Exclusive: What’s the Standard for Purchasing New Conveyors?
The conveying process, like all industrial processes, is strictly related to efficiency. Customers have also special requirements and ask for robust design and sanitation standards. About all these, Potato Business Digital talked to experts from PFI, Key Technology, Rexnord and Reyco.
Greg Stravers, PFI senior vice president, says that meeting demands and being the most efficient producer means that a company has to move the product through all phases of processing efficiently and effectively.
In the past, much of the transportation of potato product through processing was done in batch using water flumes and pumps. Due to restrictions, regulation and the cost associated with water, conveying of potato products has changed to various dry technologies, he explains. “The industry needs the best conveying systems to move product in the shortest and most efficient methods. Conveying is also be part of the processing as you can sort, index, and grade potato products as they are being conveyed,” Stravers says.
Jim Ruff, general manager of the integrated solutions group at Key Technology, recommends belt conveyors for raw receiving, when large elevation gains are needed or to accelerate product significantly when feeding an optical sorter. In almost all other areas, they apply vibratory conveyors including Iso-Flo and Impulse products.
“Conveyors are integral to potato processing. Found throughout the plant, from raw receiving to packaging and all points in between, it is critical that conveyors maximize reliability since the production line will go down if a single conveyor goes down. Conveyors connect equipment and help downstream machines work better by aligning, spreading and/or feeding, as needed, which helps produce quality product. Of course, vibratory conveyors can do much more than transport product – they can be designed with screens, gates or other features to grade, dewater, deoil, scalp, distribute and more,” Ruff explains.
Mike Franzoni, application engineering manager with Rexnord’s Food, says the conveying system plays the most important role in that it moves the product in and out of the facility in a clean, efficient way. A facility’s throughput depends on the conveyor system being designed for optimal product output and minimal downtime.
Rexnord | Cambridge Engineered Solutions provides a full suite of conveyor belting products that serve the food and beverage industry, including potato processors worldwide. They offer a wide range of belting products in the industry, giving processors a belting solution from the beginning of the line, through harsh applications such as freezing and frying, and into packaging that will be shipped to customers.
Product transfer is an important part of the process in any plant, while safety, hygiene, durability, and cost are all important when considering conveying systems, J. Brian Scott, sales and marketing manager with Reyco says.
Companies such as Idaho Steel, Reyco and Kiremko offer many forms of transfer including pump systems, air (pneumatic) systems and conveyors and all have their place in potato processing facilities. Potato receiving requires a sturdy design that will hold up and minimize bruising at high capacity, the expert with Reyco explains. “We work jointly with Tolsma/Grisnich on some of our projects to meet these criteria. In the past, this has typically been mild steel painted conveyors, but the trend is moving to stainless here more often. Inside the plant is our main focus, we offer flat belt, incline, and vertical belts to minimize footprint and follow the same rules regarding high capacity and taking care of the product, conveyor durability and low downtime are important aspects as well,” Scott adds.
You can read more in our magazine Potato Business Digital, Winter 2018, out now!
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