Over the course of the two weeks leading up to PACK EXPO International 2016, Food Manufacturing is publishing a number of pieces of show preview content. We had the opportunity to connect with several companies exhibiting at the annual event for a quick look at topics and trends in their segment of the food and beverage processing industry, along with a preview of what products/technologies those companies will have on display at PACK EXPO International.
In this installment, we check in with Paul Kuharevicz, Engineering Manager at Dynamic Conveyor Corporation, who discusses topics and trends in conveying, and spotlights what the company will be showcasing at booth N-4836.
Q. What are some emerging trends/topics related to conveying/conveyors for the food manufacturing industry?
A. One of the prominent trends with food conveyor manufacturers is to simplify their design. The most sought-after conveyor design seems to be the conveyor with the fewest “bells and whistles.” Food producers demand simple, streamlined designs. Every component of the conveyor is highly scrutinized by end users, right down to the number of bolts it takes to keep the conveyor together. Quick, tool-less disassembly for cleaning is now the expectation of most food manufacturers. Safety has always been, and continues to be, a concern. Today, the desire is for a conveyor design that allows for easy cleaning and sanitation along with being inherently safe.
Q. In what ways are conveyor suppliers helping food manufacturers become compliant with Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations.
A. I think most food conveyor manufacturers recognize the importance of the FSMA regulations. Dynamic Conveyor recognized the upcoming changes and used FSMA as a blueprint when designing the DynaClean conveyor line. When you boil FSMA regulations down, it really amounts to focusing on simple, no-frills conveyor design that meets or exceeds customers’ expectations in production and during cleaning and sanitation. Conveyor designs that don’t have any nooks, crannies or flat areas for bacteria to collect and allow for quick access to the entire conveyor for cleaning are a benefit to any food processor working to be compliant with FSMA regulations.
Q. What factors should food manufacturers consider when choosing belting materials for conveying operations?
A. A solid polyurethane belt is best for applications that involve direct food contact. The hygienic benefits of a homogeneous, solid thermoplastic belt gives the processor the confidence that they own a belt that can be quickly and effectively sanitized. While most polyurethane belts look the same when installed on a conveyor, there are some subtle, but very important design and operating characteristics that should be considered. A polyurethane belt design that requires no pre-tension is the superior design. When a belt is tensioned in order to keep the sprocket engaged into the belt, you are running the risk of creating tracking issues, which will eventually lead to costly belt replacement, conveyor repairs and downtime. Conversely, when a tensionless polyurethane belt is used, the belt is allowed a catenary sag on the underside of the conveyor and will track perfectly, with no side-to-side movement. Additionally, fewer mechanical components are required with tensionless belts.
Q. What can you tell us about the products/technologies for the food and beverage industry that Dynamic Conveyor be exhibiting at PACK EXPO International 2016?
A. The sanitary conveyors that Dynamic Conveyor Corporation will exhibit at Pack Expo are different than traditional welded stainless construction. The structural materials of our DynaClean conveyor use a combination of HDPE, UHMW and stainless steel, which allows for a modular design and gives customers the ability and freedom to adapt their conveyor to changing demands. On display will be our DynaClean Vertical Z Conveyor, which is much easier to clean than traditional elevator or bucket conveyors, and our new Metal Belt Conveyor, which was designed for customers who have a need to batter, bread, glaze, coat, cool, drain, dry or wash product while being conveyed. We will be highlighting our patented design with 60-second conveyor disassembly and re-assembly demonstrations throughout the show. Attendees are invited to watch or even participate in these demonstrations.