Thursday, January 10, 2008
Dairy Field, Jan 2003 by Parlin, Sandy
The latest trends in conveyor belting keep dairy plants in motion.
What do dairy manufacturers look for in a conveyor system? Safety, reliability and performance to start, conveyor suppliers say. Processors also seek a high sanitation standard, and they want versatile systems that can do more in less space.
Suppliers are meeting that demand. "What customers are looking for are suppliers who can provide the knowledge and expertise to integrate conveyors with the other machinery (stackers, destackers, case packers and palletizers) to optimize the operation," says Ian Stock, vice president of Ontario, Canada-based Deam Co. Ltd.
The function of conveyors in a dairy plant is basic:
to move product from one machine or process to another and act as an accumulation buffer between these stops.
A manufacturer of stainless-steel product and package handling equipment for the dairy, food and confectionary industries, Deam works with its customers to reconfigure plant layouts to get more use out of existing space. "This inevitably leads to conveyor layout optimization," says Stock. "Empty case conveyors are being moved overhead to free up precious floor space. Accumulation table conveyors are replacing serpentine tabletop conveyors to concentrate the accumulation in a small footprint."
Deam makes no-load conveyors, which pneumatically lift loads from conveyor tracks when forward motion stops, reducing wear on conveyors and containers; drive-safety units with sensors that detect excess slack, then automatically shuts down and sounds an alarm; and Eurodrive IP 65 gearmotors with two-part treatments to environmentally seal the motors to extend their life.
Rosemount, Minn.-based Cannon Equipment Inc. also supplies components that have a higher tolerance to wear and fatigue, according to Tom Burbank, the company's representative for machinery and dairy sales. Cannon's Ultraclean conveyor has open sides, which provides easier and more thorough cleaning.
Ease of cleaning is a feature mentioned by many suppliers as critical in the food industry. The issue for conveyor belting in the dairy industry is, and has always been, sanitation as measured by 3-A dairy standards, according to Mark Wierzbinski, director of marketing as the Germantown, Wis., plant of Skokie, Ill.-based Ammeraal Beltech Inc. "There is ongoing development of belt materials designed to aid in maintenance of hygiene standards," he says. "We market two distinct constructions of conveyor belts that meet the 3-A standards and have been approved by USDA-Dairy."
These products have extruded solid-- plastic belts and two-ply polyester reinforced belts with top and bottom covers and sealed edges. "We expect to see even greater focus on sanitary regulation and product purity/contamination prevention," Wierzbinski says. Part of that future design will eliminate or reduce the need for chain lubrication, he says.
A Morningstar Foods plant in Delhi, MY, uses a Dynac Accumulator for small-bottle applications and a washable stainless-steel conveyor with Rex chain in washdown areas.
Conveyors are "absolutely necessary to move product from filling to packaging to palletizing," says Willis Brown, Morningstar's regional engineer. Brown says his company is moving toward accumulation conveyors for its value-added bottle lines.
At Swiss Valley Farms' plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, standard tabletop conveyors made by Minneapolis-based Edmeyer Inc. move tubs of cottage cheese and sour cream from the fillers to packaging machines. "No belting is involved in the custom-made conveyors," says Mike Klein, plant manager.
Other dairy companies might use equipment manufactured by Mepaco of Beaver Dam, Wis., which provides belt conveyors and dual-auger feed-- pumping systems to the industry. "Raw cheese is conveyed in various forms to a grinder, where it is ground into appropriate sizes," explains Bill Lynn, Mepaco's vice president of sales. "It is conveyed to the blender and discharged into a dual-auger pumping system (two augers that force-feed a heavy-duty rotary pump). It is then pumped into a cooker/pasteurizer and into many types of fillers, bulk or sliced, and finally moves to packaging."
Doug Schieber, sales manager of Carrier Vibrating Equipment in Louisville, Ky., sees improvements in conveyor control technology because of more powerful and economical electronic components. The company recently developed new drive systems and controls that allow for online speed adjustment without reducing vibration amplitude. "This is good for spray-agglomerated products or others that are crystallized on conveyors," says Schieber.
