Posted at 11-Feb-2020

Investing in a conveyor that takes a weight off your mind

Paul Skade
By Alex Mills
Product Manager, Gears, Motors & Drives, ERIKS UK & Ireland

I joined ERIKS in 2011 after moving back to the UK following 10 years in the United States. I have an extensive background in modifying and restoring classic cars...

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Investing in a conveyor that takes a weight off your mind, and helps take a positive long-term view of cost and performance - without compromising on cleaning, hygiene and sanitation - is where Rexnord® can help.

 

In many processing applications - and in the food and beverage industry in particular - the conveyor plays a critical role. If you want a cost-effective system that reduces manual handling, accelerates movement of goods and speeds-up actual production, then only a conveyor will do.

However, the food and beverage sector adds a layer of difficulty, with the need for conveyors whihc are also hygienic and sanitary.

This leads to particular design requirements, which may have to take precedence over overall performance and short-term cost considerations. 

A growing problem

Your products are not the only thing conveyors carry. Unless they're kept scrupulously clean, they can also carry bacteria, which grow happily wherever water gets trapped. Some of these bacteria can be dangeroys pathogens such as listeria, with obvious and dangerous implications for food production.

Sometime even the product or ingredient itself can cause problems, if it's in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 

A conveyor carrying potential allergens such as peanuts can easily leave traces on a conveyor. If these then find their way into other products when the conveyor is switched to a different line, even the smallest trace in the wrong place can be dangerous - or even fatal - to someone allergic.

Belt manufacturers have developed several different design options to help overcome these challenges and ensure the performanance, cleanliness and safety of your conveyor systems.

Make a Klean sweep

The Rexnord KleanTop line is one example of a belting series designed specifically for the food processing industry.

While plastic belts may be easy to clean, they are also easy to scratch and crack, leaving spaces for germs and pathogens to grow. Screw heads are another danger area, where water can build up and provide a breeding ground for bacteria. With belting solutions such as the KleanTop 390, 2010 and 1200 Series, Rexnord overcome the issues by using food-safe materials and ultra-hygeinic designs.

With an open hinge design which make it easier to access the hinge for cleaning, the Rexnord 590 Series KleanTop is a 1/2" pitch belt, held together with a single rod per row of belting. The rod is accessible from either side, making it easy to dissassemble and reassemble wiht just a screwdriver, to reduce downtime.

 

The open hinges also drain water more effectively, and offer greater resistance to abrasion. That not only means fewer places for bacteria to hide (helping to increase hygiene levels), but also a longer rod life - reducing Total Cost of Ownership.

Capable of accomodating a 0.75" diameter nosebar, the 590 Series is able to move even the most delicate products without damage. At the same time, an optimised sprocket design ensures a smooth and damage-free transfer from belt to belt.

Keep your cool

If you application requires cooling, it's important that air can move consistently without dead spots. The Rexnord 1090 Series KleanTop Belt achieves this with a scalloped bottom to the belt, enabling it to run on a roller rather than a sprocket. It also features the open hinge design already described, and a headless retention system.

The belt edge area is where th belt breakdown can occur, leading to contamination, so reinforcing the edge helps to reduce the risk. Both the 1090 Series and 1010 Series feature a reinforced belt edge.

To allow more effective cleaning in less time, with less water and fewer chemcials, the open hinge design of the 1010 Series exposes 60% of the rod.

The platform for your belt

As aumotmation becomes more integrated and Industry 4.0 becomes a reality, a digitally-connected conveyor can help to optimise productivity and enhance energy efficiency. It can also lower the Total Cost of Ownership of the asset, by using data to inform preventative maintenance schedules.

 

The Rexnord DiRXN productivity platform offers real-time, time-crucial and product-specific data. Together with the innovative design features of the KleanTop Series, it helps you ensure your belt delivers your product hygienically, wherever and however you want them. And it delivers productivity, efficiency and cost savings too.

Want to know more?

Download Rexnord's KleanTop Belt Product Catalogue

If you're looking for a belt that adheres to the most stringent hygiene regulations, Rexnord is your ideal partner.

This brochure contains the complete portfolio of Rexnord's KleanTop Series, all proven to solve those hygiene-related issues, particularly in the food and beverage sector, whilst also improving efficiency and lowering Total Cost of Ownership.

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