The Right Metal Detector at the Right Thym

Thymly Products, pronounced “timely,” is a manufacturer of dry mix ingredients for the food industry. One of its top priorities is food safety, which is why the company’s customers, from the largest bakeries in the United States to small mom-and-pop bakeries, trust Thymly—and for good reason.

“This is an interesting time to be in the food industry,” said Dustin Rahn, plant manager at Thymly Products. “So many things are changing from a food safety perspective. A food processor must either conform to the new, rising standards or be ready to go out of business. Thymly has always done a very good job with food safety, and part of that is always looking to improve.”

Thymly operates three production lines at its plant in Colora, Md. One line is flexible enough to run every product and package that Thymly produces, from 10-pound pails to 80-pound kraft bags of dry mix ingredient blends. This huge size range, in addition to the varied moisture content, challenges most metal detectors. Typically, a metal detector designed to handle products as large as 80 pounds cannot detect a 2 mm piece of stainless steel, which is the goal of many processors. Oftentimes, a processor with such large products must downgrade its specifications to 2.2 or even 2.5 mm.

Thmyly found its solution in Mettler-Toledo Safeline’s PowerPhasePRO RB. It is designed specifically for processors that demand the highest detection sensitivity when inspecting large bulk products or packages. An advanced detection coil design features unique transmit-receive coil geometry, and new electronic filtering techniques deliver unparalleled sensitivity to all metal types and shapes. The PowerPhasePRO RB easily detects ferrous, non-ferrous, and the more difficult to identify non-magnetic stainless steel, as well as non-spherical contaminants such as wire, swarf, and slithers of metal, which are notoriously hard to detect.

Thymly’s journey to the PowerPhasePRO RB began in December 2010 when the company decided to replace its old metal detector. “We had been running at the industry standard when a customer came in and requested that we bump it up,” noted Rahn.

The PowerPhasePRO RB metal detector has helped Thymly Products streamline its processes.

The PowerPhasePRO RB metal detector has helped Thymly Products streamline its processes.

“We considered metal detectors from three different suppliers. We compared detection sensitivity, ease of use, and the quality of construction. Also, we needed the metal detector to communicate with our PLC system,” explained Rahn. “Our sales rep, Dick DeNenno from Reliant Packaging Systems, was very confident in the PowerPhasePRO RB, and that confidence spilled over. He took me to a plant in Baltimore where a similar unit was being used. I was really impressed with the effectiveness of the unit, and the ease of use blew me away.”

Food safety is a critical focus in the industry today. Food security and food defense are important parts of food safety. Thymly has gone through its plant to identify any potential issues, and has made every attempt to make sure the plant is secure. The metal detector is a big part of that security.

“To improve food defense, the industry is increasingly moving toward capturing non-editable records,” said Rahn. “The PowerPhasePRO RB metal detector throws records directly into our data management system, automatically documenting the operation and streamlining our processes.”

Thymly connected its new metal detector to its PLC system to keep track of run sizes, run times, line workers, and product type, as well as temperature and humidity. “This information is automatically delivered by the metal detector and stored in the plant’s PLC system,” explained Rahn. “It reduces the potential for user error and it takes one more thing off the operator’s plate, which allows him to focus on other things. Having password protected the metal detector also reduces user error and helps everybody stay focused on their respective areas.” Operators, supervisors, and quality assurance personnel each have different levels of access.

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