Variable retention time permits the processing of many grades of product on a single unit. "Processing functions such as crystallizing, cooling, drying, classifying or simply conveying are possible on vibrating conveyors," says Schieber.
Carrier also has introduced patented electronic delta-phase and ampliflex technologies for process control. The company specializes in applying vibrating equipment to difficult process problems, such as those found in the dairy industry, where most products are sticky or temperature sensitive.
From Volume 31, Issue 12 - December 2007
Feature : Industry experts look back at 2007 and make predictions for 2008.
by: Kate Carr, Editor in Chief
Conveyors mold themselves
In 2008, conveyor operators should…
• Expand horizons. Look into multi-profit center ideas that might work well with your business (coffee, gas, c-store, etc.) You’ve already got the management and labor in place, now you just need to find a good fit.
• Create a loyalty program. Club cards (where members are charged a flat fee for unlimited monthly or yearly washing) are one of the easiest ways to maintain a steady source of revenue. Even if you don’t offer a club card, a loyalty program of some kind is a necessity for a conveyor carwash operation in 2008.
"For conveyor operators, the trends are not as significant as determining what sort of customer you want to attract and what sort of business model you want to operate. Much of this is common sense, experts say. If you do not enjoy dealing with labor headaches, it’s time to streamline your operation to an express exterior. If you want to be known in the community as a top-of-the-line service provider, you’re obviously leaning towards a full-service business model.The devil is in the details, though. Menu options, vacuuming options, even your lobby choices will help differentiate your service from the next guy. Thorsby points out the potential for multi-profit centers, which seem to go hand-in-hand with labor and management-intensive conveyor operations.Another small detail? Your customer loyalty program or club card service. According to Kilgore, these cards can keep you afloat when times get tough. His experience is with operators on the west coast, but it is easy to see how adapting this to an east coast operation struggling with weather-related issues could cause a big boost to business.“This is a major change in the way that marketing is going to be done next year,” Kilgore said."
4th December 2007, Company & Industry News
Delivered, installed and commissioned at Century Wharf in early 2007 Canning supplied three transfer conveyors and a screen feed conveyor.
With the new system receiving feed from an existing trommel screen a feed conveyor delivers waste materials onto a new double deck screen installed by Grosvenor Waste Management; oversize material feeding onto an oversize conveyor and a quality assurance conveyor. Two new quality assurance stations were supplied complete with structures to carry the new conveyors and included picking chutes, floors, stairs and full hand railing.
Plastic line conveyor system.
Paper line conveyor system.
Canning will modify three existing conveyors so that all are the same length. With their duty being to feed onto a new conveyor or into an existing bay this modification will involve the installation of a 2-way chute with electric actuator flap doors. Receiving feed from the three existing conveyors a short 15m long x 1.2m wide collecting conveyor will be installed which is designed to accept all reject materials from the three belts.
All the new conveyors will be powered by Canning ‘SuperDrive' motorized drums; specifically for use in the waste industry these will be supplied with special labyrinth seals to eliminate any ingress from CD and audio tapes.
Industrial Conveying has developed its own extendable conveyors – unique, flexible equipment that expands and contracts and can be made into a straight, curved or bent configuration according to requirements. The extendable conveyors are quick and easy to set-up and have legs for adjustable height, on lockable castors. The skate wheels or polypropylene rollers are designed to ensure self-tracking. Extendable conveyors are ideal for moving goods in warehouse and storage situations as well as loading or unloading trucks. The extendable conveyors can be easily moved to give flexibility and multi-use functionality in your organisation.
Standard models come in widths of 350mm to 610mm and lengths of 1.8 metres to 8.8 metres.
The extendable conveyors have a carrying capacity up to 250 kg and come with either polypropylene roller or steel stake castors.
Conveyors are one of the best productivity-enhancing tools available to warehouses, industrial facilities, and distribution centers. Articles shown subsequently reflects on how conveyors have helped the industry in becoming more efficient.
