Problems with Matching Conveyors and Metal Detectors

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May 9, 2014

When installing a new metal detection system in your plant, there are many compatibility issues with other equipment that you have to acknowledge before using it. Most often, there are difficulties in making the metal detector match up with the conveyor.

metal detector

One of the first things that you need for your conveyor is the proper mounting brackets. This is usually a problem when switching between different metal detector models. Different manufacturers often use different bracket styles. The simple solution to this is to make sure to ask the manufacturer if they can include the necessary brackets.

A big mistake often made is that a standard conveyor can easily integrate with a metal detector. This isn’t often the case because any conveyor with a metal detector needs to have a metal free zone within the detector shroud.

metal detector

The metal detector needs to be isolated on the conveyor and grounded properly. If there is metal in the detector’s vicinity, it can disrupt the detector’s electrical field by causing ground loops. When the detector isn’t properly grounded from the conveyor, the conveyor actually influences the detector’s electrical field because it will most likely have subtle electrical signals looping through it. Sometimes, even conveyor vibrations at the right frequency can disrupt the detector.


These things cause interference, which causes rapid fluctuation in the electrical signal, making it nearly impossible for the system to accurately detect any metal fragments.

This problem usually comes up because a company repurposes an old conveyor for metal detection. Using a standard conveyor for this operation is bound to cause some sort of interference with the system. You need to get a specialized conveyor from a company that knows what they are doing.

There are many things that can cause these ground loops that you might have difficulty isolating if you are having these problems. Making a metal free zone seems like a no-brainer, but people don’t always realize that even small bearings in the detector’s vicinity could cause problems. Eliminating conveyor vibration goes a long way towards preventing interference as well.

Instead of using some old conveyor, look into a conveyor made purposely for metal detection. We have had plenty of experience designing conveyors to accompany metal detectors, so feel free to come to us with any questions.

Download our Metal Detector PDF

Download our Metal Detector PDF

Learn more about metal detection in food applications.

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