The Important Role Magnets Play in Quality Control
Industrial magnets are in a lot of consumer goods. Everything from cell phones and computers to refrigerator doors and jewelry, but they also play an important role when it comes to quality control for a number of industries. Magnets are used to ensure product purity and protect consumers and processing equipment in the food and beverage industry, manufacturing plants, rock quarries, mining operations and more.
Magnets & Quality Control
Strong, industrial ceramic magnets and neodymium magnets have so many uses. Arguably, one of their more important is to capture and remove metal fragments from food and other materials during the production process. This helps prevent metal particles from traveling downstream and damaging equipment, contaminating products, even the food we eat.
Ceramic magnets can be used to effectively capture large ferrous contaminants such as nuts, bolts, staples, knife blades or other machine parts that could potentially fall into the product during harvesting, transportation, processing, or packaging.
Rare earth magnets, such as neodymium magnets, can capture super fine and weakly magnetic material such as rust or scale, sometimes as small as dust particles.
Depending on the application, production process and product, there are a lot of different kinds of magnets that are used to separate out contaminants and ensure product quality.
Eddy Current Separators
These magnetic separators use powerful rare earth magnets for recovering aluminum, die-cast metal, copper and other non-ferrous metals to ensure product purity of commingled recyclables, wood chips, plastics, glass, and other processed materials or minerals.
Grates & Plates
Grate and Ferroplate magnets use either ceramic or rare earth magnetic assemblies to remove particles of ferrous metal from free-flowing powders and granular materials mainly in the foods and pharmaceutical industries.
Tube magnets can be brought to where they’re needed and then passed over bulk materials to attract and remove ferrous particles from the material. They are a good option for applications where it is not possible or practical to install more permanent styles of magnetic separators as well as for quality inspection purposes.
Magnetic filters use strong neodymium bar magnets to remove iron particles as small as 10 µm from liquids, viscous and quick-liquids such as yogurt, cheese spreads and molten chocolate.
Magnetic drum separators could use ceramic or rare earth magnets to remove larger items like nails, bolts, needles, and other machine parts that could potentially fall into the product to ensure product purity and protect equipment.
Magnetic Head Pulleys
These help eliminate ferrous contaminants from product by removing tramp iron and purifying material conveyed in bulk form.
What Can Affect Magnet Performance
Magnets used for quality control aren’t just protecting equipment, but the end product and consumers who use or consume it. These magnets should be inspected at least once or twice a day to ensure they are doing their job and performing correctly. It’s important to regularly test your magnet’s pull force and validate it by running a test-product through your production line. In addition to regular inspections, you should keep in mind the factors that can affect a magnet’s performance, including:
The number and spacing of the magnets factor into the strength of the magnetic field. Closer spaced magnets equal a stronger magnetic field and therefore a higher efficiency.
Some magnets begin to lose strength when exposed to extreme temperatures. The processing temperatures should be taken into consideration when choosing magnet material.
The properties of your product, whether it’s dry, liquid, or moist; large, granular or fine powered will determine the configuration and placement of magnets.
Order Industrial Magnets Today
At US Magnetix, we believe a product is only as good as the materials used to make it. That’s why our high-quality industrial magnets are the best fit for any project, large or small. Shop our industrial magnets and magnetic assemblies online or contact us for help choosing the right magnet for you.