Heat and Control Fastlane slicer infeed conveyors reduce plugging risk and amounts of slicing scrap while improving slice quality and have helped many potato processors optimise quality with quantity. However, some potato processors are unable to use slicer infeed conveyors due to factory space and cost limitations.
In response, Heat and Control created the space-saving FastLane which combines the gentle horizontal motion of the FastBack Model 260E-G3 with a multi-lane pan that singulates product for delivery into multiple rotary slicers.
This ensures that only available slicers receive successive product while unavailable slicers remain unfed.
With typical slicer infeed conveyors, when certain slicers require service or blade changes, product flow to those slicers is blocked by using overhead paddles, which are forced down into the lanes feeding those slicers, cutting off their product stream. However, this forceful downward motion creates pinch-points.
The FastLane eliminates hazardous pinch-points by using basal-mounted, air-actuated paddles which use upward motion to dam lanes and which descend without a mechanically applied force.
Overhead paddles are a sanitation hazard because debris can accumulate on the paddles or on any suspended support steel and can fall into the product stream. With the innovative FastLane control interface, an operator can push a button to select an airactuated paddle which rises to impede product stream within the lane. It also eliminates overhead sources of contamination which can fall into the product stream.
The FastLane is built for washdown environments and simple sanitation. The stainless steel totally enclosed, fan-cooled motor package is IP65-rated, and the electrical cabinet and sensors are IP65 rated and designed to NEMA 4X standards.
The drive and the electrical cabinet and sensors are protected against dust, corrosion, and strong jets of water from all directions to withstand the toughest washdown environments. With these key features, the FastLane’s food safety-focused design reduces time and labour for sanitation.
The FastLane increases production by yielding more quality slices and less scrap with a consistent, single stream feed to each slicer. It spreads potatoes evenly so there is no flooding or product damage.
Because FastLane is a compact, light-weight solution which requires a minimal support structure, it requires less floor space and saves up to half the total cost of traditional infeed conveyors so additional equipment can be added in the same area when needed.