28 In Line Magnets Remove Metal from Baby Food

Record Sales for In Line Magnets in 2016

A record 28 Pneumatic In-Line Magnets (PIMs) have been supplied to a major global Baby Food products company in Germany.  The Magnetic Separators are installed into food processing lines to attract and remove any magnetically susceptible materials.

2 PIMs ready for despatch to Germany

Metal is commonly found in food during processing.  The metal can originate from a breakdown of processing equipment (e.g. failure of a screen or pump), or even be delivered with the food raw materials.  The vast majority of food producers use Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors to remove and detect any rogue metal before any food product leaves the production plant.

Pneumatic In-Line Magnets (PIMs) are specifically designed for installation into pneumatic conveying systems.  The 28 supplied for the Baby Food application are fitted with extremely powerful Neodymium Iron Boron Rare Earth Magnets.  These produce the highest magnetic field and capture even small shards of metal and work-hardened stainless steel.

The internal design of the PIM ensures that the product flow is not compromised.  The powerful flat-faced magnet with two tapered-steps is mounted on one side of the PIM and swings out from the body for easy cleaning.  To ensure there is no leakage during operation, the flat-faced magnet is held firmly into place by long-threaded bolts.

Bunting Magnetics In Line Magnet-10

The key design features of the PIM are:

  • Designed for unobstructed product flow;
  • Compression couplings speed in-line installation;
  • For dilute phase conveying up to 15 psi;
  • Best suited for horizontal installation;
  • Optional portable cart available for easy handling;
  • Powerful Rare Earth magnetic field covers entire cross-section of product flow;
  • High-energy Rare Earth tapered step plate magnets are standard;
  • Magnet swings out for easy cleaning;
  • All finishes available including food and sanitary;

Other articles discussing ‘Metal In Food’ include Green Beans Found Contaminated with Metal at Morrisons and Metal found in Sainsbury’s Bread.

For more information on the Pneumatic In-Line Magnet or any Magnetic Separator, please contact our team on:

Phone:  +44 (0) 1442 875081

Email:  sales@buntingeurope.com

Via the website

Bunting Magnetics In Line Magnet-25

Morrisons Hit by Metal In Green Beans Scare

The Nightmare of Metal Contaminated Food

On Friday 21st April 2017, UK supermarket giant Morrisons was faced with a ‘Metal In Food’ health scare.  As reported by the BBC and others, two customers found the metal in packets of the vegetables in Manchester and Glasgow stores.

The Food Standards Agency issued a warning for the affected products, which are the supermarket’s 170g bags of the beans with display until dates of 22 April, 23 April and 24 April.

Supermarket WarsUnfortunately, this latest ‘Metal In Food’ scare is not unusual.  Even though a spokeswoman for Morrisons said an investigation was under way, the ramifications of this latest food health scare are considerable.  Not only is there the cost of recalling and refunding the product, but the announcement will affect consumer confidence.  As the UK supermarket war prevails, customers are very quick to switch allegiance and concerns about ‘Metal In Food’ might be enough for them to purchase their food at competitor’s stores.

For Morrisons, the question is how did such a food health scare occur.  Although it is unclear where these green beans were sourced, food is sourced globally.  However, the levels of control in different countries is variable.  A plant in Egypt may have different outlook than a UK producer with regards to health safety.  There are strict regulations in Europe that often do not apply outside our borders.  These regulations protect the consumer, but often mean higher production costs.

However, as the supermarket war continues, the pressure to find lower cost food sources intensifies.

And therein lies the conundrum.

If Morrisons and other supermarkets are going to increase their reliance on food supplied from outside of Western Europe, then will they dictate the food safety standards?  Some food suppliers such as M&S already instruct their suppliers on how to prevent ‘Metal In Food’ safety scares, providing advice on the installation of both Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.   They also regularly inspect their suppliers plants.

There is a significant cost involved in this proactive and involved approach, which may be too much for some supermarkets to accept.

Metron 05C Metal Detector on conveyorAnother option is to have all products checked at a warehouse prior to despatch.  The green beans in question could have passed through a tunnel-type Metal Detector which would have detected the metal.  However, such an initiative would increase processing time, delay despatches, and in crease costs (i.e. personnel).

This latest ‘Metal In Food’ scare follows many others including Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, metal in bread at Sainsbury, metal found in food processing plants in the USA.  And it will not be the last.  The big question is what needs to be done to regain consumer confidence and ensure that food products on supermarket shelves are ‘Metal-Free’.

The other Food Safety reports relating to Metal-in-Food include:

For more information on preventing Metal Contamination Food Safety Scares, please contact the Bunting team on:

Phone:  +44 (0) 1442 875081

Email:  sales@buntingeurope.com

Via the website



Bunting Expands the Sales Team

Gordon Kerr and Tom Higginbottom Join Bunting Europe

Bunting Magnetics Europe Ltd has expanded their UK sales team with the appointment of two new sales engineers.  The appointments follow a period of sustained sales growth and the acquisition of Master Magnets.

