April 30, 2009 - As the largest processor of bison meat in the United States, Rocky Mountain Natural Meats goes to great lengths to provide customers with the highest quality product. Ground products are inspected by metal detectors three times on the processing and packaging lines. To maximize detection sensitivity and equipment reliability at every step, they rely on PowerPhase metal detectors from Mettler-Toledo Safeline.
"Rocky Mountain Natural Meats is a premium supplier of premium protein. We operate far above what the USDA expects," noted Ty Ward, Plant Manager. "With three Safeline metal detectors inspecting product, we're making sure our product is clean."
Inspecting bulk product in the fabricating room, the first PowerPhase metal detector assures the quality of product that is not ground, including custom fabricated meats. Bulk product destined for grinding moves to the further processing room where another PowerPhase metal detector inspects the trim upstream of the grinder. The third and final PowerPhase metal detector inspects packaged product at the end of the line.
"The metal detector in the fabricating room and the one on the packaging line are both new. We added them a few months ago," explained Jay Donato, Quality Assurance Manager. "We went with Mettler-Toledo Safeline because we've had great experiences with their metal detectors in the past. That, and they've got the best reputation in the industry and we wanted the best."
Space in the fabricating room was tight and presented a fixed footprint for the new metal detector so Mettler-Toledo Safeline custom engineered a "z style conveyor." This system features a horizontal infeed followed by an incline conveyor that passes through the metal detector. A horizontal discharge, which includes a retractable band reject device, is cantilevered over the customer's take-away conveyor.
"Our sales rep, Lee Hosey from J. Harper and Associates, was very helpful, making sure we got exactly what we needed," said Donato. "The installation of the big metal detector in the fabricating room could have been tricky but it was seamless. We cut out a section of the old line and dropped in the new equipment without a single hiccup."
During production, the temperature in the fabricating and grinding rooms is a chilly 41ºF. During sanitation, the temperature and humidity in the rooms soar, subjecting the metal detectors to harsh conditions at both extremes. The PowerPhase metal detectors are designed to operate reliably in this environment, featuring an IP69K-rated control panel and exceeding NEMA 4X specifications to handle a wide range of temperatures as well as high-pressure washdowns.
The PowerPhase metal detectors identify all types of metal from ferrous and non-ferrous material to the more difficult to detect stainless steel fragments. The highest detection sensitivity is achieved with high frequency coil technology and advanced head geometry while false rejects are virtually eliminated with the use of a "Faraday Screen" that filters out interference.
"Thanks to the PowerPhase detectors, we're confident we're achieving the highest level of product quality," concluded Donato. "Compared to other custom fab processors, which typically don't have a metal detector on the trim line, we're a big step ahead. We have very high quality standards here. In addition to our own due diligence, we're audited every year by a third party."
About Mettler-Toledo Safeline
Mettler-Toledo Safeline is the world's leading provider of metal detection and x-ray inspection systems for the food and pharmaceutical industries. Safeline's reputation as the primary provider of contaminant detection equipment is built on a commitment to innovative products supported by the most comprehensive product testing, engineering solutions, service and training in the industry.
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