Quietening EMI/RFI Noise on Food-Inspection Lines
By GloHouse Media
Noise is a common occupational hazard in food-processing factories. Yet it’s the impact of less audible EMI/RFI noise generated by ground loops and electric motor drives that’s typically the most overlooked by food manufacturers operating sensitive inspection equipment.
Electromagnetic interference (EMI) on processing lines incorporating robots, bagging, flow wrapping and conveyors can be a challenge, according to metal detection specialist Fortress Technology. The effects of EMI can negatively impact the performance of metal detectors resulting in false detections, false rejections, and consequently increased food safety risks.
EMI/RFI noise occurs when electrically powered machines and peripheral equipment usually operating variable frequency drive or servo motors have cables which not shielded or utilize recommended filters. Weak points often observed are from are cables that power the AC motor drive on conveyors. If not shielded correctly, this can allow EMI to radiate over the air.
To help counteract these, Fortress Technology has developed several unique features, including Noise Immunity add-ons and Digital Filters. Featured on the company’s digital metal detectors, these can suppress some of this interference noise, which may otherwise require reducing the sensitivity levels manually.
Fortress can also assist food plants to identify a source of noise interference, deploying a technician armed with a “sniffer” to swiftly track the source of nearby EMI and RFI. Like an antenna, the sniffer measures RF and can swiftly locate the source of competing frequencies. With this information, engineers can shield, suppress or alter the path of the emissions to ensure metal detection performance is not compromised.
Fortress Technology Ltd. is a privately-owned Toronto based company. Fortress Technology is the only metal detection manufacturer that, since its inception in 1996, custom manufactures metal detectors to suit its customers’ needs, application and specification while ensuring optimal performance. Dedicated to their Never Obsolete Commitment, new technology is developed to be backwards compatible and accessible without having to purchase an entirely new system. Renowned in the industry for their speed, accuracy and simple operation, Fortress systems are used widely within a range of food industry sectors including bakery, meats, ready meals, dairy, confectionery, fresh foods, frozen foods. In addition to product manufacture, the company offers a range of before and after sales service and support services including consultation, product testing, training, preventative maintenance plans, spare parts and validation visits. Fortress is a global enterprise providing worldwide coverage from its manufacturing facilities in Canada, the UK, and Brazil.