Archive for the ‘Conveyors’ Category

SANITARY VS. STAINLESS STEEL CONVEYORS

May 23, 2019

By John Kuhnz
Vice President, Engineered Solutions Group, Dorner Mfg. – Read Original Article

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There are many factors that drive food processors to upgrade their conveyor systems to a more sanitary platform. Leading the charge is the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which takes a more proactive approach toward food safety by adding safeguards to try and prevent contamination or problems from occurring within the nation’s food supply in the first place. Besides the FSMA, companies cannot afford to have a contamination outbreak traced back to poor sanitary designs in their equipment. The risks to their reputation and to their customers’ well-being are too great.

So as companies scrutinize how to improve their food processing practices and stay ahead of the FSMA, installing new sanitary conveyors is often one of the conclusions they arrive at. That’s a sound decision because conveyors are in direct contact with food, especially on the processing side. These conveyors need to be built with strong sanitary attributes to eliminate any chance of contamination. However, not all “sanitary” conveyors are built the same. Let’s take a look at some of the engineering and design differences that make a conveyor a truly sanitary platform.

Is stainless steel truly sanitary?

A common misconception is that all stainless steel conveyors are sanitary. When the FSMA was announced a few years ago, many companies went out and purchased stainless steel conveyors thinking they were going to get a high level of sanitary protection. While that purchase provided them with a stainless steel conveyor, they might not have received a truly sanitary conveyor…and there’s a big difference between the two. Here’s why:

Stainless steel is certainly the right material to use in applications that call for regular washings with light chemical cleaning agents. A basic stainless steel conveyor can be washed throughout the day as needed, depending on how it’s built, but it’s not necessarily sanitized. That’s because sanitizing a conveyor involves an entirely different process than simply washing it down, and much of achieving a sanitized conveyor depends on the way it was initially designed.

What makes a true sanitary conveyor?

The goal of a sanitary conveyor is to, as best as possible, eliminate any chance of contamination. By their very nature, conveyors are an excellent source of contamination; especially on the processing side where raw food and ingredients are being moved. A sanitary conveyor works to eradicate those areas where contamination can happen…and that starts with the design of the frame.

A true sanitary conveyor gives the user full easy access to all areas of the conveyor for cleaning. By being able to reach every part of the conveyor with water, soap or other cleaning agents, there’s no chance of product collecting and growing into bacteria.

Additionally, a sanitary conveyor removes harbor points, blind spots and flat level surfaces within the frame structure, and replaces them with rounded cross members preventing food and water from accumulating. This design element is important because it doesn’t take long for components within the conveyor, like the motor, to begin heating up collected food particles and speeding up contamination. Also, the overall openness of the frame is designed so that any product that falls off the belt will land either in a catch pan below or on the floor; nothing gets trapped within the frame.

Other hygienic designs common in sanitary conveyors are the removals of plate-on-plate manufacturing on the frame. Often, these plate-on-plate designs involve sections of the frame bolted together with fasteners, and do not allow the user to take them apart for cleaning. This leads to food particles collecting in the crevices and spreading bacteria. Sanitary conveyors don’t have this type of manufacturing design. Rather, fasteners, which are harbor points for contamination, are removed from the conveyor’s food zone and replaced with welds where necessary – again all aimed at making the conveyor as hygienic as possible. These proactive design elements of the conveyor mirror the philosophy of the FSMA in that both attempt to eliminate the sources of contamination before they have a chance to occur.

Different levels of sanitary

Also important to keep in mind when researching sanitary platforms is where in the plant the conveyor is located. For applications more downstream in processing where the conveyor is moving sealed and packaged food, the conveyor might not need to be as hygienic as those carrying raw food and ingredients. These conveyors often accumulate corrugated dust from the cardboard packaging, and that can be cleaned by washing or simply wiping down the conveyor. This conveyor is still sanitary in design, but for this application the more robust sanitary platform isn’t commonly required.

Education is the key in selecting the right sanitary conveyor

A well-built sanitary conveyor will have these types of hygienic designs engineered into it. So the questions to ask when researching a sanitary conveyor system are:

  • Where is the conveyor going to be located in your plant?
  • How accessible is the conveyor to take it apart?
  • Is it easy to disassemble and can it be performed by one person with no tools?
  • Can you effectively wash and sanitize the conveyor because it’s designed properly?
  • Is the conveyor truly going to meet your sanitary expectations?

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Just because a conveyor is stainless steel doesn’t necessarily mean it’s engineered with these hygienic attributes. And that’s really the crux of the whole sanitary vs. stainless steel comparison; a lot more thought process from an engineering standpoint has gone into the sanitary conveyor to make it truly a hygienic platform.

The sanitary designs were considered upfront during the designing phase so that the conveyor will be much more productive for you once installed and operating in your facility. Understanding the different levels of sanitary standards available in conveyors will go a long way toward giving you peace of mind in knowing you’ve purchasing the right sanitary conveyor for your application.

Read the original article

John Kuhnz is the vice president of the Engineered Solutions Group, at Dorner Manufacturing. He can be reached at 262-369-1332 or john.kuhnz@dorner.com

Dorner Mfg. Corp. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

5 Unique Conveyor Solutions to Merge Product

September 12, 2018

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Merging Conveyors are used to consolidate the flow of product from multiple infeed lines. Typically, these systems will merge the product into a single stream on one conveyor for the next phase in the production process.

