Metallic contaminant detectors based on the balanced coil system are widely used in the food industry. In the balanced coil system, an excitation coil and two identical pickup coils are used in a way that the magnetic coupling of pickup coils to the excitation coil is cancelled with each other when no metallic contaminants present. In a conventional system, the excitation coil and the pickup coil are planar and are parallel, therefore the magnetic coupling is strong even if there is no metallic contaminant. Such strong magnetic coupling makes balancing procedure tedious. In this paper, we introduce a new coil system in which pickup coils are set orthogonal to the excitation coil, making the magnetic coupling much small compared to conventional counterpart. Pickup coils are equipped with thin magnetic cores and placed inside the excitation coil being parallel to the excitation coil plane. The balancing method consists of two steps; the one is geometrical and the other is digital processing including down conversion. Experiments are carried out to show the detection capability of ferromagnetic contaminants and non-magnetic contaminants.
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