Compared to other industries that have taken quite a hit from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the frozen food industry has actually seen an uptick in sales. The size of the frozen food market is only expected to grow in the coming years, which means that more and more businesses will be orienting their operations around frozen food storage and transportation.
If your business deals in frozen foods, an important question is how can you stand out in this increasingly crowded and competitive market. How can you ensure that your frozen food products retain their quality and freshness from production all the way to the customer’s plate?
The answer lies in investing in a good frozen food conveyor system.
In this article, we’ll dig deeper into the benefits of using a good material handling system and what to look for when choosing one for your business.
The importance of a good conveyor system
A good conveyor system is important for any business that wants to optimize its material handling operations.
But what makes it especially important for businesses dealing in frozen food?
There are several reasons. First, as we mentioned earlier, the frozen food market will only get more crowded and competitive in the coming years. Businesses will have to find ways to differentiate themselves. One way to do that is by ensuring that their frozen food products retain their quality and integrity throughout the entire supply chain.
Second, a good conveyor system can help businesses save on storage and transportation costs. By investing in a system designed specifically for frozen food, you can avoid using multiple pieces of equipment for different stages of the material handling process.
Third, a good conveyor system can help increase productivity and efficiency. By automating the material handling process, businesses can free up their staff to focus on other tasks.
This is especially important for organizations that are dealing with a high volume of frozen food products.
Most common conveyor types in the frozen food industry
As you already know, there are many different types of conveyor systems on the market. Each type comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your needs.
Here are some of the most common conveyor types used in the frozen food industry:
- Belt conveyor: Belt conveyors are perhaps the most versatile type of conveyor out there. They can be used to transport a variety of products, including frozen food. One significant con of using a belt conveyor is that they are not great for tight spaces since the belt needs to be in a more or less horizontal position.
- Pneumatic conveyor: Pneumatic conveyors use air pressure (either positive or negative air pressure) to move materials through a system of tubes. One advantage of pneumatic conveyors is that they can be used to transport products horizontally, vertically, or at an incline. However, they are not well suited for fragile products, like most frozen food tends to be.
- Tubular chain conveyor: Tubular chain conveyors transport food products and materials through a tube with the help of a chain and evenly spaced discs. This type of conveyor comes with many advantages. However, the exposed chain comes in direct contact with the food product, which can cause contamination and cross-contamination if not properly cleaned and maintained.
Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive. There are many other types of conveyor systems out there – such as screw conveyors or roller conveyors – that can be fitted for use in the frozen food industry, with varying results.
One of the best options, which we will discuss in more detail below, is the tubular cable and disc conveyor.
Cable and disc conveyors consist of a series of solid discs evenly spaced along a sealed cable (similar to a tubular chain conveyor). This cable runs through an enclosed tube, which protects the product from contamination. The advantages of this type of conveyor when moving frozen food are many – more on them below.
What to look for in a good frozen food conveyor system
Now that you know some of the most common conveyor types used in the frozen food industry, it’s time to take a closer look at what makes a good frozen food conveyor system.
Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind.
One of the most important things to look for in a conveyor system is that it is made from food-grade materials. This means that the materials used in the construction of the conveyor – such as the belt, tubing, chain, cable and/or other components – are all safe for contact with food products.
Most food-grade conveyors, including Cablevey cable and disc conveyors, are made from stainless steel. This is because stainless steel is non-corrosive and easy to clean and sanitize, which is essential in the food industry.
Cablevey also offers a variety of other food-grade materials, such as our exclusive plastic tubing called Clearvey. Clearvey is just as safe for contact with food products as stainless steel but has the added benefit of being transparent, so you can easily see the product moving through the conveyor system.
Another important thing to look for in a frozen food conveyor system is that it is designed for sanitation. This means that the conveyor system is easy to clean and sanitize and that there are no crevices or tight spaces where contaminants can hide.
Cablevey tubular drag conveyor systems have smooth surfaces and rounded corners that are easy to clean.
All Cablevey systems are equipped with clean-in-place (CIP) capabilities, which allow you to clean and sanitize the system without disassembling it. You can choose between wet and dry CIP methods, depending on your needs.
Gentle material handling
Most food materials and products, including frozen food, are delicate and need to be handled with care. Traditional frozen food conveyors that we listed above – such as pneumatic conveyors and tubular chain conveyors – can be too harsh for many food products, causing them to break or become damaged.
Damaged or broken food products can lead to product waste, which is costly for any business. They can also lead to cross-contamination if the damaged product comes into contact with other food products.
Cablevey conveyor systems are designed for gentle material handling. The design of our systems allows for a slow, steady, and controlled movement of materials, which helps to minimize product breakage.
Fragile frozen goods such as frozen fruits and vegetables can be safely and effectively conveyed using a Cablevey system.
Flexible system design
Another important thing to look for in a frozen food conveyor system is flexibility. This means that the conveyor should be able to easily accommodate changes in your product line or production process.
Cablevey systems are highly customizable and can be designed to meet the specific needs of your business. We offer a variety of options, such as different tube diameters, modular components, and different inlet and outlet options.
Our systems can also be designed to integrate with other types of conveyor systems or production equipment. This makes it easy to make changes to your production process without having to replace your entire conveyor system.
Our systems can also be configured to operate in horizontal, incline, or decline applications. They are especially well-suited for tight corners and other space-constrained areas.
There are many things to consider when choosing a frozen food conveyor system. The most important things to look for are that it is made from food-grade materials, is designed for sanitation, has gentle material handling capabilities, and is flexible.
Some other factors you should keep in mind when looking for a frozen food conveyor system include:
- Ease of use: The system should be easy to use so that your employees can quickly learn how to operate it.
- Ease of maintenance: The system should be easy to maintain so that you can keep it running smoothly with minimal downtime.
- Safety: The system should be safe to use so that your employees are not at risk of injury.
- Durability: The system should be durable so that it can withstand the rigors of daily use in a commercial kitchen.
Cablevey conveyor systems offer all of these features and more. Our tubular drag conveyor systems are the ideal solution for conveying frozen food products. Contact us today to learn more about our systems and how we can help you streamline your production process.