Checking the tablets for metals as they come off the presses is one of the Critical Control Points identified by a HACCP analysis of the Nutrition Group production process.
Metal detectors check the loose tablets as they emerge and free-fall through the detector apertures and rejects are diverted into lockable bins that can be removed for secure disposal.
Each unit can handle up to 30,000 tablets per minute and uses digital signal processing to detect particles down to 0.15mm for ferrous and non-ferrous metals and 0.3mm for stainless steel.
Fortress provided an on-site demonstration and left a Stealth unit on site for six weeks so the sports nutrition and health supplement manufacturer could be confident it met requirements.
Tim Edwards, facilities manager, said it had never used Fortess before.
“The problem with a lot of equipment is that it can quickly become outdated, but Fortress says that it will guarantee to support its metal detectors, even if I call them up needing a part in 10 years’ time. That’s a big commitment.
“We have relatively short production runs that can be anywhere between 100,000 tablets up to 8 or 12 million. Some are on and off in just half a day, so we need flexibility.”
Nutrition Group produces in excess of 3 billion tablets and 500 million capsules a year.