Metal Detection Process in the Garments Industry

By | March 5, 2016

Metal Detection Process in the Garments Industry 

Noor Ahmed Raaz
B.Sc. in Textile Engineering (CU)
Specialized in Apparel Manufacturing
A.M.C.S Textile Ltd (AEPZ)


Garments Metal Detector:

In the garment industry, metal detection is an essential part of the production process. Now-a-days metal detector is a very important consideration for garment manufacturers. Normally a buyer recommended that all the export products must be metal detected. Metal detector may help during the production stage, therefore all products are harmless and free from metal contaminants.

Metal Detection Process in the Garments Industry:

Tunnel conveyor metal detecting is the most effective detection system and buyer recommends their use for all apparel. Hand-held and static metal detectors are only acceptable for locating a metal fragment when there is knowledge or suspicion of its presence. There are only two types of tunnel conveyor metal detectors. Those which detect all metals and those which detect ferrous metals only. Buyer advises that suppliers use detectors which detect ferrous metals only. The metal detector must be able to detect any metal part equivalent to the diameter of a 1.2mm ferrous sphere. The sphere should be chrome steel of AISI 52100 grade with AFBMA GD 10 size tolerance, mounted on a test card. It is advised that machines are checked with the 1.2mm ferrous sphere test card provided, at least every 3 hours and should always be checked at the start and end of every shift. All recommended machines have an audible alarm with automatic belt stop when metal is detected.

Industrial Metal Detector Machine

  1. Metal detectors should be installed in compliance with manufacturer’s guidelines.
  2. Designated staff should be fully trained by manufacturer’s personnel prior to operating machinery. Only authorized personnel should use the metal detector.
  3. All metal components must be non-ferrous to be able to pass through a ferrous metal detector.
  4. Products should be passed through the metal detector as near to the end of production as possible – preferably on finished goods after ticketing.
  5. Records must be kept for all batches of garments that pass through the metal detector. This information can be recorded on the Metal Detection Procedure document.
  6. If metal contamination is detected, the product must be isolated and investigated further. If metal is found and the product re-detected successfully, it may be returned to stock.

Traceability after Metal Detection Process:

An example for ease of identification of product passed through the metal detector can be a traffic light system i.e. in the first 2 hours of a shift the use of red stickers can be placed on the product after it has passed through the metal detector, the following 2 hours use an orange sticker, and the next 2 hours a green sticker. This way if a metal detector is found to break down in any period the use of different color stickers for each period will enable the supervisor to quickly recover those items and re – test through a working metal detector.

  1. All incidents of metal contamination detected should be recorded on the Clothing Metal Detection Failure Record.
  2. When stone washing, garments should be metal detected prior to stone washing as pumice dust contains small metal particles and, therefore, has an adverse effect to metal detection.
  3. Calibration checks to be recorded and records kept for a minimum of 5 years. The metal detector should be located in an isolated area of the factory. All product that has been metal detected should be stored completely separate from both the sewing floor and all product that has not been detected, and whenever possible in a metal free environment.

Metal Detection Equipment Suppliers:

There are some buyer recommended metal detector suppliers  are listed below. All suppliers have offices and agencies worldwide, and offer a full calibration and maintenance service.

Brand Company                                         Web Address
Lock Inspection Systems Ltd.
Cintex Group Ltd

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