Berryhill Foods finds sweet success with Eriez metal detectors

Founded in 1994 in the heart of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia, Canada, Berryhill Foods specialises in the processing, freezing, marketing and distribution of cultivated blueberries and red raspberries. And for more than two decades, Berryhill Foods has been an Eriez customer.

While Berryhill’s customers vary, their exacting standards do not. These customers demand stringent adherence to safe quality assurance measures, particularly when it comes to detecting and eliminating metal particles in the raw berries prior to shipment. To meet hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP), safe quality food (SQF) and other food safety guidelines, Berryhill utilises on nine Eriez metal detectors in its various plant operations. Management says plans are underway for installation of additional Eriez metal detectors.

“The Eriez metal detectors are required on all of our lines because they are considered critical control points by our food safety systems, including SQF and HAACP,” said Berryhill foods maintenance manager, Tom McTaggart. “Our pre-pack processing lines have two metal detectors each because we want to have one detector as the last step before the boxes are stacked for storage.”

While there are many factors that contribute to the volume of berries going through the metal detectors, McTaggart says the average is 10,000 pounds per hour during the harvesting season.

“We have been using Eriez metal detectors since the mid-90s,” said McTaggart. “In an effort to achieve an even higher level of sensitivity, we are in the process of converting several of our long-standing units into the newer Eriez Xtreme models.”

Eriez elucidated that the Xtreme models which will be used at Berryhill are offered in six, 12 and 18-inch belt sizes. These units offer new options, including push arm or air blast rejects, lockbox, reject confirmation, stainless steel motor/reducer, improved guarding, emergency stop and side guides.

According to the company, the Eriez Xtreme metal detector interface is icon-driven and patterned after advanced smartphones. Plant operators receive instantaneous visual feedback from the screen in real-time to make decisions regarding the equipment’s set-up and performance.

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