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Detecting contamination: improving safety and quality through digital adoption

Marcus Schneck, CEO of norelem, explores how manufacturers can adopt digital solutions and standard components to improve safety and quality of output.

14. desember 2025

Against a backdrop of increased material costs, labour shortages and ongoing supply chain disruption, manufacturers around the world are faced with a challenging landscape. To overcome this, engineers and manufacturers are increasingly turning to digital technologies to transform their processes and strengthen their positions.

When it comes to implementing a digital transformation strategy, businesses have a variety of options – from small, manageable changes through to large-scale overhauls of their facilities. By integrating digital innovations or standard components, businesses can feel the impact of each change through their day-to-day operations, and even realise the benefits on the bottom line.

For manufacturers operating in sectors such as food and beverage and pharmaceuticals, digital innovations such as detectable products can add even greater value to their facilities by enhancing safety, quality and consistency.

Detecting contamination
If a product has been contaminated by small fragments of a component during the manufacturing process, it would typically be the customer who discovers it. Subsequent product recalls could then see manufacturers incur great expense, as well as reputational damage. 

Early detection of foreign bodies plays an important role in manufacturing. However, it is not always possible to detect these fragments as they get lost, which can be especially dangerous in areas such as food processing and in sensitive areas of the pharmaceutical industry.

Supporting manufacturers in identifying contamination during the production process, norelem’s latest detectable products ensure swift and dependable identification of contaminants by detection systems. In practice, the systems enhance safety throughout production and contribute towards reduced system failures.

Function and application of detectable products 
As a pioneer of standard component manufacturing, norelem has developed easily detectable operating parts and standard components made of plastic. This unique plastic means that any lost fragments can be quickly and reliably detected by the corresponding detection systems. 

These detectable products meet the highest hygiene, quality, and safety requirements of the manufacturing industry. They are, therefore, particularly useful in equipment and manufacturing facilities in the food, pharmaceutical, chemical, and packaging industries. norelem offer two variations of these operating parts and standard components: visual-detectable and metal-detectable, both of which are made using food-grade materials in glass-fibre reinforced thermoplastic, and stainless steel.

Visually detectable operating parts and standard elements 
norelem’s visually detectable standard components are made from an ultramarine blue plastic. This colour is a purposeful choice, that acts as the distinguishing characteristic of the components’ detectability. Blue is not a common colour in food products, which means that any lost fragments will immediately stand out on the surface. This makes it simple for both the human eye, and various optical monitoring systems, to identify any undesired fragments of damaged operating parts or standard elements.

Metal detectable operating parts and standard elements 
As a reliable piece of equipment, metal detectors are widely employed for use in contaminated food detection. These metal detectable products are made using an FDA-compliant plastic, which has magnetic properties that are easily located by metal detectors. Even plastic fragments as small as 3mm³, which may get inside products being processed, are detected by induction technology, and automatically ejected. Additionally, this eliminates the need for the disposal of the entire production quantity or any time-consuming retrieval operations.

Detectable products are just one example of how digital components can present an immediate benefit to manufacturers. Similarly, other components within norelem’s SMART components range can also be used as a small step towards an organisation’s digital transformation. 

To learn more about norelem please visit norelem.com/no

About norelem
norelem is a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of flexible standard parts and components for mechanical engineering. The company supplies 70,000 standard products relating to standard machinery and operating elements, as well as automation components. Ninety-eight per cent of these parts are available from stock, and the business delivers on-site technical support for products. This high level of inventory enables norelem to provide fast and reliable delivery times.

THE BIG GREEN BOOK is both norelem’s ideas catalogue and a reference book and has become the norelem trademark. More than just a standard product catalogue, THE BIG GREEN BOOK represents everything norelem stands for, combining product information, specifications, and technical information, with best practice references, advice, and guidance. 

THE BIG GREEN BOOK combines product information, specifications, and technical information in one single source. Created using a logical sequence of article numbers based on stages of production, it contains best practice references, advice, and guidance.

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