State Of Conveying 2023 Report

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Food Processors “Test Drive” Conveyors At World-Class Facility

Food processors “test drive” conveyors at the world-class facility

Discover why food processors are increasingly choosing to witness their products in action, gaining invaluable insights into quality, flow, and cleaning capabilities. With Cablevey Conveyors, you can experience how food processors “test drive” conveyors at the world-class facility and ensure choosing the right equipment. Explore how Cablevey’s expertise is reshaping the landscape of conveyor engineering, where every product test becomes a pathway to enhanced productivity and a competitive edge.

What Are the Sanitary Requirements of Food Conveyors?

At the cutting-edge Cablevey OEM testing facility, food processors gain the opportunity to meticulously assess their product’s performance and consult with experts regarding tubular disc and cable conveyors. Just as discerning car buyers wouldn’t finalize a purchase without a test drive in order to evaluate the vehicle’s on-road performance, a growing number of food processors are recognizing the significance of a similar approach in the conveyor equipment realm. 

The trend of “test driving” at an OEM test facility has gained momentum, enabling processors to use their own products for comprehensive evaluations. This ensures that the chosen equipment aligns seamlessly with processor standards, covering aspects like quality, cleaning requirements, and flow. Responding to this need, certain OEMs have strategically invested in cutting-edge test facilities. 

Here, food processors can run their products on the very equipment they’re contemplating for purchase. Meanwhile, all benefit from expert consultations to refine and optimize their unique processes.

Stainless steel conveyor processing frozen food

Why Is Product Testing Important?

Larry Van Zee, the retired Executive VP at Cablevey Conveyors, one of the leading conveyor systems manufacturers of mechanical conveyors serving diverse markets such as specialty food, coffee, frozen food, powder, nuts, and pet food, underscores the company’s commitment to encouraging food processors to thoroughly test products at their facility

Van Zee emphasizes the importance of this testing process, stating, “We urge food processors to assess their products here, enabling them to witness firsthand how well it aligns with their requirements. This real-time experience allows them to pose questions, evaluate for fines or degradation, and personally witness the product flow within the conveyor, assessing its ease of cleaning.”

Harnessing Expertise and Innovation – Cablevey’s Global Legacy and Comprehensive Testing Center

Cablevey Conveyors, with a global footprint spanning over 66 countries, boasts nearly half a century of experience in designing, engineering, and servicing traditional conveyor belt systems and innovative enclosed cable and disc tube conveyors. The company’s full-service product test center, located in Oskaloosa, Iowa, has been a hub for innovation and quality assurance. 

Over the years, they’ve rigorously tested over than 1,900 products, ranging from rice, coffee, cereals, beans, chocolate, and grains to caramel corn and peanut snacks, catering to some of the world’s largest brands. Each product undergoes meticulous evaluation within the confines of a tubular disc and cable automatic conveyor system, allowing for precise observation of effects and fine-tuning of results.

Reasons Why Each Product Undergoes Testing at Cablevey Facility

As per Scott Berning, Product Testing Manager at Cablevey, food processors have various reasons for choosing to visit and check out the test center. Berning explains, “Customers may have products that we are confident will perform well on conveyor solutions, but they prefer witnessing the equipment in action themselves. Their objective is to ensure that the product runs smoothly, and typically, the quality department conducts these checks as a standard part of their due diligence before finalizing equipment purchases.” 

Additionally, Berning notes that in instances where Cablevey’s applications department is tasked with designing and quoting a conveyor, and the manufacturer lacks adequate experience in conveying a specific product, the email quote explicitly mentions that the quote is contingent upon the successful completion of product testing.

Strategic Evaluation and Customized Design – Navigating Industrial Conveyor Systems With Cablevey

Certain processors aim to compare tubular cable conveyors with alternative conveyor belt system options under consideration, such as bucket elevators or chain conveyors. Meanwhile, others, already acquainted with tubular cable conveyors through prior experience, seek to demonstrate to their managers that a similar solution could be effectively integrated into their current facility. 

Upon the processor’s visit to the site, Cablevey’s team of product specialists and engineers engages in consultations with the customer to identify specific goals and challenges to address. Subsequently, they embark on designing a conveyor equipped with features tailored to tackle these specific challenges.

Precision Solutions and Thorough Documentation – Cablevey’s Expertise in Addressing Product Concerns

Scott Berning, Product Testing Manager at Cablevey, underscores the team’s proficiency by highlighting, “Our technicians and engineers demonstrate expertise in identifying and offering solutions for various issues such as breakage, temperature, stickiness, abrasiveness, and more.” Throughout the product testing stage at the facility, food processors are provided with thorough documentation of the outcomes, including a detailed report supported by video footage and recommendations.

Berning underscores that processors’ primary apprehension often revolves around product fragility and damage. He also emphasizes, “Irrespective of the product – be it cereal, crackers, or nuts – processors are keen on preserving the integrity of the products and mitigating damage during the conveying process.”

Explore All the Benefits of Innovative Tubular Drag Cable Conveyors

Berning emphasizes the exceptional effectiveness of supervising the installation of tubular drag cable conveyors in minimizing product damage. These conveyor systems for manufacturing stand out in gently guiding materials through a sealed tube, utilizing a continuous loop of coated, flexible stainless-steel drag cable.

