species has dispersed very effectively throughout Northern Australia over a short period of time.

The long-term effects of cane toads on the Australian environment can be difficult to determine, however some effects include the depletion of native species that die eating cane toads; the poisoning of pets and humans; depletion of native fauna preyed on by cane toads; and reduced prey populations for native insectivores, such as skinks.

Emily Gregg a researcher from Melbourne University contacted A&D Weighing as her research team needed to investigate water loss and water uptake in toads to better understand how the toads can survive in such varying environments and habitats. It is hoped that this research into the study of the cane toad’s survival will assist in vital further management of this invasive species.

Emily and her team are conducting field work with live moving toads so she requires a scale that can quickly measure weight, is light and portable, and that she can easily tare for accurate results. Our A&D HT Series scale is ideal for the job.

Below is a photo of Emily and her supervisor Reid Tingley carrying out a typical check.

This is another example of A&D Weighing continuing to prove that economical, Australian supported solutions are a key resource for local industry.

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Complete Control for Riviera Bakery

A&D Weighing rose to the challenge to solve a problem for one of Australia’s favourite bakers Riviera Bakery recently.

Riviera Bakery have an existing batching system (not an A&D product) which they have had for many years. This batching system is used to load up the flour bins to help produce the freshly baked loaves and rolls delivered across Australia every day.

Control Cabinet

However with Riviera Bakery’s popularity increasing and their volumes and variety of baked goods expanding, Riviera’s productivity was restricted by their slow batching system which could only store pre-set target weights to batch out the preselected amount of flour.

Riviera Bakery’s objectives were clear:

  • Required a simple, effective food grade solution.
  • Needed to fill the hopper with accurate measurements of flour depending on what product and what product quantity they were looking to create (up to 100+ blend combinations).
  • Required a fast and variable target setting method that their operators could easily dial up.

The A&D Weighing team inspected the existing batching system and was quickly able to deliver a solution within budget and time-frame. A&D replaced the existing controller on Riviera’s batching system with a new control cabinet. The control cabinet included an AD4401 high performance batching indicator and large rotary dials. Now the operators can simply dial variable target settings for each flour batch required.

Additionally inside the control cabinet, there are smaller rotary dials for the manager to adjust the free fall value depending on required consistency and density of the flour in the storage hopper.

Improved Control Cabinet

The benefits are significant and return on investment rapid:

  • Faster, more efficient weighing process, releasing extra labour for other tasks
  • Improved batch QA & QC – able to record gross batch weights and individual flour weights
  • Locally designed & manufactured solution, easily supported by their local scale service provider

Most A&D scales, balances and weight indicators can be expanded in this way. A&D Weighing continue to prove that economical, Australian designed and manufactured solutions are a vital resource for local industry.

After all, if you don’t measure it, how can you control it?

Quality Assurance in the Pipelines

Quality Assurance in the Pipelines

A&D Australasia’s Weighing Division recently solved a problem for a large local plastics manufacturer based in Melbourne. This manufacturer produces scores of plastic pipeline for many high profile companies and projects which include: water and waste water plants, mining and mineral processing, food processing companies, power stations, hospitals, schools, and high rise developments just to name a few.

Being a leader in their industry and priding themselves on constantly improving their manufacturing processes to increase efficiencies whilst adhering to quality systems that conforms to Australian Standards, this manufacturer wanted to find a faster and more cost effective method of measuring the moisture content in their pellets of polypropylene plastic which is used to manufacture their plastic pipelines.

We were told that measuring moisture content particularly in the early stages of the manufacturing process was critical. If there is too much or too little moisture left in the pellets of polythene plastic after they have gone through the drying process, then the consistency of the moulded pipes could be weakened and could result in leaks in the pipes.

Looking to move away from their current time consuming titration method which often requires costly specialized equipment, the manufacturer purchased an A&D Advanced Moisture Balance with SRA (Secondary Radiation Assist) Technology and are now able to get accurate moisture content measurements in a much shorter time.

