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Developments in Food Conveying

Developments in Food Conveying

For many foods, particularly fragile snacks and coated products, horizontal motion has become the conveyor of choice.

June 29, 2017
Smart conveying involves more than moving products from points A to B.

Blake Svejkovsky, Product Handling Systems Manager at Heat and Control explains...

When it comes time to upgrade your conveyor system, look for the latest technology in safe conveyors that are sanitation friendly, reduce cross contamination, maintain product quality, facilitate proportional product feeding, and reduce costs for operation and maintenance.

Improvements for Food Safety (FSMA related)

To help processors in the United States to comply with Food Safety and Modernisation Act directives, new conveyor technology has emerged to ensure more thorough sanitation of product contact surfaces and to reduce the possibility of product cross-contamination.

Look for single piece stainless steel conveyor pans with no sharp angles or recesses that can trap bacteria.

Also check that product diverting gates on distribution conveyors can be removed quickly and without using tools. This allows such parts to be thoroughly cleaned away from the production area.

There is also a new generation of continuous weighing conveyors that eliminate the product loss and unsanitary operation of traditional weigh belts.

(Click to enlarge)

A complete product distribution system in operation

For product distribution systems, investigate the latest rotary distribution gate designs that reduce leakage and the possibility of product cross-contamination. These rotating cylindrical gates have no pinch points that can damage product and injure operators. There are also soft-edge designs for the traditional slide gate that greatly reduce the risk of pinch point injuries.

New Trends

In response to customers’ needs for gentler, more responsive conveyor systems, equipment manufacturers are developing new designs that move product quickly, cause less damage, and provide an operator-friendly workplace.

Horizontal Motion

The smooth product movement in horizontal motion conveying eliminates breakage and build-ups of oil and seasonings in the conveyor pan and the resulting frequent downtime needed for cleaning.

For many foods, particularly fragile snacks and coated products, horizontal motion has become the conveyor of choice over vibratory models. Although better suited for grading, sizing, spreading, and moving sticky foods, the bouncing motion of vibratory conveyors causes breakage and stress fractures, and shakes seasonings and coatings off foods. Horizontal motion eliminates these problems by sliding product in the conveyor pan. This prevents build-ups of oil and seasonings in the conveyor pan and the frequent downtime needed for cleaning.

Horizontal motion maintains pre-mixed blends. Some models can even convey up slight inclines. Horizontal motion also transmits less vibration, allowing the use of less structurally complex support platforms. Even running with product, horizontal motion conveyors operate far quieter than vibratory models, usually in the low 70 dB range.

Long Runs for Less Breakage

The latest horizontal motion conveyors can handle heavier pans for runs up to 100 feet long using a single drive. The lack of transfer points helps reduce product breakage. Users also benefi from lower equipment purchase and maintenance costs since one drive can cover distances that previously required three or more.

Real time full proportional delivery

The latest rotary distribution gate designs reduce leakage and minimize the risk of product cross contamination.

Rotary product distribution gates and direct communication between weighers/packaging machines and conveyor systems now enable incoming supply of product to be diverted to multiple locations with no starvation of downstream equipment.

When used to feed multiple seasoning applicators, these conveyor systems allow different flavours to be applied simultaneously. Less warehousing, faster order fulfilment, and longer, more efficient machine run times are a few of the benefits.
Companies in this Article
Heat and Control is an international manufacturer of equipment with over sixty-five years’ experience and expertise in the potato processing industry.
Spray Dynamics builds applicators for oils, seasonings, vitamins, tack and release agents, chocolate, yogurt and candy coatings, anti-oxidants, polishing wax, and anti-clumping agents.