Food Metal Detector Not Working? Check for These 3 Issues First

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metal detector machine
Food metal detectors are the best way to ensure that there are no metallic contaminants, whether they are Ferrous, Non-Ferrous, or Stainless Steel — the main groups of metallic contaminants in food processing.While their roots might be humble, food metal detectors have become sophisticated pieces of technology that can integrate directly with data systems and even allow users to operate them with a simple touch screen.

But rapid ascension in technology means there are now more ways that a food metal detector can malfunction. The most common way these malfunctions express themselves is as a false rejection. These rejections can drastically affect the total efficiency of your production line, and bring your productivity to a crawl.

In order to avoid false rejection, here are four of the most common errors you might run into that you should be aware of:

Conveyor System Issues

One of the more common reasons for false rejection actually originated from outside of the metal detector itself. Whether it’s loose fittings or dilapidated bearings, any extraneous or poorly placed metal item can register as a foreign contaminant and cause a false rejection.

Fortunately, this is an easy issue to fix. By regularly inspecting your line and replacing aging equipment the vast majority of these issues will resolve themselves.


Have you ever been listening to an AM radio station while driving near electrical wires? The interference from the wires will cause the radio to become fuzzy, making it impossible to hear your favorite song.

The same thing can happen with a food metal detector. If any food x-ray machine or pouch filling machines are stored too close to your metal detector and emit any electricity or radio waves, they might impact your system, causing it to assume that the interference is actually metal contaminants.

Product Uniformity

When handling food products, some variation in consistency is normal. This might be exacerbated by temperature and humidity changes, which can have a direct effect on foods high in salt or water content.

The problem occurs when the radio waves from your food metal detector can no longer penetrate the food at the same rate as before. This will trick the system into thinking there is an abnormality in the food, and create a false rejection.

While there are new technologies that are designed to help mitigate this issue, the surest way to minimize this error is to regulate the environment of your factory.

If you are experiencing issues with your food metal detectors, you are likely suffering from a depression in efficiency and output. By checking for these three common problems, you are well on your way to getting back on track.

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