Fortress updates Halo digital testing for food manufacture

Published: 22-Oct-2020

Reducing the frequency of manual testing can help reduce the risk of human error and workplace injury at critical control points on a manufacturing line

Fortress Technology has released the latest version of its Halo digital testing. Available on Fortress’ full range of digital metal detectors, the self-check software is designed to ensure systems meet quality control standards.

To successfully comply with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) production standards, food manufacturers need to have a testing system established for the audit process of industrial metal detectors. Tests are typically scheduled throughout the day at hourly intervals to confirm the inspection system is working as it should be.

Halo automatically and independently checks for all metal materials: ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel. The system also checks the performance of the reject system, forming an important part of manufacturing due diligence.

Traditionally installed on throat, pipeline and gravity metal detectors that inspect loose or free-falling products on bagging lines, including rice, sauces, cereals, powders, corn, sugar and snack foods, the latest Halo release is also suitable for inspecting bulk bags and boxes on a conveyor style metal detector. In addition to reducing operational costs, digital testing also reduces waste and product rework, in addition to automating the timely aspects of the process.

Fortress Technology’s European Managing Director Phil Brown said: “Manual tests on metal detectors handling free-falling products, those fitted above bagging lines or ones processing bulk products are challenging. They can be difficult to reach, need two people to complete the test and incur production loss while each test is completed.”

The recommended test point on a detector is the very centre of the aperture where the signal is least sensitive. It’s impossible on a vertical line, for example, to manually drop a test sample into the centre of the detector, which can result in data records showing inconsistent signal variations.

When specifying Halo on a Fortress metal detector however, the test is done by generating signals to disturb the magnetic field in the centre of the metal detector’s aperture.

Users determine how often the system completes QC tests and how the validated test data is digitally saved for audit purposes. Tests and records can be activated automatically, remotely or manually via a touchscreen HMI.

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