When it comes to food processing, ensuring food safety is of utmost importance. A single contamination incident can lead to a recall, significant fines, and loss of consumer trust.
Tubular drag conveyor systems are widely used in food processing facilities to transport materials, such as powders and granules, in a safe and efficient manner.
However, with the availability of multiple options such as chain or cable-based systems, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your facility.
This article will discuss the differences between chain disc conveyors and cablevey disc conveyors and provide insights to help you choose the right tube drag conveyor system to ensure food safety in your facility.
What are Tubular Drag Conveyors?
Tubular drag conveyors, also known as tube disc conveyors, are a type of mechanical conveying system that transports bulk materials such as powders, granules, and pellets through a tube with a chain or cable mechanism. The chain or cable is attached to discs that move the material along the tube.
The two most common types of tubular drag conveyors are the chain and cablevey disc conveyors. The chain disc conveyor uses a chain to move the material and is suitable for heavy-duty applications. On the other hand, the cablevey disc conveyor uses a cable to move the material and is suitable for delicate materials that require gentle handling.
Both types of tube disc conveyors are designed to transport materials safely and efficiently, making them a popular choice in the food processing industry where food safety is of utmost importance.
How Tubular Drag Cable Conveyors Maximize Food Safety in the US Food Industry?
One of the most significant advantages of using tubular drag cable conveyors in food processing is their ability to maximize food safety. Keeping food free from contaminants and ensuring it meets the highest safety standards is essential to protect the health and well-being of consumers.
To ensure adherence to food safety, the United States has several regulatory bodies responsible for overseeing food safety. These include the FDA, USDA, and OSHA. The FDA oversees the safety of the food supply, including food additives and regulation of food labeling. Meanwhile, the USDA is responsible for the safety of meat, poultry, and egg products, as well as regulating their labeling and inspection. OSHA’s responsibility is to protect workers in food processing facilities from safety and health hazards.
These regulatory institutions have established various regulations that food manufacturers must follow to ensure food safety. For example, the FDA established the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which focuses on preventing foodborne illness by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.
When food particles become trapped, it can lead to various health and business hazards, including:
- Bacterial growth
- Food spoilage
- Food poisoning
- Difficulty maintaining food safety and sanitation standards
- Failure to meet regulatory requirements
- Increased risk of product recalls
- Loss of consumer trust, and
- Reputation damage.
To avoid these hazards, food processing facilities must take all necessary measures to prevent trapped food particles.
Which Conveyor System Maximizes Food Safety and Why?
In the food industry, maintaining sanitation and food safety is of utmost importance to prevent product contamination. Even a slight foreign matter or allergen entering the production process can lead to the discarding of an entire batch of food products, resulting in financial losses and a damaged brand reputation.
Line changeovers, where different product lines are run within a single shift or day, have become a focal issue, and processing plants are expected to maintain stringent levels of cleanliness and allergen-free operations.
Tubular drag conveyors are a solution to this problem. These conveyors transport dry bulk food products gently to discharge points in completely enclosed, dust-free conveying tubes. This prevents foreign substances from contaminating the product stream and keeps dust from the transported product from escaping into the production environment, reducing both health hazards and the potential for dust explosions.
Chain Disc Conveyors
Tubular chain conveyor systems are designed to meet sanitation specifications as mandated by the FDA. These systems have a polished stainless steel conveyor link chain or roller chain that is rated acid and corrosion-resistant.
However, cleaning the chain requires more care than cleaning the cable in a tubular cable conveyor as the entire chain is immersed in the food being conveyed. With roller chains, food particles can pack spaces between plates, pins, and bushings, and water can remain trapped after cleaning, which can create an environment for bacteria growth and potential contamination of future products.
To overcome this problem, cleaning mechanisms such as brush boxes, chain knockers, and wet clean-in-place (CIP) systems are available that minimize or eliminate the build-up of food particles from the chain, conveying tubes, and associated equipment.
Cablevey Disc Conveyors
Tubular cable conveyors offer a significant advantage over tubular chain conveyors as there is a reduced possibility of trapping food residue on the cable.
The cable is completely uniform and smooth throughout its entire route within the tube, whereas the chain has many 90-degree turns and connections link to link, where food residue can more easily collect. Stainless steel cable used in tubular cable conveyors is entirely nylon sealed, ensuring that no debris accumulates within the strands of the cable.
Compared to chain disc conveyors, cablevey disc conveyor systems offer more options for dry and wet tube conveyor cleaning, including brush boxes, urethane wipers, air knives, inline sponges, inline bristle brushes, and multi-step CIP (self-cleaning) wet cleaning.
It is noteworthy that Cablevey’s disc conveyors exhibit a remarkable ability to handle delicate products during the conveying process. In fact, many food items that are typically damaged during conveyance are transported safely and damage-free with cable drag and disc conveyors.
The fundamental principles that make cable disc conveyors gentle are the low conveying speed, the use of a continuous cable as the conveying medium instead of individual flights or rollers, and the circular pocket design that minimizes contact with the material.
As the material moves along the conveyor tube, it is evenly spaced out, preventing any backpressure that could lead to damage. Additionally, the entire system is enclosed, which ensures that there are no sudden changes in temperature or humidity that could negatively impact the product.
Choosing the right conveyor system is essential to ensure food safety in the food processing industry. Tubular drag conveyors, such as chain and cablevey disc conveyors, are commonly used for this purpose.
While both types of conveyors transport materials safely and efficiently, cablevey disc conveyors have several advantages over chain disc conveyors, especially when it comes to food safety. They are less likely to trap food residue and are easier to clean, reducing the risk of contamination.
Moreover, they offer more options for dry and wet tube conveyor cleaning. Therefore, tubular drag cable conveyor systems are an ideal solution for food processing facilities that aim to maximize food safety and prevent contamination.
If you are looking for the next conveyor for your food processing facilities, now it’s time to consider tubular cable and disc systems. Contact us at Cablevey to learn more about how we can help you choose the best type of tubular conveyor system for your plant.