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Some significant benefits achieved from A&D’s involvement:

  • Faster and uniform moisture measurement with halogen lamp and innovative SRA technology.
  • Huge cost savings because the customer no longer needed to purchase replacement specialised titration equipment.
  • If required, live moisture data can be graphed to a PC using A&D’s WIN CT moisture software.
  • Locally supported moisture analysers which can easily be serviced by their local scale service provider.

A&D Australasia continue to prove that economical, Australian designed and manufactured solutions are a vital resource for local industry now and into the future.

After all, “If you don’t measure it, how can you control it?”

Integrating a seamless filling solution for a top Cherry producer

A&D were proud to support GP Graders (one of Australia’s leading manufacturer of cherry sorting and packing machinery) to develop a solution to improve the cherry filling process for eight new production lines at Cherry Hill Orchards in the beautiful Yarra Valley.
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The main objective was to carefully transfer the picked cherries into crates, whilst also ensuring even distribution into all of the various bag and box sizes during the filling process.

Together with GP Graders’ world leading food processing systems, we developed a reliable and intelligent solution incorporating our A&D high speed AD-4402 Batching indicator controller that allowed seamless, uniform distribution.

See the video below on how it all came together.

Major Tomato Producer Implements Local Weight Data Solution

major-tomato-producer_1A&D’s powerful Multiweigher 3000 weight data suite has recently been implemented to capture the weights of tomato trusses growing in a new high-tech glasshouse just north of Adelaide.

With several Dutch automated process systems already in use at the glasshouse, A&D’s technical team were contacted to:

  • Facilitate better weighing accuracy which aligns with Australian Weights & Measures Guidelines;
  • To provide superior data capture intelligence compatible with the Dutch supplied equipment;
  • To provide local service and technical support.

Reviewing the customer’s requirements and taking the new state of the art facility into consideration, A&D’s locally approved & supported weighing hardware and the A&D Multiweigher 3000 software package became the obvious solution.

Firstly, the A&D technical team installed replacement indicators (A&D’s FSi-D models) to the pre-pack lines and the truss production lines. These indicators were fitted with wireless serial data servers which transmit the data via the company’s wireless network to a designated PC. These integrated seamlessly with the existing loadcells, minimizing physical disruption.

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The A&D Multiweigher 3000 software allows the customer to accurately monitor the tomato truss production lines; ensuring better measurement control of their production operations. The A&D Multiweigher package allows capture of all weights, not only from the newly implemented A&D scales, but also from the customer’s existing inline checkweighers.

Furthermore, A&D installed an optical counter at the end of the production lines to cross check the count data, validating the production accuracy all managed by the single and very cost effective software package.

 

Some significant benefits achieved from A&D’s involvement are:

  • Waste reduction & minimised giveaways
  • Improved cost savings / profits
  • The facility to monitor operator efficiencies

A&D Australasia continue to prove that economical, Australian designed and manufactured solutions are a vital resource for local industry and are proud to continue to work with this SA tomato glasshouse facility to produce quality prime fruit now and into the future.

After all… “If you don’t measure it, you can’t control it”

Passionate about Pasta

A&D Weighing were recently contacted by one of Australia’s leading pasta manufacturers Alligator Brand, to help further improve their inspection process.
Passionate about Pasta
Alligator Brand has been manufacturing pasta in Melbourne’s inner west for over 20 years and is supplying quality product to over 300 businesses worldwide. As their client list continues to grow, Alligator Brand is constantly looking for ways to further improve their quality systems.
Alligator Brand is renowned for their premium quality products, so they expected a premium solution:

  • Superior metal detection system for food production line;
  • Local service and technical support.
  • A&D’s EZI-Check™ Metal Detector allows the customer to accurately control the quality output of their production lines to ensure they align with our high Australian industry standards.
    The EZI-Check™ Metal Detector is Japanese designed to provide an exceptional level of performance, accuracy and reliability, and the compact frame ensures minimal factory space is taken up.
    A&D Weighing is proud to provide Alligator Brand with the innovative EZI-Check™ Metal Detector, helping to protect the welfare of their customers, and to safeguard their production processes & reputation.