There are many ways to merge product, such as: diverters and gates, product pushers, lane guiding, ARB Conveyors and more.

These systems are created to ensure facilities are running efficiently and eliminating bottlenecks while avoiding product pile up or overflow.

Choosing the right type of merge system depends on the application and characteristics of the product that it is created for. Each product is different and Dorner’s custom merge conveyors are engineered to your specific needs.

Here are some examples of solutions we’ve created in the past:

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Heavy Duty Product Pusher

This system is merging two infeed lines using a product pusher. Baskets carrying product weighing up to 500 lbs are transferred onto the center conveyor in front of the pusher from either line.

Once the photo eyes confirm the basket is in the correct position, the pusher is activated and transfers the product onto the takeaway conveyor (not pictured).

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Powered Side Guide Merge

While standard UHMW guides can often be used for simple 2-to-1 merges, some applications can benefit from a powered side guide. These can be useful in situations such as: heavy product that needs assistance over the side transfer, delicate product that you don’t want rubbing on the guide, and precision applications where you want better speed control through the merge.

The powered side guide can also be used to pull a gap between products.

Pneumatic Gate Merge

Pneumatic Gate Merge

For this application, empty bottles were traveling down two different infeed lines and needed to be merged onto a single line. Pneumatic gates at the point of the merge can open or close, allowing one line through while bottles are able to accumulate behind the closed gate.

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Pneumatic Product Squeezer

This application is very similar to the previous merge, but instead of gates, the system uses pneumatic squeezers.

When one of the infeed conveyor flows needs to be stopped, the squeezer activates and holds the rolls of paper in place. This allows rolls on that side to accumulate until released.

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4-to-1 Merge

Using our sanitary AquaPruf conveyors, we designed this 4-to-1 packaging merge with servo motors and photo eyes to maintain fast and consistent product throughput. Since this system was made for a food application, the stainless steel conveyors are completely washdown for sanitation and food safety.

Dorner D-Tool Online complete conveyor configurator

August 23, 2018

DTools videoDesign and engineer a simple or complex conveyors to meet your specific needs in minutes.  You can construct a complete conveyor package or select individual components. This intuitive tool will walk you through every aspect of the conveyor from motor placement and belt type to accessory options.

Once you’ve completed your system, D-Tools will generate a comprehensive list of your components that you can receive via email. You can request a quote and select a variety of drawing options including 2D and 3D CAD assembly models.

Go to D-Tools conveyor configurator

Dorner’s Newly Redesigned 2200 Series Belt Conveyors Feature High Speed Transfers, Universal T-Slot and More

May 23, 2016

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A high speed nose bar transfer option, redesigned frame, additional belting and expanded guiding make Dorner’s newly redesigned 2200 Series low profile belt conveyors even better than before.
2200 2What makes this redesign significant to customers is that Dorner took the “good” from its best-selling conveyor platform and made it better. This equals a conveyor platform that’s stronger, faster and more flexible for handling small to medium size part applications.

The 2200 Series features a stronger, single piece frame design that reduces the overall number of needed stands. The frame comes with a Universal T-Slot that is compatible with industry standard hardware and makes attaching accessories and guiding fast and simple.

Additionally, a 5/8” nose bar transfer option with V-Guided belt tracking safely transfers parts at speeds of up to 200 feet per minute for increased productivity. New tool-less fully adjustable guiding provides customers with added flexibility to further customize their conveyors to best fit their needs. Other improvements to the 2200 Series include new belting options and additional conveyor widths.

2200 1.jpgDorner’s 2200 Series end drive conveyors can be equipped with the company’s recently released Universal Drive, which provides flexibility in design layout and simplifies spare part management with a single part number that covers all speeds, loads and mounting position.

Features of the newly redesigned 2200 Series Belt Conveyors include:

  • Widths between 1.75” – 24”; lengths between 18” – 24’
  • Load capacity up to 120 pounds; belt speeds up to 400 feet per minute
  • Precise rack and pinion belt tensioning allows for fast and simple tensioning
  • Sealed for life bearings reduces maintenance
  • Engineered for applications involving small to medium part handling; transfers; accumulation, automated and manual assembly

Dorner’s 2200 Series conveyors can be configured in Dorner’s Online Configurator, DTools. Users can engineer a complete conveyor and download a complete 3D CAD assembly model for instant validation of fit. Dorner builds its 2200 Series conveyors made to exact customer specifications and ship within three business days.

Dorner AquaPruf Sanitary Vertical Belt Conveyors

November 30, 2015

Dorner VBTThis vertical belt technology is used for elevating bulk products like vegetables and fruits, popcorn, grains and nuts, pet food, pharmaceuticals, and small packages. As a sanitary, vertical conveyor belt system, it’s ideal for food, pharmaceutical, chemical industries, and all sanitary environments as it carries out a wide range of applications.

The FDA approved belting and plastic components in our AquaPruf VBT series is built for steep and vertical inclines, as well as bulk material handling, food process, and as a washdown conveyor, is easy to clean.

http://www.rrfloody.com/Dorner.html#vbt

2200 Series Precision Move Pallet System Conveyor

September 10, 2015

Dorner pallet systemThe latest advancements in pallet traffic management

With a unique pin tracking system to guide pallets through 90° turns, and a fast belt change capability. Dorner’s 2200 Precision Move Pallet Systems are designed to increase efficiency and reduce downtime in various assembly automation processes