This article originally appeared in Food Manufacturing's May/June 2015 print edition.
The Food Manufacturing Brainstorm features industry experts sharing their perspectives on issues critical to the overall food industry marketplace.
In part two of this five-part series, we ask: What are the latest trends in conveying related to the food industry?
Jim Paulsen, Sales/Account Manager, Multi-Conveyor, answered:
Sanitation is the top trending conversation in building conveyors for the food industry. Staying ahead of the requirements that the food industry dictates is key to developing sustainable designs that can work across various food manufacturing segments.
Varying degrees of sanitation are required at different locations in process and packaging lines. It is necessary to match those specific sanitation requirements with cost-effective designs for a particular application. Understanding whether it will be clean-in-place, clean-out-of-place, how often cleaning takes place, and the chemicals and temperatures involved all are considered when choosing designs, materials and components to be used. Complicating the desire for open, easily cleanable designs is the safety aspect for operators and mechanics that come in to contact with the equipment. Often the sanitary design and safety requirements seem incompatible and it is left to the conveyor manufacturer to comply with both groups’ specifications.
The ever-present trends to go faster and increase reliability must also be considered. Increased throughput and the elimination of waste and downtime are essential in providing a quality conveying system to the customer. New product-carrying belts and chains and materials for wear parts must add to the performance criteria of a project, but must also meet guidelines for materials acceptable in the food industry while being resistant to chemicals used in cleaning and sanitation.
Ultimately the industry must trend towards conveyors that are cleaner, safer, faster, more reliable and technologically advanced to meet the needs of the food industry segment of the business. Often times all of those characteristics are required of each conveyor.
Read part one here.