Features

The impact of engineered food belt cleaners

Read how a dough processing plant switched to Flexco’s FGP Food Grade Primary Cleaner saving significant costs and time on belt repairs.

A dough processing plant was facing issues with carryback and dough loss on one of their conveyor lines. The homemade cleaning systems they had in place on their incline sandwich conveyors were two silicone blade assemblies. A dough sheet travelled upwards between the 2-ply white PU conveyor belts across the two blades at the discharge and down into a hopper for further processing. While silicone has great dough-release properties, the blades began to wear rapidly.

Additionally, the site’s larger sheets of dough caused intense pressure on the blades which caused them to fluctuate, allowing dough to collect in unintended areas around the conveyor.

The plant was also concerned about sanitation levels as well as potential contamination of the finished product, so they sought out a more long-term, better solution.

To better address the health of their belt, the plant manager decided to contact his Flexco representative for a site walkthrough. While at the facility, Flexco’s Food Processing Industry Manager noted that a potential solution could be found by upgrading their belt cleaning systems to Flexco FGP Food Grade Primary Cleaners (FGPs).

The FGP works well with specialised food-specific belt materials, features a small enough footprint to fit many systems, and has consistently demonstrated effectiveness for similar applications.

An additional concern voiced by the plant manager was the location of the belt in question. At 15 feet above ground level, they wanted a solution that would lower the frequency their maintenance team would have to address issues, as access to the belt cleaning system was often restricted. Taking that into account, Flexco’s representatives communicated that maintenance to the FGP is minimal, and the strength and wear-resistance of the blades considerably reduce the likelihood of repairs and replacement.

After installing an FGP Food Grade Primary Cleaner on both incline conveyors, they noticed an immediate impact. Not only did they see a significant improvement in the damage the previous blade was incurring due to wear and tear, but there was also a drastic reduction in dough carryback.

In addition, they noted that the need for maintenance team visits has decreased substantially, freeing them up for more pertinent issues across the plant. The plant manager was so satisfied with the performance of their FGPs that they have begun expanding the use of other Flexco cleaners in areas along their belt conveying processes to improve production efficiency and cleanliness.

For food processing operations facing similar issues and seeking to reduce product waste and downtime, visit www.flexco.com.au for more information.

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