To compliment its vibratory processing equipment Enmin is also providing special conveyors where product is required to be elevated. Transporting product from near ground level to the in-feed system of the vibratory processing system, these hygienic conveyors are manufactured to the same high standards of HACCP requirements.
Construction is a combination of stainless steel and food grade plastic belting and components. Safety issues are eliminated with the direct drive design and the enclosed pulley system. Washing down is acceptable since the conveyors are built to IP65 standards. These hygienic conveyors are offered as a standard design with belt widths, elevating heights and lengths being flexible. The supporting frame can be produced with lockable castors where mobility is required. Drives can be supplied in both single phase and three phase electrical configurations. Additions in the form of product receiving hoppers, in-feed chutes, discharge chutes and diverters, protection covers are all available. All Enmin Vibratory Equipment ’s products are produced to HACCP standards; these hygienic conveyors follow the same design prerequisites.
Safety Practices of Using Conveyors (part 2)
These are some of the warning signs to take note when handling the conveyors
Do not climb, sit, stand, walk, ride, or touch the conveyor at any time
Operate equipment only with all approved covers and guards in place
Do not perform maintenance on conveyor until electrical, air, hydraulic, and gravity energy sources have been locked out or blocked
Ensure that ALL controls and pull cords are visible and accessible
Do not load a stopped conveyor or overload a running conveyor
Credits: cisco-eagle (Want to know more? Click onto the link shown)
- CONVEYOR GUARDING:
In general, conveyor guards must be designed, constructed and used that they will:
- Provide positive protection preventing access to all dangerous areas during operation.
- Guards shall be permanently fixed or
- a physical barrier securely fixed in position by means of fasteners or other suitable
devices, and which ensures that the guard cannot be altered or detached without the aid of
a tool or key, or
- If a fixed barrier is not reasonably practicable, and access to dangerous areas is required
during operation, an interlocked physical barrer may be used.
If access to parts protected by guards is required for maintenance or other reasons, the guards or parts of them may be hinged or otherwise moveable, and wherever practicable they must be interlocked with the machinery.
- ESSENTIAL CONVEYOR SAFETY TRAINING:
It is important to remember that the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act requires an employer to provide a safe system of work and such information, instruction, training and supervision as are reasonably necessary to ensure employees are safe from injury. During the training of conveyor operators, care should be taken to ensure that each operator understands the safe operation of the conveyor and the following safety precautions:
The method of stopping and starting the conveyor.
The hazards in the course of normal working of the conveyor.
The hazards from bad practices, inattention, and misuse.
The purpose of the guard or safety device, and how the guard or device may fail.
Informing the person in charge if any faults or defects arise, and the danger to the
operator in attempting to correct any faults. A conveyor operator should be closely
supervised by a person with a thorough knowledge of conveyors during the training
- SAFETY OPERATING PROCEDURES:
The following operating procedures apply to all conveyor installations:
DO ensure all START/STOP and emergency controls are clearly marked.
DO keep the area clean and tidy. Good housekeeping eliminates hazards,
(ie. tripping, slipping and falling.)
DO isolate and danger tag the power source before working on a bogged or overloaded
DO ensure persons working near a conveyor are aware of the location of STOP/START
and emergency controls.
DO wear appropriate clothing-avoid loose clothing near moving conveyors.
DON'T walk under a moving conveyor unless the access is guarded against spillage.
DON'T clean belts, pulleys, drum, trough or return idlers while a conveyor is moving.
DON'T ride on a moving conveyor.
DON'T repair or maintain a conveyor while in motion (see *Special Note).
The most important danger points on belt conveyors are the nip points marked with arrows (see diagram below). Any nip point that is within 2.5 metres of any walkway or access way (ie. within reach) must be guarded to prevent accidental contact with nip points.
STARTING THE CONVEYOR:
Before you start a conveyor, check:
Are you sure that nobody is working on the conveyor, and that access platforms are clear? Inspect area to make sure!
Are all the guards fitted? Are the emergency stop switches working and clearly marked?
If lanyards are fitted are they working correctly?
Is the warning siren working?
Are fire fighting devices in place ready for use?
Are all the lights working and clean?