The frozen food industry has experienced a boom in recent years. The demand for frozen foods has increased due to their convenience and extended shelf life. As a result, more and more businesses are looking to get involved in the production and distribution of frozen foods.
However, there are some challenges that come along with conveying frozen food products. These challenges can affect the bottom line of a business and lead to losses in productivity. That’s why it’s important to choose the right conveyor system for your frozen food operation.
One of the best conveyor systems for conveying frozen food products is the tubular drag conveyor. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using a tubular drag conveyor in a frozen food operation.
What are tubular drag conveyors?
Tubular drag conveyors are a type of mechanical conveying system. They are often used in industrial settings to move materials from one point to another.
Tubular drag conveyors consist of an enclosed tube through which a chain or cable is drawn. The chain or cable drags a series of evenly-spaced solid discs. These discs move at a steady pace and create ‘pockets’ where the conveyed material can travel.
Tubular drag cable systems, in particular, are well-suited for the food processing industry, including the frozen food industry. They are designed to handle a variety of food products, including those that are delicate or fragile.
The cable that runs through the tube in a cable and disc conveying solution is made of stainless steel and encased in nylon, meaning it is food-grade and safe for conveying food products.
Tubular cable conveyor systems are ideal for conveying the following types of materials:
- Nuts and seeds
- Snack food products
- Pet food
- Coffee beans
- Powder materials
- Specialty grain,
- Wide range of blends and mixes and more
However, the frozen food industry presents some unique challenges that must be considered when choosing a conveyor system. Let’s look at some of these challenges and how tubular drag conveyors can address them.
Challenges of conveying frozen food products
Food processing in general, and the frozen food industry in particular, present some challenges that must be considered when choosing a conveyor system. Some of these challenges include:
- The potential for product breakage or damage: Frozen food products are often delicate and can be easily damaged. Gentle conveying is a must when handling these types of products.
- The need for sanitary conditions: Food processing operations must meet strict sanitary conditions. The risk of contamination and cross-contamination must be minimized. As a result, it’s important to choose a conveyor system that is easy to clean and sanitize for maximum food safety.
- The need for low-temperature operation: Frozen food products must be kept at low temperatures to prevent them from thawing. A frozen food conveyor must be able to operate in low-temperature environments.
- The need for high throughput: Frozen food operations often require high throughput to meet demand. As a result, it’s important to choose a conveyor system that can handle a high volume of products.
- The need for frequent line changeovers: Line changeover, or the process of changing from one product to another, is a common requirement in the food processing industry. A frozen food conveyor must be able to handle frequent line changeovers.
You may have run into conveyors that promise to address one or two of these challenges, but finding a conveyor that can handle all of them is another story.
Take pneumatic conveyors, for example; they can handle high throughputs and are easy to clean. However, they are not well-suited for low-temperature applications or conveying delicate products. Aero-mechanical conveyors, as well, can handle high throughputs. But they also fall short when it comes to fragile product conveying.
Tubular cable conveyors, on the other hand, excel in all of these areas. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of using a tubular drag cable conveyor in the frozen food industry.
How tubular drag conveyors can help
Everything about a tubular drag conveyor, from its design to the materials it is made of, makes it an ideal solution for the frozen food industry.
Here are some of the most important ways tubular drag conveyors can help with frozen food conveying.
First and foremost, cable and disc conveyor systems are designed to handle fragile and brittle materials.
Because of the conveyor design, the product is safely nestled between two solid circular discs as it moves through the tube. This design protects the product from being jostled or damaged as it moves along the conveyor.
The discs also move relatively slowly. This slow conveying speed prevents product damage and breakage.
If you’re now thinking that this conveyor cannot possibly move the food product quickly enough to meet your needs, think again. The conveyor throughput is managed by adjusting the tube diameter to the needs of the operation – rest assured that this conveyor can handle high throughputs when necessary.
Easy to clean and sanitize
Cable and disc conveyors – and Cablevey conveyors, especially – are also designed for easy cleaning and sanitizing.
All of the conveyor’s food contact surfaces – the discs, cables, and tubes – are smooth. There are no nooks and crannies for bacteria to hide in or nuts and bolts for contaminants to collect around. The risk of product build-up and cross-contamination is minimized.
Our commitment to sanitary design sets Cablevey apart from other tubular conveyor manufacturers. Our sanitary conveyors are outfitted with special clean-in-place (CIP) technologies that allow them to be easily and effectively cleaned with minimal (or no) disassembly.
We offer both wet and dry CIP systems. You can choose the system that best meets the needs of your facilities.
Various tube diameters
As mentioned above, the diameter of the conveyor tube determines the system’s throughput. Essentially, the larger the tube diameter, the more product the conveyor can move in a given time frame.
Cablevey offers a range of tube diameters to meet the needs of different operations, from small-scale facilities to large-scale industrial plants.
For example, if your business is in its infant stages, you may need a conveyor that can move up to 21,000 pounds (9,524 kilograms) of product per hour. In this case, you could opt for a smaller tube diameter, such as our four-inch option.
As your business grows and your needs change, you can always scale up to a larger tube diameter. The biggest tube diameter we offer is 8 inches for a capacity of up to 80,000 pounds or 36,287 kilograms per hour.
Bonus: modular design
What does ‘modular design’ mean?
It means that the conveyor can be easily customized, expanded, or reconfigured to meet the changing needs of your operation.
Our tubular drag conveyors are designed in modular sections. Together with our team of engineers, you can easily add or remove sections of the conveyor to accommodate changes in your facility layout or production process.
Why is a modular design so important?
In an expanding industry such as frozen foods, it’s important to have a conveyor system that can grow with your business.
With a Cablevey tubular drag conveyor, you won’t have to start from scratch or invest in an entirely new conveying system as your business expands. All you have to do is add additional sections to the existing conveyor.
And because of this modular design, our conveyors can fit almost any facility – no matter how large or small.
We’ve even outfitted our conveyors to work in some of the most challenging environments, including facilities with limited floor space and cramped production lines.
The fact of the matter is without innovation and new technologies; the frozen food industry would not be where it is today.
In order to maintain a competitive edge, businesses in this industry need to invest in state-of-the-art equipment – such as a tubular drag conveyor system.
Tubular drag conveyors offer many benefits that other material handling systems simply cannot match. They are designed for easy cleaning and sanitation, they can be customized to meet the needs of any operation, and they are built to last.
Above all else, a tubular cable and disc conveyor provides a gentle, efficient, and reliable way to move product: no more product damage or lost profits due to product or material spoilage.
If you’re looking for a conveyor system that can take your business to the next level, look no further than Cablevey Conveyors. Contact us today to learn more about our tubular drag conveyor systems and how they can benefit your operation.