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Oct 16, 2013

Box & Non-Food Conveyor Systems

Box Conveyor Systems That Give You The Best Cost of Ownership!

A box conveyor system is an inexpensive, versatile conveyor used in many different applications. They help reduce labor cost by efficiently moving boxes throughout the plant.

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Speed is an important factor in manufacturing today. Effective box conveyor systems can reduce handling time and human errors, saving you money on the costs associated with human resources. 

Here, a box conveyor system is being used in a pack-off room by utilizing traffic cops, 180º turns, box indexers, conveyor scales, box scanners, box labeling, and diverts – all working together to weigh, label, sort, and deliver the boxes to the proper palletizing station.

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Box conveyors can be designed with an incline or decline to move boxes over exiting conveyors or to other levels in your plant. They are a cost effective way of moving product throughout your plant without having to redesign exiting lines.

Radius-turn box conveyors are a good solution to moving boxes in confined space, eliminating the need to redesign the plant.

Turning devices are used to insure that your boxes are positioned properly to enter the next station, (example turned to face the correct direction so a label can be applied properly to the box).

Regardless of your need, a box conveyor system can help eliminate many of the hassles of moving your product around the plant. A well designed box conveyor system will save you money and reduce the errors of manually handling boxes.

Learn more about Box Conveyors.

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Download our PDF Brochure

Oct 16, 2013

Solving Cleanliness Problems with Specially Designed Conveyors

Cleaning is one ­of the biggest requirements for a lot of food handling equipment, and conveyor systems are no exception. If a conveyor doesn’t facilitate easy cleaning, it can begin to build up with extra food material which can also hurt its functionality.

Especially in cases where meat is being handled, cleaning has to be done carefully. Fat and extra meat can get caught in conveyor belts, but it isn’t always the wisest choice to just spray at the top to get it out. This could just get it stuck even more.

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Fortunately, we have a line of Easy-To-Clean™ conveyors that have a whole host of options to help you clean the right way.

These conveyors can be built with flip-up ends, which relax the conveyor belt and belt lifters which raise the belt to allow more cleaning access from the inside. This allows you to blast leftover residue and scraps out from the inside.

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Easy-To-Clean Conveyor

The benefit is that you are more likely to remove the excess food by spraying outward. Belt lifters allow  you to clean the belting while the conveyor is still in-motion, saving time and wear on the motor from stopping/starting.

The conveyors also have the option to add a spray bar inside the conveyor. This allows them to self-clean to an extent while the process is running. They most likely won’t eliminate washdown cycles, as a human inspection and cleaning is more precise, but it should make the job far easier.

Options aside, there are plenty of features in the design and construction of the Easy-To-Clean™ conveyors. Like many of our products, it is made of stainless steel so it won’t rust or corrode. The only gaps are large enough to be easily cleaned while smaller gaps are welded continuously so there isn’t any open space. The body is made of angled stainless steel so there are no hollow tubes to collect water and bacteria. We make sure to bend the angles slightly less than 90 degrees in order to give them a slight incline that sheds water.

If you have cleanliness concerns with your current conveyor system, give this one a try. The options for it can be of major benefit, but even without them, this conveyor is a major improvement for washdown-heavy plants.

Learn more about Sanitary Washdown Conveyors

Easy-to-Clean Conveyors Brochure

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Oct 7, 2013

Conveyor Problems in the Food Industry

Conveyors are needed in a multitude of industries these days, but they can’t necessarily be the exact same conveyors. Due to health standards, the food industry runs into very strict rules for product handling. These standards are strictest in direct contact areas where the product is actually exposed to the conveyor.

Selecting the right conveyor can be a tough thing if you don’t know what to look for. Something that has caused clients of ours trouble in the past is simply moving an old conveyor to a new process that it isn’t rated for.

Sometimes, aluminum conveyors are moved to washdown zones or food handling areas. This is fairly dangerous because aluminum isn’t resistant to rust and corrosion from cleaning processes like stainless steel would be. Depending on the product, you could run into issues as well. In a plant producing spices, the spices could actually start to eat away at a conveyor made of aluminum.

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Even using stainless steel doesn’t automatically ensure that you have a food grade conveyor. There are specific construction methods that have to go into a conveyor to avoid buildup of bacteria that can make its way onto food.

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Easy-To-Clean Conveyor

Having stainless steel protects the conveyor from environmental damage, but things like open construction and continuous welds ultimately protect the food from the environment. Even though the conveyor body isn’t in direct contact with the food, microbial contaminants can travel from exposed sites to the belting. You need to build in a way that minimizes open surfaces and prevents water buildup in any given area.

