As the speed increases for the way food is harvested, processed and packaged in the market place, there is an ever-increasing need to make sure all of these processes are happening in a containment free environment to ensure the quality and safety of the food we consume. We often hear of countless stories of how a company had a huge recall because some contaminants went undetected and made it into the market place. Depending on the products being processed, the equipment and systems being used, companies have either preferred to use metal detectors to ensure the quality of their products. Others have chosen to use X-ray technology to accomplish the same thing. Many also add visual inspection equipment as well in different areas of their process. The challenge has grown considering the extensive use of plastics for mating wear parts in these high speed, automated processes to help equipment perform at higher speeds, and higher efficiency. Conventional plastics are impossible to detect using these standard methods due to their color or make up. Recently, plastic stock shape manufacturers have developed materials that are either metal detectable or X-ray detectable for approved use in direct food contact processing applications.
Material selection would then depend on what detection technology was being used for the process in question. In addition to FDA/3A Dairy compliance, good dimensional stability, and resistance to CIP (clean-in-place) chemical wash-down, we also need to narrow down which material also matches up well with the detection technology. In order to make the selection process easier and also make parts interchangeable, Plastics International is now offering an Ultra Detectable Blue material that is perfect for a large number of food industry applications. This revolutionary new Ultra Detectable Blue acetal copolymer material can be detected in food processes in one of three ways:
- Via metal detection equipment
- Via x-ray equipment
- Via optical scanners (because of the blue color)
This new material can machine easily into the part of your choice along with offering the ability to be detected as chunks as small as 3mm thick or shavings up to 1 mm thick (using standard metal detection equipment). So weather you are designing a scraper blade, forming plate, filler valve, cam follower or bushing or bearing, consider the value-added Ultra Detectable Blue (UD-Blue) can offer you in your food processing application.
If you would like help in determining if this material will offer value in oyur application, feel free to contact Plastics International for assistance. We would love to hear feedback from any who have used the product and if it helped solve any challenges in your business.