Affixed to the cable are solid circular discs, known as flights, which gently propel the product through the tube without the need for air. Renowned for their efficiency, these conveyors, including the belt conveyor system, can seamlessly transport intricate blends of various food types, efficiently handling up to 2000 cubic feet per hour of materials across versatile layouts and configurations. Here are other benefits you’ll enjoy with this automated conveyor system.

Maintaining Product Integrity

Nevertheless, quality assurance checks remain crucial for processors, even when dealing with products that appear resistant to damage, such as flour. According to Berning, assessing potential damage to flour is challenging, as it’s not easily discernible. However, preserving the particle size is paramount. If flour undergoes rough transport, the particles may become finer, resulting in inconsistencies in recipes and cooking outcomes. Berning emphasizes the intricate scientific considerations involved in the testing process.

No Product Loss

Minimizing product loss and streamlining maintenance hold significant importance for processors. According to Berning, processors aim to deposit their materials into an inlet and have them exit the discharge with minimal losses. Tubular cable conveyors contribute to this goal by being completely sealed from end to end, guiding products unidirectionally within enclosed tubes. This design ensures virtually no product loss and eliminates concerns related to carry-back.

Frozen food on a conveyor 

Easy System Cleaning

Ensuring the ease of conveyor cleaning remains a primary concern for food processors. Interestingly, numerous processors visit the facility specifically to observe the straightforward cleaning process of the conveyor. Berning remarks, “Individuals travel from various parts of the US just to witness me execute a conveyor wet-clean and washdown, even though it’s a routine task for me every day.”

In contrast, traditional belt conveyor manufacturers with screw conveyors pose challenges in terms of cleaning, involving intricate disassembly of cleaning conveyor belts and substantial lifting efforts after each product changeover.

  • Safety Risks and Labor Intensity in Screw Conveyor Cleaning

Berning shares an account from a food processor who revealed that six technicians spent about eight hours cleaning their screw conveyor system, involving the challenging task of extracting a large auger, posing potential safety risks. In contrast, tubular drag cable conveyor technologies present more accessible and safer alternatives for both wet and dry tube conveyor cleaning

  • Accessible and Safe Alternatives: Tubular Drag Cable Conveyor Technologies

The equipment, such as urethane wipers, brush boxes, air knives, inline bristle brushes, and inline sponges streamlines a multi-step, automated Clean-In-Place (CIP) wet cleaning process. 

  • Streamlining Cleaning Processes with CIP Wet Cleaning

This is a thorough process that involves a sequence of the following steps:

  • Water rinse, 
  • Foaming agent,
  • Sanitizing rinse, 
  • Final water rinse. 

After a comprehensive system flush, drying is accomplished by affixing urethane wipers to the discs on a tubular conveyor, functioning akin to a squeegee to eliminate any remaining water.

Product Testing Process – How Does It Work? 

In industries such as conveyor manufacturing, where precision and reliability are crucial, product testing plays a pivotal role in ensuring that each component meets the stringent criteria necessary for seamless operation and customer satisfaction. This being said, let’s delve into the intricacies of this essential phase in product development and assurance.

Initiating Product Run and Observation

Every product undergoes processing through a tubular conveying system to assess the impacts and refine the outcomes.

A conveying system 

Diagnosing and Formulating Solutions

Technicians and engineers possess the capability to diagnose and recommend solutions for concerns such as breakage, temperature, stickiness, abrasiveness, and other issues.

A professional testing tubular conveying system

Real-Time Verification of Investment

An accessible, state-of-the-art product testing facility enables food processors to instantly observe and confirm that the investment in new equipment aligns with their requirements.

A tubular disc system with frozen food

Cablevey Assists You in Making Informed Decisions With Virtual 360-Degree Testing Facility Tour

Choosing to “test drive” products enhances productivity and quality, offering a competitive edge. For remote access, Cablevey now offers virtual product testing via real-time video links, similar to Zoom meetings, responding to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This innovation allows simultaneous in-person and virtual visits, facilitating evaluations for larger workgroups. 

An all-encompassing 360-degree immersive virtual tour offers an in-depth journey through Cablevey’s product testing center. It showcases comprehensive product information, videos, and insights into the capabilities of a tubular cable conveyor in transporting materials like grains, coffee beans, breakfast cereals, birdseed, and tea leaves. The tour also includes instructional videos on components, technologies, layouts, and maintenance and cleaning options.

Elevate Your Product and Securing Competitive Edge

Through readily available state-of-the-art product testing facilities, food processors can instantly confirm that their investment in new conveying equipment aligns with their needs. Those who opt to “test drive” their products in this manner will not just improve product quality and productivity but also gain a notable advantage over their competitors.

Stainless steel conveyor

Experience Food Processors’ “Test Drive” Conveyors at a World-Class Facility With Cablevey Conveyors

Experiencing the “test drive” of conveyors at Cablevey Conveyors’ world-class facility is a transformative step for enhancing product quality and operational efficiency. Whether in-person or virtually, this unique opportunity allows individuals to witness firsthand the precision and reliability of automated conveyor systems in action. Don’t miss out on this invaluable experience – contact us today and witness the innovation that sets Cablevey Conveyors apart in the world of conveyor manufacturing.

If you want to read the complete Factory & Handling Solution April issue, click here.

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