5 Metal Items Commonly Found In A Process Line

Frighteningly, metal contamination is commonly found is process lines around the world.  Whether the line is processing food, plastics, chemicals, minerals or any other processed product, metal will be present in some form.  It damages equipment, reduces product quality and can end up in the product purchased by the consumer.  So what types of metal are commonly found in process lines?  These are just some of the metal captured by Bunting Magnetic Separators:

  1. Nails – The common nail is often found strongly and safely attached to a magnet.  Often they are imbedded the original in feed material and are not seen;
  2. Screwdrivers – Process plants need maintenance and items such as screwdrivers can be dropped into a silo and, thankfully, then end up stuck to a magnet;
  3. Abraded stainless steel – Most process plants are made from stainless steel and over time the plant wears.  As the plant wears, fine stainless steel ends up in the processed material.  So how do magnets capture non-magnetic stainless steel?  Simple chemistry.  When the stainless steel is abraded, it becomes weakly magnetics and so if you have a strong enough magnet it can be captured;
  4. Bolts and screws – Often from plant within the process, where they have become loose, but thankfully a magnet or a metal detector can capture these before they damage delicate processing equipment;
  5. Mobile phones – An extreme, but not unusual item found in process lines.  People should just stop carrying mobiles in their top pockets;

Nail Metal Contamination

For more information on the types of equipment that is used to capture rogue metal, please click here.

Who said UK Manufacturing is Dead?

WeldingThere appears to be a constant feeling of gloom around UK manufacturing and engineering, mainly fuelled by the media.  However, in Berkhamsted is a company who manufactures in the UK and who continues to expand at a rapid rate of knots.  Recently, they had a series of photographs taken in their UK facility just to emphasise the manufacturing side to the operation.  Despite being part of a global organisation, Bunting Magnetics in the UK continues to invest in their manufacturing facility to serve their customers across Europe.  So why aren’t Bunting moving all their manufacturing East to a low cost manufacturing country such as China or India?

There is not one simple straight forward answer.  It is a complex strategic decision.  Several words and phrases that do apply are consistent quality, escalating transport costs, skills, control and, possibly the most important of all, maintaining excellent customer service.

Bunting has made a strategic decision not only to continue to manufacture in the UK but to expand.  The demand for their products grows, especially as customers find that the quality of competitors’ product and service is an issue.

So, whoever did suggest that UK Manufacturing was Dead, hasn’t been to Berkhamsted and I strongly suggest that they do.

Measure the Strength of a Magnet in Elephants?

It is a tough question and one that causes users and potential purchasers of magnetic separators a great deal of heartache.  All you want to do is pull steel cans out of waste being carried on a conveyor.  So why is it so complicated?

Suppliers of Magnetic Separators, such as Overband/Cross Belt/Suspended Magnets, can sometimes end up quoting the level of gauss as a certain distance or the force density.  In most cases, they may as well be saying that the magnetic force is equivalent to a hundred elephants as how can you measure gauss, force density or, indeed, elephants?

The best way is to keep assessment simple.  Refer to a standard test piece (a 25x100mm steel bar is good) and say that you want that picked up by a magnet suspended at a specific height (eg 300mm) above the conveyor.  Leave the gauss and force density problems to the supplier and then test the magnet once it is delivered.  Simple, cheap but very effective!

Bunting has put together a short video which can be seen on http://www.magneticseparation.co/company/news/how_strong_is_your_magnet.aspx.  There is also some additional information that will help you select the best magnet for the job and also know the strength of your magnet.

Cross Belt Magnet

The Magnet Picks Up That?!? New Video

The Overband or Suspended Magnet is one of the most common magnetic separators used in the world. However, the performance varies enormously.  When assessing the performance there are simple tests that can be conducted.  The video shows a classic test, with a Bunting Overband Cross Belt Magnet suspended at 300mm and picking up a small metal bar.  Do the same test with your magnet and check that the performance is better or similar.  If it isn’t, then maybe it is the right time to speak with Bunting.  They will be at both the RWM and Interplas exhibitions in the NEC Birmingham in September.

For more information go to http://www.magneticseparation.co/magnet_separators/material_handling_separators.aspx