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Metal Detector Placement?

Metal Detector

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#1 792404

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 08:43 PM

Hi all, I am just starting out learning HACCP and have a question about a metal detector

 

The application is Candy Mint Manufacturing. 

 

We want to get a metal detector to scan the mint before packaging. The reason is that the package has a foil wrapper. So if we get a metal detector before entering the packing machine and there is an issue with the Metal Detector and we need to go back to the last verification time and hold all the product since then, the product will already be wrapped in foil and will have to be disposed of. The only option I see is to get an X-Ray type detector after packaging. They are twice the price and not as accurate from what I hear. We have yet to buy a Detector and want to make sure we dont get the wrong type. Any Input?

 

Thanks, Mike


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#2 The Director

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 12:01 PM

Hi Mike,

 

There is probably no other single control point raising questions than metal detection and metal detectors. A  properly designed and understood risk assessment and decision tree used in conjunction with a good dollop of common sense is an absolute requirement.

 

 

I will try and cover the thought process though, not following the rigours of the decision tree.

 

 

1. Where is any metal contamination  going to come from, what type of metal and what size(s) of fragment.

 

2. Can these be eliminated or controlled so they are not a risk to a consumer of the candy?

 

3 If not, I would assume you are not regularly contamination your product on an ongoing basis, so, in the event of a metal detector failure,  can you identify (through inspection for example) whether something has failed and contamination occurred, e.g. missing bits of a mixer blade.

 

 

The objective is to sell safe product, not product contaminated with pieces of metal which could cause injury.  If you have a metal detector in place which fails, as long as an audit or inspection of the process and equipment  shows nothing metallic is missing (you have to know your process well) and you do not have a history of product contamination,   you will have a metal detector is useful as a failure alarm rather than a control and certainly not a CCP.  Prevention is better than cure.  Think due diligence in the event of detector failure rather than in-process failure.

 

 

I hope this sort of makes sense.  I am a fan of metal detectors, but not a fan of metal detectors being CCPs as this tends to lead one down the route of no way out apart from dumping product, and normally there are other ways out.

 

 

Regards,

 

The Director


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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 12:52 PM

Hi Director,

 

Thanks for the comments.

 

Any thoughts regarding foil / X-ray ?


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#4 The Director

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 01:58 PM

Hi Charles/Mike.

 

I have used x-ray detection systems in the past in canning operations, so using steel cans in my case. Modern x-ray systems are probably getting to a stage of being more capable than metal detectors.  I think it would be worth a conversation with a supplier to see what could be proposed.  It will depend on the presentation of the product to the detector system, i.e, what area of conveyorised product  is the unit expected to scan.  My experience is  along the lines of up to 300 units a minute, but those units 200 - 400g are considerably larger than candy sweets.

The advantage of an x-ray system may also be the ability to reject mis-shapes or broken candies,

However, x-ray systems don't give an answer to the original issue - what happens when the unit fails.  They are pretty reliable nowadays, though.

 

Regards,

The Director


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#5 Charles.C

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 02:10 PM

Hi Director,

 

i am only familiar with conventional MDs but i can see that Al foil-compatible units are now available which might presumably solve the problem, eg -

 

http://www.fortresst...oducts/in-foil/

 

However as compared sensitivity-wise to X-Ray no idea. Cost-wise similarly an unknown plus compared to standard MD units which quite cheap these days afaik.

 

There is a partially related thread here -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...etal-packaging/

 

PS - i agree with yr previous concepts but IMEX some incredibly strange blunders can occur in factories. Out-of-haccp range. :smile:


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#6 792404

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 11:42 PM

Thanks for your input guys. I have a guy coming tomorrow to see what he thinks. I see the foil compatible detector but it only detects Ferrous metals. We use aluminium scopes and other measuring tools. As far as the Metal Detector being a CCP, I have to go with the fact that the auditor will consider it one. Thanks for your time, Mike


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#7 Charles.C

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 07:44 AM

Thanks for your input guys. I have a guy coming tomorrow to see what he thinks. I see the foil compatible detector but it only detects Ferrous metals. We use aluminium scopes and other measuring tools. As far as the Metal Detector being a CCP, I have to go with the fact that the auditor will consider it one. Thanks for your time, Mike

 

Looks like you've self-narrowed yr options. :smile:


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#8 The Director

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 07:47 AM

Well good luck.  I would just say that it is not for the auditor to decide whether or not a step in the process is a CCP or not, that is for you to do following your risk assessment and decision tree.  Obviously you are being audited for a reason, but if the guy comes with that fixed point of view, then I would not have them back next time, or at the very least I would take with a pinch of salt any other recommendations on HACCP they make.

At the end of the day, your controls have to make the food safe.  That is all they should be concerned about, not the labels we attach to parts of the process.

I will get off my hobby horse.

 

Regards,

The Director.


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