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Read all the latest industry news and views right here.

Crisp brand praises lack of interference with checkweighers and metal detectors

Since Italian crisp manufacturer PATA Srl sourced first checkweighers and later metal detectors from Mettler Toledo, the lack of ambient vibration and interference have been key benefits for the operation.

There are major differences, says production manager Massimo Piona, between earlier models of checkweigher and the latest generation of equipment. “I have seen significant improvements on the new checkweighers, as all of the areas of the machine are accessible and there are fewer surfaces to clean,” he says, adding that the stable design of the checkweigher frame means that the company never sees fluctuating results due to ambient vibration.

When PATA invested in Mettler Toledo metal detection, on the strength of its experience with the checkweighing systems, this was largely because the equipment they had installed from another manufacturer was underperforming. In particular, the metal detectors were unable to withstand environmental disturbance, which compromised their accuracy. This resulted both in false rejects and undetected contaminants, and customers demanded higher quality standards.

Since installing Mettler Toledo metal detection, Piona has been most impressed with the signal sensitivity and the stability of the system. “The new metal detectors make us more compliant due to their ability to detect even small particles,” he says.

The company currently has 30 throat-style metal detectors on its site, five of which incorporate Mettler Toledo’s new Automatic Test System (ATS), which simulates the presence of a contaminant under free-fall conditions. Algorithms correlate the centreline (worst case) sensitivity with the edge-of-aperture (best case) sensitivity.

The latest Profile metal detectors to have been installed have Reduced Test mode integrated as standard. This means that the system operates at a higher specification than strictly required and notifies the operator if performance dips, providing advance warning of it falling out of specification. When this mode is active, it permits a significant reduction in the frequency of routine performance testing.

According to Mettler Toledo, the equipment company and PATA have a relationship stretching back over 20 years, with the first dynamic checkweighers installed in 2008. Recently, the initial three checkweighers were added to by an additional 10.

“We greatly benefit from the solution in two ways: first in terms of percentage savings in filling quantity – because weighing 100% of the products enables us to be more precise and apply tighter tolerances – and second, in terms of the minimised number of unsatisfactory lots that need to be recalled, reopened or repackaged,” Piona explains.

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