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Conveyor sees bright side of life

20 February 2009

Sunrise Foods, a processor of value-added poultry products, was experiencing surge problems with a conveyor belt that enters and exits its IQF line. The company can run up to 1800 kgs of IQF tenders and/or boneless breasts an hour totaling up to 29,000 kgs a day on this belt. After reviewing its options, Sunrise chose the Compact Grid from Wire Belt Company.

“The previous belt's weight was causing surging because it was long. Wire Belt was the only company offering a lighter belt in the weight category and length we wanted,” said Kevin Huff, Sunrise Foods' maintenance manager.

Compact Grid is Wire Belt's newest conveyor belt innovation. It's engineered specifically to handle smaller, delicate products, while giving processors a lighter-weight, open-mesh belt design that can outperform many competitive offerings, Wire Belt says. The belt system's rugged structure offers maximum strength under significant loads, lessening the time processors will spend on maintaining their conveying system and reducing the number of belt replacements over time.

Installation on a plant conveying system is quick and easy. When the time arrives to replace a belt, Compact Grid's design allows processors to join or splice the belt on their conveyor by simply hooking the belt ends together and crimping to close.

The belt is ideal for a cooking operation, such as a conveyorised fryer or an oven, as well as transferring a product directly onto a cooling line. Made of stainless steel, the Compact Grid won't sweat, slip, droop or catch fire on a system like plastic conveyor belts can. Its rugged, open design also makes it the perfect solution for cooling freshly baked or freshly fried products in high-volume, high-throughput processes.

Multiple advantages

Advantages of the CompactGrid include:

- Lower belt mass offers increased efficiency
- Lighter weight than many comparable conveyor belt options
- Positive drive design eliminates expensive and heavy chain edged conveying configurations
- Low horsepower requirement means lower energy consumption in the drive systems

More open areas provide optimum cleaning and sanitation. Its 70-percent open area makes Compact Grid easy to clean and keep clean. Its clean-in-place design means no clean-out-of-place tanks are required. And the belt doesn't feature closed “link-barrels” like plastic modular belts or woven-wire helixes, such as balanced-weave wire belts. Equally important, there are no places for product particles to be trapped or for pathogens and allergens to hide.

Its grid pattern is designed for optimal product support and it allows maximum flow through for superior convection. Wire Belt says the system is perfect for cooking applications like frying and baking and ideal for high-speed cooling and drying operations. Compact Grid's open design allows for excellent flow-through and drainage in coating operations.

Designed with total cost in mind

No expensive tracking systems are required for Compact Grid as are with friction-drive belts. It offers a much tighter wrap capability than most friction-drive systems, for improved conveyor-to-conveyor transfers, minimising chance of product yield loss in high-speed operations.

The Compact Grid is built to outlast other types of conveyor belting in the medium-duty performance category. Improved convection capabilities optimise performance and energy consumption in cooking and cooling operations. Its simplified splicing operation speeds installations and replacements, reducing maintenance time and lowering labour costs.

When asked what he likes best about the Compact Grid, Huff answers: “It's compact, lightweight, easy to work with and easy to clean and sanitise. And Wire Belt has been great in responding to our service needs.”

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