In fast paced, harsh or cramped food production and packing lines, where metal detectors are subject to rigorous washdowns and knocks from operatives, modern machine control panels are especially vulnerable to damage. While most are designed to withstand water ingress, Fortress Technology reports that these delicate screens can be a costly item to replace, with machine inoperability caused by a single panel failure significantly impacting line productivity.
The answer, unveiled by the company at PPMA 2017, is to take the high risk item out of the environment and manage operations from anywhere in the world using wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) communication on any portable device. Believed to be the first-of-its kind web-based browser, Remote Management Software (RMS) connects multiple Fortress metal detectors to familiar consumer electronics, including mobiles, tablets and laptops.
The rationale is to enhance the reliability, safety and production efficiency within factories while safeguarding valuable machine assets, emphasises Fortress Sales Director and newly appointed MD Phil Brown. He explains: “Traditionally, food inspection OEMs make screen display membranes bigger, easier to use or introduce colour displays to improve communications. Yet, these advances actually make control panels less robust in wet, dusty and harsh production environments, increasing the risk of damage and subsequent machine downtime. Plus, they are more costly to replace.”