So what makes Testrods.com a unique business? Better yet, what makes metal detection in the food, pharmaceutical or textile industries different? Ask the average person on the street about what a metal detector is and you’ll most likely hear something about what happens when you walk through an airport boarding area or what kind of a tool you’re using while searching for hidden treasure on the beach. Metal detection in the food industry, however, is very different. And rightly so.
Those in the food, pharmaceutical and textile industries know that metal detection manufacturers are serving a niche market. This kind of product cannot be found in a retail department store serving the consumer-at-large, which only means that when you try to explain it to those outside the industry, you will probably get one of two reactions: a blank stare or a “Wow, I never thought of that!”
Tell someone your job involves metal detection in the food industry and you may find that conjures images of a chunk of metal the the size of a nut or bolt in your favorite can of soup, or in the chicken you’re about to grill for your family! You wouldn’t really need a metal detector for that. In the food industry, these kinds and sizes of metals would not only be unacceptable, but extremely rare. In fact, the FDA specifies that an object 7.0mm (just over ¼”) is the standard for protection against choking, so a nut or bolt making its way to the marketplace is simply unimaginable, yet we know it happens.
Thankfully, food production, processing and packaging companies use standards far below 7.0mm. In general, metals in the range of 1.0-5.0mm are used for testing, but in some plants, the standards are set as low as 0.3mm. This is a value an airport detector could never achieve. In a typical production plant, food is passed down a conveyor or gravity fed system and, at some point, passes through a metal detector designed to reject anything with those tiny pieces of metal. And you need a consistent, reliable metal detector to make sure that happens.
At Regal Packaging Services, we believe Fortress Technology manufactures detectors that are the best on the market. With a commitment to Simple Operation, Exceptional Performance, Outstanding Reliability and Never Obsolete, you’ll know you’re doing the best you can to protect against metal contaminated product reaching the marketplace.
But no matter what brand metal detector you use, Testrods.com (a division of Regal Packaging Services) can provide you with the highest quality, certified metal detection and x-ray inspection system test pieces to keep your equipment appropriately tested. And we have a wide variety of contaminant types: Ferrous (Chrome Steel), Non-Ferrous (Brass), and Stainless Steel 316 for metal detection and: Aluminum, Soda-Lime Glass, Ceramic ZR02 and AL203, Acetal (Delrin), PTFE (Teflon) and Rubber for x-ray inspection.
When it comes to quality assurance, a HACCP or food safety program will focus on providing confidence that certain requirements be fulfilled. This is twofold—internally to organization and externally to customers and others, like government regulators. And quality control follows by concentrating on the operational systems and activities that are used to fulfill those requirements day after day. Test pieces are an essential, critical part of the process.
The next time you’re trying to explain how you look for metal in your company’s product, try describing what you do as looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. If you don’t find it, someone is likely to get hurt, so it’s gratifying to know that you’re doing something to protect food in the local grocery store, regardless of the consumer’s awareness of our role.