Intralox: Plastic spiral belt can increase efficiency

Related tags Food

The manufacturer of a new spiral belt designed specifically for the
cooling and freezing of food products claims that the machine can
substantially cut product waste and increase energy efficiency for
production plants. Food products, it says, are less likely to stick
on the new plastic belt compared to traditional steel belt systems.

"When you process frozen products you often get this clinging effect on metal,"​ said Intralox​ European spiral team leader Stephen Hubbard. "Our belts eliminate the black specks, or metal wear debris, and the product sticking that eventually results in product waste."

The company also claims that the new Series 2600 Spiralox belt results in 75 per cent less maintenance than traditional metal belts. The modular designs make repairs and changeovers simple and easier for manufacturers to maximise their production time. The belts operate at very low tension, which prevents premature belt wear and greatly reduces belt replacement costs.

Another major selling point of the machine is its energy efficiency. "There is a lot of talk in the industry at the moment about energy consumption,"​ said Hubbard. "Light plastic materials and the modular load sharing ability of the new machine enables it to carry more product and thereby increase throughput. You can run more product through for the same amount of power."

Intralox also claims that its belts are easier and faster to clean than metal and other plastic spiral belts, so plants spend less time on sanitation and more time producing. In addition, Intralox's plastic surfaces allow easy product release, which prevents marking. The 2600 is easily cleanable,"​ said Hubbard. "It is well designed so that there are no nooks or crannies."

Food manufacturers are increasingly turning to spiral technology as a means of achieve production efficiencies. Spiral systems are designed to bring significant advantages to demanding production environments. The concept is used in food production to cool or freeze a product in a small amount of floor space, or to quickly move products from one floor level to another.

"The spiral cooler allows us to increase our efficiencies,"​ said John Sims, maintenance manager at San Francisco Foods. "We bake the pizzas and calzones for eight minutes at 400 degrees. At exit from the oven, the products have an internal temperature of about 170 degrees. After spending 30 minutes on the spiral cooler, the temperature is reduced to between 70 and 80 degrees. This means the product can spend less time in the spiral freezer and that less nitrogen is used in thefreezing process."​ Hubbard said: "Within this sector there has been a growing trend toward plastic. The Series 2600 Spiralox is helping to bring the concept up to date."

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