    After all, “If you don’t measure it, you can’t control it”


    To see the full library of EZI-Check™ Inspection videos, CLICK HERE

    A&D weighs out inconsistencies in prison food

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    In a bid to control prisoners’ food consumption and to ensure overall nutritional balanced diets within the jail, a NSW prison recently requested our help to suggest a better way of achieving consistent food portions.

    The current process saw the prison’s catering teams manually divide the daily food portions into approximate serving sizes without the aid of any significant measuring equipment. This process yielded inconsistencies with a few prisoners receiving either too much or too little food during meal service.

    Working together with local A&D Platinum Partner Precision Calibration Services (PCS), we suggested the use of A&D’s FS-6Ki scales to achieve accurate measurement control of the daily food portions. We also introduced the A&D Multiweigher 3000 to determine which teams worked best together thus improving overall yield.
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    The solution was simple. Two FS-6Ki scales were set up at the portioning station in the central kitchen. The first FS-6Ki scale was used to weigh every portion to determine if too much or too little food was being served, and the second FS-6Ki scale was used to even out the inconsistencies.

    The A&D Multiweigher 3000 was also integrated in the portioning process to capture and measure which teams worked best together to provide the greatest consistency and efficiency.

    This is another example of A&D Australasia continuing to prove that economical, Australian designed and supported solutions are a key resource for local industry.

    After all… “If you don’t measure it, you can’t control it”

    Engineered Safety on Amusement Thrill Rides

    Thrill Ride Safety
    Some people love them whilst others fear them, but how safe are amusement thrill rides?

    Recently some of our A&D Techeng team based in Brisbane were called to support one of Australia’s most popular theme parks in Queensland.

    A new amusement ride was purchased by the theme park to invigorate attendance numbers particularly with the school holidays coming. However before the amusement ride could be released to the most daring of thrill seekers, a rigorous risk assessment was performed. This assessment is carried out on all new and existing rides to ensure all safety guidelines are met in accordance to Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 (QLD) and AS 4024.1-2006 – Safety of Machinery.

    In this instance, the risk assessment found the thrill ride did not fully comply with compulsory safety requirements so our engineers where sought out to advise on possible solutions to improve the safety rating of the new amusement purchase.

    The requirements were reviewed and A&D Techeng found the optimal way to meet safety category ratings of CAT 3 and CAT 4, was to install an Allen Bradley CompactGuard PLC with safety IO on Ethernet/IP and category rated switches.

    A&D Techeng used the risk assessment to map out the electrical design (CAD), program the PLC, manage the electrical installation and commission the ride. The PLC was an ideal solution as it is used to monitor safety measures as well as being able to perform control functions for the amusement ride.

    Once the thrill ride was upgraded with the appropriate changes, the ride was then re-evaluated to ensure that the requirements of the risk assessment were achieved.

    With the safety of the amusement ride now successfully validated, we are sure this new exciting thrill ride will get even the most well-seasoned thrill seekers’ hearts racing. We thank the theme park team for choosing us to be part of this successful project.

    Super Sweet Results for Strawberry Grower

    Strawberry-Solution A&D Weighing recently solved a problem for an Australian strawberry grower based in WA, with customised, NMI trade approved bench scales that significantly improved the efficiency of their packing processes. This strawberry grower supplies hundreds of tonnes of berries to retail supermarkets each year and is renowned for their premium strawberries, so they expected a premium solution. The Objectives were clear:
    • Improve packing process for packing staff of 30+.
    • Need to accurately weigh out 250g punnets accurately and quickly.
    • Need NMI trade approved scales to meet Australian and Retail legislative requirements.
    • Robust portable bench scales with easily readable displays and comparator functionality.
    The A&D Weighing design team went to work to enhance the standard A&D EW-i bench scales with custom modifications to support the most efficient packing process possible. The scales were assembled, tested, inspected and delivered within budget and time-frame. Now the packing operators simply turn on their scales and with the aid of the bright comparator lights prompting the packers to when the target punnet weight is met/over/under, they fill their punnets. The punnets are then boxed and ready to be delivered. Next step – super sweet, fresh strawberries at your local supermarket! Strawberry-Solution2 The benefits are significant and return on investment rapid:
    • More efficient & intelligent weighing process, releasing extra labour for other tasks.
    • Added peace of mind that scales are trade approved by NMI Weights & Measures to align with QA processes.
    • Identifies trends & errors in real-time to reduce unnecessary giveaway and wastes.
    • Improved batch QA & QC – system can further be expanded to allow full data capture & reporting.
    • Locally designed solution, easily supported by their local scale service provider.
    A&D Weighing also ensured a “future-proof” system by utilising scales that would easily allow the client to add wireless scale weight communication directly to their production PC if ever required. Most A&D scales, balances and weight indicators can be expanded in this way. This is another example of A&D Australasia continuing to prove that economical, Australian designed and supported solutions are a vital resource for local industry and are proud to continue to work with this WA strawberry grower to produce quality prime fruit & berries now and into the future. After all, “If you don’t measure it, you can’t control it”

