Regular monitoring of metal detection systems is crucial to implement a world class contamination detection and prevention programme. Using technology based on a Predictive Analytics framework, manufacturers can significantly reduce the frequency of routine performance tests, and benefit from improved operator and production line efficiency. Leanne Peasnall, Head of Marketing at Mettler-Toledo Safeline Metal Detection, reveals how.
Predictive Analytics isan umbrella term encompassing two key features aboard the latest metal detectors which continuously monitor the system’s performance.Benefits include increased manufacturing uptime, improved overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) andsubstantial cost savings.
The first of the two key features is a software enhancement called Condition Monitoring that was developed as a preventative maintenance tool, developed within a Predictive Analytics framework. The metal detector monitors its own performance and functionality and if a change in performance is detected, an early warning alarm is activated to alert the operator. The key factor is that the alarm will sound in advance of a potential failure developing within the system, enabling maintenance engineers to rectify the problem quickly and helping manufacturers avoid costly and unnecessary downtime.
The technology has been developed further in the form of Reduced Test mode, which ensures the metal detector is always working to or better than the required specification. In doing so, a safety net is built in. Once Reduced Test mode is activated, an alarm will notify personnel via an on-screen message when any change in sensitivity is identified and, importantly, well before the system drops below the set specification for the line on which it’s operating.
How and why metal detectors are tested is well documented and understood. Testing provides reassurance that systems are operating in accordance with the specified sensitivity for the product they are inspecting and accurately rejecting products containing metal contaminants. It also provides reassurance that any sensors employed as part of the detection/rejection circuit are set up and functioning correctly.
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