Food processors are extremely demanding – and with good reason. Every consumer who uses products from their operations depends on the sanitary handling of food items during the entire preparation process. In our last article, we discussed fabrication methods that deny bacteria places to hide and allow the best possible result from sanitary wash-downs. Let’s take a look at some other best practices that are gaining popularity today.
No one likes to take extra steps to complete a task. If a worker has to look around to find a special tool needed for breaking down parts of a conveyer system, it might take time away from the actual cleaning process. The integration of accessories and components that can be removed quickly without the need for additional tools allows for efficient inspection, troubleshooting, and cleaning of the conveyor system with fewer delays.
For example, conveyor systems with tip-up tails allow tension to be taken off the belts quickly, allowing for complete access to top and bottom surfaces for more effective cleaning with less downtime.
Conveyor Frame Design
Attention to the conveyor frame design can allow workers to safely and easily clean the entire system, leaving it sanitized and ready for use. Side panels hinder access to internal structures and can provide large surface areas where bacteria can grow. An open frame design allows for quick visual inspections and fast, but thorough, cleaning and maintenance. Incorporating innovative features on the frame, such as flip out guide rails, facilitate easy removal and cleaning of the carryway. Bearing housings on stand-offs and machined UHMW return rollers can also contribute to sanitation by eliminating bacteria buildup points.
Integrated belt lifters, in combination with tip-up tails, allow for quick, tool-free de-tensioning and full or partial removal of the unit’s conveyor belt. This gives full access to the carryway and returnway structures, internal cross-members, and the underside of the belt itself for inspection, cleaning, and thorough sanitation of both belt and conveyor structure. An additional benefit of belt lifters is that they often allow for the belt to be cleaned fully while in place. If the belts are removed to be cleaned away from the conveyor, the likelihood of damage to the belt or the mechanical splice increases, resulting in premature replacement costs and more time lost to the sanitation process.
Designs that incorporate removable belt carryway surfaces and returnway roller assemblies also make it easier to efficiently clean and disinfect each and every component of the conveyer system.
In short, approaching sanitation as a critical requirement during the initial process will help ensure the delivery of a conveyor replete with built-in sanitary features engineered to streamline hygiene procedures and minimize downtime. This will not only ensure that the production process will be safe and sanitary, but also will lower the true cost of ownership throughout the conveyor’s operational lifespan.
At Eaglestone, we stay ahead of the curve on all the latest trends in sanitation to keep your line ultra-clean and ready for food production. If you have any additional questions regarding sanitary equipment design, please contact us today.