This feature first ran in the July/August 2013 issue of Food Manufacturing.
If you’re a food processor that’s adopted a lean manufacturing approach, you likely employ a “less is more” mindset throughout your operations. But there’s one area you may not have considered streamlining: the tools and time required to maintain, changeover and sanitize food handling equipment. At Walker Custom Sheet Metal, we’ve created the W.O.W. Conveyor™, a customizable system that’s both ultra-sanitary and totally tool-less, and is providing our customers with more efficiencies.
With tool-less conveying, the pulleys, motors, drives, chutes, bearings and belts can all be easily removed using only one’s hands, so that anyone can fully disassemble and reassemble the conveyor. One customer cut disassembly downtime time by two-thirds because the conveyor system eliminated the need for a mechanic during routine maintenance (i.e., belt changes), sanitization and other tasks.
A tool-less design means the conveyors can be easily maintained by the equipment operator. For instance, thanks to preset tensioners, belts no longer have tracking issues and require no wrenches for adjustments.
The unique, patent-pending bearings on the W.O.W. Conveyor are one of the design features that create the tool-less system. They also allow manufacturers to sanitize areas around the bearings and pulley shafts that would otherwise remain unclean. These and other features, such as a stainless steel, tubular design, offer improved and faster sanitation to processors who must soon comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act.
To learn more about Walker Custom Sheet Metal, visit www.walkercustomsheetmetal.com.