    Wild about Game Meat

    Game-Meat-Solution

    Diners and restaurants are becoming more adventurous with culinary fare, and in the last few years we have witnessed a rise in demand for game meat in Australia as well as overseas.

    Making increasingly regular appearances on our menus are: kangaroo meat, rabbit meat, emu, and boar just to name a few. So with demand on the rise, a well-known and highly respected game meat processing company called upon A&D Techeng’s services to help improve their existing game meat tracking process, and to ensure they continue to deliver quality game meat of the highest standard to our domestic market as well as overseas.

    The customer’s objectives were clear:

    • Facilitate better tracking of the animal from the truck to the cool room.
    • Improve the current process of recording stock with greater accuracy and efficiency.
    • Devise a catchment operating system for any barcodes that require manual recording.

    Game-Meat-Solution2 Reviewing the customer’s requirements with the assistance of A&D Partner Able Scales in Brisbane, and using barcode scanners, Schneider SCADA & HMI System, Allen Bradley Micrologix, A&D Weighing’s IP65 AD-4407 indicator with analogue output option, and utilising existing A&D overhead-track OHT-600 scales, the team were able to design and implement an innovative system that can easily read, record and sort information quickly and easily.

    The system registers the shooter ID tag and the weight of the animal using the digits on the barcode (the barcode primarily identifies the type of animal, site reference, the shooter), and additional information regarding the truck number, the date, and time is also collated into a CSV file for further accounting and reporting requirements. If any barcodes are not readable/visible in the tag reading area, then the animal is automatically diverted to an alternative weighing station where manual entry is performed.

    The benefits are significant and return on investment rapid:

    • Faster and more intelligent weighing process, releasing extra labour for other tasks.
    • An efficient recording and tracking process that requires less time to complete.
    • Added peace of mind with improved accuracy and recording capabilities.
    • Improved batch QA & QC reporting and accounting.

    This is another example of A&D Australasia continuing to prove that economical, Australian designed and manufactured solutions are a vital resource for local industry.
    After all, “If you don’t measure it, you can’t control it”

    Is there Mushroom to improve?

    Mushroom-Solution

    One of Australia’s largest family owned producer, packer and marketer of fresh produce has a reknowned reputation for quality and consistency, and are always seeking new and innovative methods to raise the bar.

    As part of their rigorous QA program, they identified scope for improvement in their mushroom picking operations.
    With state of the art spawn laboratories and the latest in growing environment measurement and control, they identified an opportunity to move away from their current process of manually recording the pick weights, adopting a more effective method of automatically logging weight data during the picking stage.

    Utilising A&D Australasia’s waterproof FS-15Ki trade approved scales with RS232 serial output, local A&D Australasia partner Able Scales implemented a precise and cost effective method of automatically capturing every finalised pack weight and was easily integrated into the company’s own grading software.

    With one simple button press, the pickers are able to log weight, time and date and the information is directly fed into the customer’s grading system for further processing.

    Mushroom-Solution2

    The Objectives are significant:

    • Logging the data facilitates accurate weight records, reducing operator error.
    • With payment based on picking productivity, digital data capture eliminates potential disputes.
    • By allocating logged data to specific pickers, the company is able to monitor productivity rates by batch and by individual operator.
    • Systems are easily supported by their local scale service provider.

