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The Benefits of Magnetic Separators in Agriculture


The demand and use of magnetic separators in the agriculture industry has grown over time. Magnets have been immensely useful in achieving better quality, higher value products through a higher focus on product purity, and as a result, reducing back charges due to contaminated final product.

For many years, we have supplied a range of magnetic separation solutions to the agriculture industry – let’s have a look at the different types of agriculture products processed and the types of magnets applicable to them:

Grain Bulk Handling

MSA provides a range of magnetic separators for the grain bulk handling industry. These include Grate & Drawer Magnets, Overbelt Magnets, Magnetic Head Pulleys, Bullet Magnets, Plate Magnets and Bar Magnets.

These magnetic separators are installed to target typically smaller contaminants, such as nuts, bolts, stainless steel, bottle caps, blue metal, rust, as well as an endless amount of iron particles!

Grate Magnets & Drawer Magnets

Grate and Drawer Magnets are typically installed at the top of a screw conveyor and belt conveyor. These magnets are a good choice for product purity applications where optimum product stream coverage is required to extract as many contaminants as possible from the product. Customisable and with great retention, Grate Magnets are an awesome choice for various products!

Grate and Drawer Magnets

Grate and Drawer Magnets

Overbelt Magnets

Our Overbelt Magnets are available in self-cleaning and manual-clean options. These magnetic separators are installed over the top of the conveyor belt and are great magnets for extraction of larger contaminants which can also cause damage to expensive equipment. They are powerful and an excellent choice for grain bulk handling.

Manual-Clean Overbelt Magnet and Self-Cleaning Overbelt Magnet

Manual-Clean Overbelt Magnet and Self-Cleaning Overbelt Magnet

Magnetic Head Pulleys

Magnetic Head Pulleys are installed at the end of the conveyor belt and target various-sized contaminants. We can provide brand new Magnetic Pulleys, as well as convert your existing Pulley for a more budget-friendly option.

Magnetic Head Pulleys operate much the same as non-magnetic Head Pulleys, except that the metal pieces are discharged separately to the non-magnetic product stream. As the product stream reaches the conveyor discharge point, ferrous metal is attracted to the pulleys magnetic field and held to the belt. As the belt moves around the pulley, the non-magnetic material is discharged in a normal trajectory, however, the ferrous metal is still held to the belt. When the belt passes out of the magnetic field, the magnetic material drops off into a separate chute or bin to the rest of the product. A non-magnetic splitter may be installed to separate the two discharges. Ferrous metals commonly extracted from the product stream include nails, nuts, bolts, wire, cans, screws, tools, and so on.

magnetic conveyor head pulley

Magnetic Head Pulley

Agrimag Magnetic Separators: Bullet Magnets & Plate Magnets

Plate Magnets for grain bulk handling are typically installed inside chutes, above palletisers, or other equipment for machine protection purposes.

For high volume of material, Bullet Magnets are a great option.

Agrimag Plate Magnet

Plate Magnet


Agrimag Bullet Magnet

Bullet Magnet

Hay Processing

MSA is a leader in manufacturing and supplying magnets to the hay processing industry. We have worked with the leading hay exporters and developed solutions specifically for their unique needs, which include separating contaminants as small as nails, and as large as hay tines from their product. Most often, the aim or purpose of installing magnetic separation equipment in this application is to reduce back charges.

High product purity is very important in hay product that is processed for export.

Magnets that we recommend for the hay processing industry include Static Overband Magnets (also known as Tramp Iron Magnets), Self-Cleaning Overbelt Magnets and Magnetic Head Pulleys.

Molasses Processing

Common contaminants present in the molasses processing applications include small iron particles, rust scale, screws, nails, and more. We recommend a number of magnetic separation solutions to improve product purity in this liquid application. These solutions include Pipeline Magnets and Probe Magnets, and for smaller, or more space-restricted areas, such as small chutes or pipes, we recommend installing Bar Magnets.

Bar Magnets

Bar Magnets


Agrimag range

MSA provides a range of Rare Earth Magnets suitable for pelletizing operations. These include wear resistant Bullet Magnets – which are often the first magnets in line. These magnets are responsible for removing most of the metal tramps, particularly the larger tramps capable of damaging expensive machinery downstream.

We also provide Plate Magnets for further machine protection, and Bar Magnets, Grate Magnets, Probe Magnets and Automated Magnets for product purity. For smaller and space-restricted spaces such as chutes, we recommend installing Bar Magnets.


We have extensive experience in providing magnets to achieve product purity suitable for bulk or package sale and export. Contact us today for expert help with your application.

Are you aware there are deep field and shallow field Lifting Magnets available?

Deep field (Passive Shunting) Lifting Magnets have been used for many decades in Australia. In the last ten years shallow field (Active Shunting) Lifting Magnets have been gaining in Popularity.

To understand why we need to look at the differences and what that means in the workplace.

Deep field magnets are generally durable robust pieces of equipment, but many people are not aware that they will only lift their advertised capacity at the depth of their magnetic field.

This depth varies between sizes. An average PML 500kg magnet has a 40mm deep field. This means it is only rated to lift 500kg if the material you are handling is 40mm thick. If the material is 20mm thick this 500kg magnet is rated to lift 350kg.  A 1-tonne deep field magnet typically has a 60mm deep field, so on 20mm material thickness, it is rated to lift 350kg which is the same as a PML 500kg magnet.

A shallow field magnet rated to lift 400kg has a 12.7mm deep field so it can lift 400kg of 12.7mm material. When you are handling 20mm plate it is still rated to lift 400kg.

Interestingly, most deep field magnets are not rated to lift material less than 10mm thick while many shallow field magnets are rated on material as thin as 0.5mm thick.

So, what that means in the workplace when you are using deep field magnets, is there is more potential to mismatch the magnet to the load.

A mismatch like using a 1-tonne PML with a 60mm field to lift 15mm plate will result in the lever being very hard to actuate and very hard to turn off. The lever will be very forceful on release resulting in a risk of wrist injuries.

Furthermore, a calculation is required by the operator to ensure the magnet is rated to lift the material at the given thickness.

Using a shallow field magnet on material from 0.5mm to 25mm thick will ensure that the levers actuate in a gentle manner, reducing potential wrist injuries while reducing the risk of operator error due to misunderstanding their magnets capacity on various thickness’s.

At MSA we supply both types and are looking forward to offering advice on which type suits your requirements.

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