New hygienic inspection pipeline for liquid food lines tackles bug outbreaks

At PPMA 2018, stand B01, Fortress Technology will unveil how its new Pipeline Ultra+ metal detector, featuring reduced flat surfaces, tackles cross contamination and the spread of bacteria to achieve optimal food safety.

The Pipeline Ultra+ system, available across the company’s Stealth, Phantom and Interceptor range, has been specifically designed to offer food manufacturers a more reliable way to catch all metal contaminants when inspecting products in liquid form compared to trap magnet systems. This alternative, although less widely used, will typically only attract magnetic ferrous metals, but not stainless steel, which is more prevalent in food preparation environments.

Consumer safety is cause for concern following recent findings from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland that allergen incidents have recently doubled and pathogen related food safety incidents are on the rise. In 2016/17, microbiological contamination accounted for 14% of the 2,265 incidents reported, the second largest hazard category after ‘non-determined’. Of these pathogenic incidents, 45% related to Salmonella.

Given that bacteria multiples by doubling every 20 to 30 minutes depending on the conditions, and prefers high protein foods prevalent in liquid form, the new Pipeline Ultra+ system will appeal to food factories handling meat, poultry and dairy including yoghurts, viscous pet food, sausage meat, syrups, condiments, soup, beverages, ice-cream, fruit juices etc. To beat the spread of foodborne bugs and prevent bacteria accumulating in industrial food processing environments, the new pipeline system features smoother surfaces, resulting in fewer places where bacteria can hide and water droplets can build up. Furthermore, the pneumatic and electrical control panel is set flush against the machine plate, all pipes and connectors have been enclosed in a cabinet, and the system uses 30% fewer fasteners – another breeding ground for bacteria – than previous pipeline designs.

“Product spillage when inspecting liquid ingredients in food factories is fairly commonplace, so being able to withstand daily high pressured washdowns after every product changeover is paramount,” emphasises Fortress Technology’s European Managing Director Phil Brown. “By upgrading the structure and using plate metal plates, we’ve reduced the surface area external to the pipeline metal detector by over 60%. Also, by routing the connectors through an encased unit, there are fewer areas where bacteria can hide and thrive during repeated washdowns.”

Average clean times should now take a matter of minutes, suggests Phil. “If sanitation employees have open areas and smooth surfaces to work with, they can more efficiently access and clean equipment to reduce machine downtime or speed up the changeover process from one product to another.”

IP69K rated and USDA certified, the Pipeline Ultra+ has a slim design and compact footprint measuring approximately 1 metre for the largest 100mm diameter pipe, including reject. Its modular design means the Pipeline Ultra+ can be ceiling mounted or freestanding, enabling food factories to change configuration if needed, without significant investment. In keeping with the Fortress Never Obsolete promise, customers can also upgrade their Pipeline Ultra+ from an automatic reject valve to a customised reject system to include full failsafe features that meet with all current codes of practice in circulation, including retailer guidelines.

Applying digital signal processing technology, and featuring Contact Data software for remote interrogation the pipeline system can detect and reject product contaminated by metal particles, of all types, down 0.7 mm ferrous, 0.7 mm non-ferrous and 1.4 mm stainless steel.

For a full demonstration, visit Fortress Technology, Stand B01.

Automation Update