    Not resting on their laurels, these leaders in the fresh produce space continue to establish best practice and innovation; maximising yields and reducing costs, whilst maintaining the highest quality standards. A&D Australasia were proud to be a key part of this success story with yet another innovative weighing solution.

    Printing a Better Weigh

    Printing-a-Better-Weigh_1

    Webstar are one of Australia’s leaders in the print media space and have forged a reputation for unrivalled flexibility, quality and reliability. They print more than 150 magazine titles, catalogues and corporate publications each month. Always seeking productivity improvement opportunities, A&D Australasia were called upon to assist Webstar in devising and implementing an effective and reliable method to reduce overprint in some titles, i.e. make sure print runs were consistently closer to targets thus reducing waste in materials, energy and manual effort.

    Reviewing Webster’s requirements, A&D Australasia utilised their unique skill set of Automation Engineering and Weighing Instrument Manufacturing to take on the challenge.

    “If you can’t measure it, you can’t control it” is the mantra at the heart of A&D’s process improvement philosophies. Utilising a precision compact balance to set initial sample weights and a SCADA package custom-built by A&D TechEng, output weights were then tracked on a larger 2000kg scale with real-time feedback to the main system. Improvements to the commercial print operations were instant.

    Printing-a-Better-Weigh_2

    Aside from the customised Electrical Engineering design by A&D TechEng, this project was rolled out using “off the shelf” A&D Weighing instruments and the local expertise & support of A&D Platinum Partner Precision Calibration Services (PCS).

    With their local know-how and responsiveness, PCS are able to support this system with ease, providing the client with complete peace of mind.

    • A&D EK Compact Precision Balance facilitates accurate sample weights for initial setup, reducing irregularities with insert materials.
    • A&D3000 2000kg Pallet Scale (proudly made in Australia) monitors the final mass output, eliminating the time and variance associated with manual counts.
    • A&D TechEng SCADA solution delivers easy operator interface and management feedback.
    • PCS provide local service and calibration support to keep it all running smoothly.

    A&D Australasia were proud to be a key part of this success story with yet another innovative weighing solution.

    Coffee Scale, Caffeine Hit on a Major Scale!

    A&D Australasia’s Weighing Division recently solved a problem for local boutique coffee blender and roaster Veneziano Coffee, with a customised, portable weigh hopper that reduced OH&S risks and significantly improved their blending process.
    Veneziano are renowned for their premium coffee so they expected a premium solution.

    Weighing Hopper Solution Objectives were clear:

    • Had to take the blending hopper to the 50kg sacks of imported raw beans – not the other way round (they don’t share our OH&S standards in places like Guatemala & Kenya – boy are those sacks heavy!)
    • Needed to accurately add small and large amounts (within 50g accuracy) to create up to 400kg blends.
    • Hopper was to be fully portable with battery or mains powered weight system on board.
    • Robust design from Food Grade Stainless Steel with oversize wheels

    The A&D Weighing design team went to work and the system was built, tested, inspected, delivered and training completed within budget and time-frame. Now the operators simply wheel the hopper to each pallet of raw beans, add the required amount to the hopper weigh scale, tare the A&D AD4406 controller before adding the next ingredient and so-on until the batch is completed. The hopper weigh scale is then wheeled into position under the vacuum pipe that extracts the beans up into the roaster.

    Next step – a fresh Veneziano Espresso!

    The benefits are significant and return on investment rapid:

    • Lower OH&S risk from carrying heavy sacks
    • Faster, more efficient weighing process, releasing extra labour for other tasks
    • Improved batch QA & QC – able to record gross batch weights and individual ingredient weights
    • Locally designed & manufactured solution, easily supported by their local scale service provider

    They also ensured a “future-proof” system by utilising a Weighing controller that would easily allow the client to add wireless scale weight communication directly to their production PC if ever required. Most A&D scales, balances and weight indicators can be expanded in this way. A&D Weighing continue to prove that economical, Australian designed and manufactured solutions are a vital resource for local industry.