A plastic spiral belt designed specifically for the conveying of small poultry products promises to increase productivity, extend belt life and reduce maintenance and downtime costs.
Manufacturer Intralox believes that its Series 2700 machine, which features smaller surface openings, is perfect for products such as fajita meat, nuggets, or popcorn-style chicken. The product is the latest addition to the company's Spiral belt range.
The modular design makes repairs and changeovers simple and easier for manufacturers to maximise their production time. In addition, the belts operate at very low tension, which prevents premature belt wear and greatly reduces belt replacement costs.
Food manufacturers are increasingly turning to spiral technology as a means of achieve production efficiencies. Spiral systems are designed to bring significant advantages to demanding production environments. The concept is used in food production to cool or freeze a product in a small amount of floor space, or to quickly move products from one floor level to another.
According to Intralox, spiral belt technology designed specifically for the cooling and freezing of food products can substantially cut product waste. Food products, it says, are less likely to stick on the new plastic belt compared to traditional steel belt systems.
"When you process frozen products you often get this clinging effect on metal," Intralox European spiral team leader Stephen Hubbard told FoodProductionDaily.com earlier this year. "Our belts eliminate the black specks, or metal wear debris, and the product sticking that eventually results in product waste."
Another major selling point of the concept is energy efficiency. "There is a lot of talk in the industry at the moment about energy consumption," said Hubbard. "Light plastic materials and the modular load sharing ability of the new machine enables it to carry more product and thereby increase throughput. You can run more product through for the same amount of power."
Intralox also claims that its belts are easier and faster to clean than metal and other plastic spiral belts, so plants spend less time on sanitation and more time producing. In addition, Intralox's plastic surfaces allow easy product release, which prevents marking.
The company has also developed a new clean-in-place (CIP) system with an angled sprocket system in order to help manufacturers achieve higher standards of sanitation. Intralox claims that in addition to more thorough cleaning under belts, the new technology also makes the cleaning process faster and more efficient.
Intralox plans to unveil these developments at the International Poultry Exposition (IPE 2005) in Atlanta, USA from 26 to 28 January 2005. The firm will also be displaying its Series 1500 Flush Grid Belt for breading and light transfer applications, and a number of solutions for tub, tote or package handling.