Metal detectable gaskets for sieving machinery from Russell Finex to help you meet strict food regulations and safeguard your product quality
Food manufacturers across the world all face three common challenges, eliminating metallic and non-metallic contamination and static build up within plant machinery. We look at each area and how the newly developed Russell gasket aims to tackle all three.
With the risk of damaging reputation and accruing potentially crippling costs, preventing metal contamination within products is a major focus for the food industry and as a result, manufacturers are constantly looking for new ways to eliminate this risk. Metal contamination can come in many forms, including nuts, bolts, metal tags, screen wire and fragments from failed parts. This has led to metal detection becoming a massive business within the food industry. The first industrial metal detector was developed in 1947 by founding company Goring Kerr, with Mars Incorporated being one of the first customers to use their metal detectors to inspect mars bars. Today, metal detection is standard practice in the food industry to ensure finished products meet established specifications.
With metal detection systems now in place coupled with the advancement of materials, non-metallic contamination can also be tackled. Although strict dress codes ensure items such as jewellery and hair clips cannot enter the process, new metal detectable materials have been developed which allow other non-metallic items to be picked up by metal detectors. This includes everyday items like pens and calculators as well as equipment componentry such as seals and gaskets.
In addition to contamination, another big challenge faced by many food manufacturers is the build-up of static electricity or electrostatic discharge in mechanical equipment. Over the years a number of companies have felt the impact of a dust explosion due to static build up. To help minimize this, in 2003 the ATEX directive was introduced covering all aspects of explosion prevention including problems associated with electrostatic discharge caused by mechanical equipment. Read more about ATEX.
In order to ensure there is no static build up in equipment earth continuity is required. However, since most equipment requires dismantling for maintenance and cleaning this introduces the need for seals and gaskets which essentially break the earth continuity. Therefore this means earth tags, straps or braids need to be fitted to bridge the gap. Although this ensures earth continuity is maintained, it can reduce functionality of equipment, making operation more difficult or increasing maintenance downtime.
The New Russell 3-in-1 gaskets
In addition to offering blue metal detectable gaskets, Russell Finex have launched a new gasket which tackles all three challenges with a metal detectable, magnetic attractable and conductive (MDAC) gasket. Combining these three attributes into one gasket makes it the safest gaskets available for vibratory sieves.
This gasket has been developed to provide optimum detectability for the food industry, so in the unlikely event that a fragment enters the product stream it will be detected by any metal detector (tested using a 150 aperture in dry mode, a 1.5-2mm fragment is achieved – courtesy of Loma Systems). In addition, although this is effective, activating a metal detector can be costly, not only because the product is rejected but because of the amount of production downtime it can cause. This is why Russell Finex MDAC gaskets are also magnetic attractable, enabling any in-line magnetic separator to collect any loose fragments, preventing the contamination from moving any further down the process line. Finally, the gasket is conductive meeting requirements set out by the ATEX directive. Fitting the gasket to a vibratory sieve removes the need for earth tags or clips ensuring earth continuity is maintained within the sieve.
For more info please contact your local sales office.
* The image represents a selection of Detectable Products used within the food industry manufactured and supplied by Detectamet in the UK. For more information visit www.detectamet.co.uk