J.O. Spice Company is a family-owned manufacturer of crab and seafood seasonings. A fourth-generation company founded in 1945, they continue to achieve success by supplying excellent products at reasonable prices. To help ensure final product quality, J.O. Spice installed a new Signature Touch metal detector from Mettler-Toledo Safeline in 2017.

“We chose Mettler-Toledo Safeline because of [its] high-quality equipment and outstanding reputation,” said Donald Ports, President of J.O. Spice and the grandson of the founders. “We purchased our first Safeline metal detector in 2009 and a second one in 2010. They’ve both operated great over the years.”

J.O. Spice needed a new metal detector with a tall aperture as they prepare to set up a fully automated packaging line. With the old metal detector, boxes needed to be manually laid down on their side and then stood back up for palletizing. The new Signature Touch features an aperture size of 14 inches wide and 20 inches tall, so 25 to 50 lb. bulk boxes and cases of retail packs can go through the system upright, saving the company time and improving process efficiency. 

Identifying both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, this system finds even the most difficult to detect non-magnetic stainless steel fragments and non-spherical fine wire. With high frequency advanced coil technology and state-of-the-art electronic filtering techniques, it maximizes detection sensitivity and minimizes false rejects.

“Our new metal detector [is] so sensitive, it’s able to spot the small amounts of naturally occurring metallic minerals in some of our spice blends, but it’s easy to account for this by simply selecting the proper setting on the touchscreen control panel,” explained Ports. “Recycled material in the corrugated cardboard is virtually always responsible for the occasional positive hit we do get. When we keep it calibrated, this metal detector never gives us a false reject.”

The Signature Touch enables up to 100 different products to be stored in memory for quick recall during changeovers, while the ‘product clustering’ capability minimizes the need to change these settings. A new product is easily added with the single-pass auto set-up routine.

J.O. Spice changes over its Signature Touch at least once a day to handle different products and/or package sizes. It takes only a few minutes to select the setting, run test strips and document the activity. To cover all 12 of their packaging lines, their three metal detectors are mounted on castor wheels and feature handles, which enable them to be easily moved.

“Our metal detectors help us sell the J.O. Spice name. They’re featured in our sales presentations and ‘Metal Detector and Q.C. Approved’ is stamped on all of our cases, which helps us stand out from our competitors since others don’t take metal detection as seriously as we do,” concluded Ports. “We’ve been at the top of our game for over 70 years, because we care deeply about our customers and the products we create. Our metal detectors are a very big part of how we protect our quality, the integrity of the J.O. Spice brand and our private label customers.” NP