Conveyors are an important part of most food processing facilities. Conveyors keep the products and ingredients moving swiftly and efficiently down the line. According to an article on www.foodprocessing.com there are important goals that conveyors should meet. Saving space, fostering safety, easy sanitation, reducing maintenance and downtime as well as product integrity preservation are a few. Innovations such as the horizontal motion conveyor (www.key.net) which minimizes breakage and assures proper mixing of ingredients, the Washdown Magnetic Transfer Conveyor (www.buntingmagnetics.com) which utilizes magnets for high-speed processing and stainless steel for ease of sanitation, and a Tubular Drag conveyor which helps protect fragile ingredients and products (www.cablevey.com), help accomplish these goals.
Many conveyors utilize stainless steel sheets as belts on their lines. Stainless steel conveyor belts can be perforated for drainage or to increase the transfer of heat or cold onto a product. Perforated stainless steel sheet has excellent temperature transfer properties and can be used in cooking, freezing and baking products such as meat, seafood, snacks and dairy. Metal belts can also be sanitized using high pressure washes, steam or chemical sprays.
Non-slip products such as SlipNOT® products can be incorporated into conveyors as well. Perforated stainless steel sheet can be coated with a high traction surface that is NSF registered. Non-slip cover plates, apron plates, crossover steps and platforms have been utilized on food processing plant conveyors by numerous facilities in order to keep employees safe. Conveyor rollers can also be coated keeping products, or the conveyor belt itself, from slipping.
Making sure a conveyor system is functioning at its highest level is important and ensuring employee safety while using a conveyor should be a priority.
Sperber, Bob. “Innovations Keep Food Processing Conveyors Flexible.” www.foodprocessing.com, web, August 8, 2011. September, 6, 2012. <http://www.foodprocessing.com/articles/2011/conveyor-innovation.html>
Information on stainless steel conveyor belts found from Belt Technologies Inc. http://www.belttechnologies.com/applications/food-processing/