New Bunting Sales EmployeesTom Higginbottom (left in the photograph) joins Bunting’s external sales team and has an engineering background, with particular knowledge of hydraulics.  Tom’s focus will be face-to-face customer contact, providing onsite support and advice on solving metal contamination problems.

In a new internal role, Gordon Kerr is responsible for business development.  Gordon previously held a sales and marketing position at Anglian Home Improvements before becoming a Project Manager at Ceramica & Stone.

“There is a real positive vibe in the company,” said Gordon, “and I am looking forward to contributing to the company’s success.”

Dave Hills, Bunting’s Head of Sales, explained the reason for the appointments.

“Meeting clients at site continues to be one of our top priorities.  It enables us to get a better understanding of the problems faced by the client, which ultimately results in being able to offer better solutions.  As we [Bunting} have grown and expanded, the demand for visits has increased and appointing Tom was a natural progression.  Tom has a wealth of engineering experience and is an exciting addition to the team.”

“With Gordon, we have a new focus on business development.  He will be working very closely with the external sales team, identifying potential clients and arranging meetings.  His appointment marks the proactive action we need to take to reach out to new customers.”

Tom and Gordon will be supporting customers who need Magnetic Separators, Metal Detectors, and Factory Magnetic Solutions including Lifting Magnets and Magnetic Chucks.

For further information on the appointment of Tom and Gordon, please contact us on:

New Bunting Sales Employees
Gordon and Tom with Dave Hills, Bunting’s Head of Sales

Plate Magnets Remove Metal from Tobacco

Record Export Sales for Plate Magnets

Bunting Magnetic Europe manufactured a record number of Plate Magnets for Export to Indonesian tobacco processing plants in 2016.  Each Plate Magnet is installed to magnetically attract and hold tramp metal and nearly 100 were manufactured.

Plate Magnets are used in tobacco processing to remove metal contamination introduced from collection and transportation of tobacco leaves, or in the process.  The Metal Contamination can be large in the form of a nail or bolt, or as small shards.  Metal can damage delicate processing equipment such as the blades on the tobacco leaf cutter, which can prove to be very costly.

Metal Found in Plastic Recycling Bunting MagneticsPlate Magnets are available in two magnet strengths.  Standard Ferrite or Ceramic Plate Magnets are suitable for larger tramp metal.  However, for removing metal from tobacco, higher strength Rare Earth (Neodymium Iron Boron) Magnets were required.  These produce exceptionally strong magnetic fields and capture very fine magnetic particles.

Although many Plate Magnets are installed in chutes, these models for this tobacco installation were mounted above the conveyors.   Metal contamination is magnetically attracted up off the moving conveyor and onto the face of the Plate Magnet.  The amount of metal captured by the Plate Magnets was substantial.

Each Plate Magnet had a Flat Face and was designed to be Self-Cleaning.  They were also supplied with a mounting kit and removable lever.

The specifications of the Plate Magnets supplied were:

  • 31 Rare Earth (Neodymium Iron Boron) Plate Magnets with 165mm (6.5″) deep magnetic field;
  • 38 Rare Earth (Neodymium Iron Boron) Plate Magnets with 125mm (5″) deep magnetic field;
  • 29 Rare Earth (Neodymium Iron Boron) Plate Magnets with 90mm (3.5″) deep magnetic field;

Bunting Plate Magnets

Plate Magnets are one of many designs of Magnetic Separators used in the process sector.  The type of Magnetic Separator is dependent upon the application and the type of metal contamination.

For further details on Plate Magnets or addressing any Metal Contamination and Separation issue, please contact our technical sales team on:

Other articles on Plate Magnets include:

10 Magnetic Separator Myths

Magnetic Separator Fact and Fiction

Trying to ascertain what and whose Magnetic Separator will provide the best metal separation can be difficult.  Often, the decision is made even more difficult with claims and counterclaims about levels of Gauss and what the Magnetic Separator can actually capture.  In this blog, we try to dispel these myths and make selecting the right Magnetic Separator a little easier.

Myth 1 – You Should Always Use the Strongest Magnetic Separator

Strongest is always best, or is it?  Commonly, companies will call and request a quote for a Magnetic Separator with the strongest magnet.  But is that actually what they need?


Myth 2 – All Rare Earth Magnetic Separators Are The Same

A client has a metal contamination problem and needs to install the most suitable magnetic separation.  The metal is small and so they believe that a Magnetic Separator with Rare Earth Neodymium Magnets is what they need as this produces the strongest magnetic field.  So he picks up the phone and orders a Rare Earth Magnetic Separator and his problem is solved.  Or is it?

Myth 3 – The Highest Gauss Magnetic Separator Is Always The Best, Or Is It?

On a regular basis, we will receive an enquiry requesting a Magnetic Separator of a specific size.  However, it is only when the enquiry also requests a specific Gauss figure that it all starts becoming a little complicated.

Myth 4 – Stainless Steel Isn’t Magnetic, Or Is It?