Speaking of direct contact, belting is very important in food grade handling as well. The best solution we have found is plastic modular belting. It is easy to wash and sanitize while still providing grip. Sometimes, inclines are necessary in a plant and plastic belting might turn out to be too slippery to manage. To solve this, it might seem like a good idea to turn to textured belting, but this actually just makes more contamination surfaces. A better idea is to install “cleats” or “flighting” which pushes the product up the incline while preventing backsliding.

Meeting cleaning requirements is a tough thing to do, but the problem is often compounded if you decide to throw the cheapest conveyor option in your plant. Make your decision right the first time by purchasing actual food-grade conveyor.

Check out Stainless Steel Conveyors

Easy-to-Clean Conveyors Brochure

Download our PDF Brochure

Oct 3, 2013

The Challenges of Constructing Easy-To-Clean™ Conveyor Systems

We have discussed the benefits and strengths of using an Easy-To-Clean™ Clean In Place Conveyor Systems previously, especially for those companies who need the utmost in food safety and clean room environments, but what you may not know about is the outstanding level of precision and quality that our employees have to put into every single one!

Skilled craftsmen are needed when machining, cutting, and fabricating an Easy-To-Clean™ Clean In Place Conveyor System. Specialized fabrication is necessary to ensure that no bacteria can be left on the conveyors during the washdown process.

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Easy-To-Clean Conveyor with Open Frame Design

Basically, the easier something is to wash, the easier it is to make sure that no bacteria is present after washdown.

Precision welding and cutting is a must so that all the parts can have the best fit possible. No gaps or undercut welds can be present in the final product. Both of these mistakes in welding can trap bacteria during washdown because the bacteria settles into grooves that the wash can’t quite get into.

Great care in the design is also quite important. The design team needs to space bolted parts apart to allow for a maximum level of cleaning access. They do this by using various spacers and standoffs to spread the nooks and crannies.

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After everything has been polished and inspected for pin holes and undercutting, the assembly begins. The assembly crew needs to make sure that everything has the right alignment. The tight alignments of drive belts, return runners, and drive sprockets (among many other things), are responsible for a smooth-running drive belt and a steady belt transition. You need these things to ensure that your product isn’t bouncing around on the conveyor, which could negatively impact the weighing process when paired with an in-motion checkweigher.

After all this, the great care and attention to detail in our products should be quite obvious.

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As a whole, the machine must be easy to clean, smoothly operating, and finely adjusted. To have a consistent, functional piece of equipment, you need to take the time and hard work to do it right!

If you need a manageable conveyor for your plant or operation, and you need to keep it squeaky clean then, do yourself a favor and take a look at some of the Easy-To-Clean™ conveyor products that we have to offer!

Easy-to-Clean Conveyors Brochure

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May 20, 2013

Designing An Efficient Conveyor System In Your Plant

Laying out a good conveyor system can be a challenging task and can take a lot of time and patience, but the payoff for a plant with an optimized conveyor process can be massive!

There are several important steps when designing a conveyor system that our team goes through to make sure you get what you are looking for.

Functionality

Often times, we find ourselves designing a new system for a customer that has an existing conveyor system that isn’t working quite how they would like. They often specify a particular issue they are having and provide us with a mechanical drawing of the system.

Having these things, we can start at the end of the system and work our way to the beginning of the process, searching for where other problems might lie.

Once the problems have been isolated, we switch those components and compare the before and after, making sure that our changes don’t sacrifice any necessary processes.

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Customer Limitations

Making it work as best as possible is obviously the priority, but we then have to take things like the customer’s space and money into account.

A good conveyor shouldn’t expand the old system too much because, ideally, we would like to simplify the current system so it takes up less space. It helps if we can get in the plant to see the setup to design around any obstacles.

We design for functionality before money for the best fit, but we are always prepared to make options and changes that make the systems more affordable.

Real Life Application

To describe the design process in action, we have a customer who currently wants to optimize their labeling system, but they had several things upstream in the conveyor system that caused this whole operation to be clumsy. We spec’d a large branching conveyor to replace an old, clunky sorting system used to separate their product and line convergers to arrange product for our labeling machines.

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It is fairly common that we find other things that hurt product flow beyond the problem raised by the customer.

In this customer’s case, our improved conveyor design took up less space than the current design and allowed us to integrate a reliable, labor-reducing labeling machine.

You can trust that our experienced professionals know how to best design conveyor systems to bring out your business’s full potential.

All you need to do is call in or request a quote for any of our various conveyor products today!

Conveyor Systems Brochure

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