The vast majority of stainless steel used in plants processing foodstuffs, chemicals, plastics and handling bulk materials whether in solid, liquid or powder form, is non-magnetic.  Or is it?bunting-ffs-magnet-with-stainless-steel-washer-and-wingnut-0086


Myth 5 – Do Magnets Lose Strength Over Time?

It is a question we frequently get asked:  When will the Magnetic Separator start losing its magnetic strength?  In normal operating conditions, a magnetic separator will not lose any magnetic strength.  However, there are occasions when other factors do affect the magnetic strength.

Myth 6 – Is A Magnetic Field Uniform Along the Surface of a Tube Magnet?

On a typical Cartridge or Tube Magnet, the magnetic field on the surface is not even along the whole length.  As shown on the photograph, magnetically attracted materials agglomerate at specific points along the length.  So why is that?

Myth 7 – We Guarantee 100% Metal Separation

In the perfect world, installing a Magnetic Separator will enable 100% metal separation with 0% product loss.  However, is this even remotely possible?

Myth 8 – You Can Block a Magnetic Field

A common question asked by users of Magnets and Magnetic Separators is whether a Magnetic Field can be blocked in the same way that lead blocks radiation.  This can be an important issue when considering the location of a Magnetic Separator and whether it is near instrumentation, control panels, or is in an area freely accessible by employees.


Myth 9 – Magnetic Separators Are Not Dangerous?!??

In school science, we learn about magnetism by playing with small permanent magnets.  It is fun, seeing how iron filings are affected by the magnetic field.  Our bodies are also constantly exposed to the Earth’s Magnetic Field.

So how can Magnets be dangerous?

Myth 10 – It Is Easy To Clean a Magnetic Separator

The Magnetic Separator has done its job and captured that potentially damaging item of ferrous metal.  Now it is time to remove the captured metal from the surface of the Magnetic Separator.  It should be easy, shouldn’t it?  However, due to the high magnetic power cleaning metal off a Magnetic Separator is becoming increasing difficult and a health and safety concern.

For further details on Magnetic Separator Myths or to discuss any Metal Contamination and Separation issue, please contact our technical sales team on:



Getting Metal Out of Spices

Ideal Locations for Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors in a Spice Processing Plant

Most households have a collection of spices in one of their kitchen cupboards.  Adding spices to food when cooking is now a common practice, but how are they processed and prepared?

Most spices are grown in the tropical regions of the world, with some thriving in the cool misty highlands. Many of the seed spices come from more temperate areas, such as coriander seed, which is grown in Northern India, Africa and the wheat producing areas of South Australia and Western New South Wales.

BUNT-2910 Perfect Plants 5

The nature of the location and how the spices are collected mean that there is a high risk of metal contamination.  Most spice plants use a series of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors to remove and detect any problematic metal.  Indeed, many UK supermarkets and food retailers (eg M & S) have strict guidelines on the use of Metal Removal equipment.

The plant shown in the flowsheet is a generalisation of a typical spice producing operation and highlights suitable locations for both Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.

On Delivery

Ideally, it is always best to remove metal before it enters the process.  The metal tends to be larger in size and easier to separate.  At this early stage, the delivered spices can be passed over a High Intensity Rare Earth Drum Magnet.  This automatically removes magnetically susceptible metal prior to the spices moving on to storage.

Prior to Processing

Metal damages processing equipment and so it is always best practice to ensure protection by installing a Magnetic Separator.  The spices can be passed over a simple Plate Magnet prior to grinding, protecting the grinding plates from damage.Plate Magnet Bunting Magnetics-9805

After Grinding

The process of grinding may liberate entrapped metal and may introduce fine iron into the process.  A Plate Housing Magnet followed by a Quicktron Metal Detector removes any metal.

At this stage, the spice may be sent directly to bagging.  There are several types of Magnetic Separator that are often used to ensure a metal-free product including a Pneumatic In-Line Magnet on the pneumatic line, and a Grate Magnet or Plate Housing Magnet just prior to packing.  A FS Metal Detector can also be used to remove any non-magnetic contamination.

After MixingBunting Magnetics In Line Magnet-2

Once the spices are mixed into a blend, they can be passed through a Centre Flow In-Line Magnet and Quicktron Metal Detector prior to storage in drums or containers.  Prior to the spices being bottled, a final stage of Magnetic Separation is often used.  This is commonly a form of Grate Magnet followed by a Quicktron Metal Detector.  The final check on the bottled spice is often undertaken using a conveyor-type Metron C Metal Detector.  The bottles are then packed ready for despatch.

The multiple stages of Metal Separation may appear excessive, but are required due to the nature of the process.  Metal in a wide variety of forms can be introduced at any stage in the process, especially after grinding and mixing.  Installing different designs of Magnetic Separator and Metal Detector at different points in the process will ensure the best protection against metal contamination.

For further information on removing Metal from a Spice processing plant using Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors, please contact the Bunting technical sales team on:

Phone: +44 (0) 1442 875081
Fax: +44 (0) 1442 875009
Email: sales@buntingeurope.com
Web: http://www.buntingeurope.com

Other Food Plant Reviews include: