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Giving customers what they need

30 November 2015

Wendy Thrower, Marketing Coordinator at Wire Belt, discusses the latest innovation from the company: the CompactGrid conveyor belt. Wire Belt has invested in facilities, new machinery, new research and development and has continuously improved to remain ahead of the game in the metal conveyor belt market. CompactGrid is one of Wire Belt’s newest innovations, designed to specifically handle smaller, delicate products while giving customers a lighter weigh, open mesh belt design. 

The new belt is manufactured from stainless steel and is primarily used in the food industry for applications such as cooking, cooling, draining, enrobing and freezing. It has been used for bakery, poultry, meat, snacks and confectionery products. 

Efficiencies
“Thanks to its excellent flow through capabilities, CompactGrid can improve efficiencies by reducing the time required to heat up or cool down a product, in turn reducing energy costs,” says Wendy Thrower, Marketing Coordinator at Wire Belt. “CompactGrid has a 70% open surface area, which gives food manufacturers optimal performance in processes where product coating, drainage and liquid or air circulation are factors. Thanks to controlled tests, Wire Belt has confirmed that CompactGrid has five times less resistance to flow through than most plastic modular belts, which gives them optimum performance in drying and cooling processes. And because the belt is made from stainless steel, CompactGrid won’t slip, droop or catch fire on a system like plastic conveyor belts can. And its rugged open design makes the belt a good solution for cooling products in high volume, high throughput processes.”

The lightweight design of CompactBelt has helped to solve a customer’s belt surge problems. The previous belts weight was causing surging because it was too long. “Wire Belt was the only company to offer a lighter belt for the application,” says Thrower. “Replacing the belt with the CompactGrid stopped the surging entering and exiting their individual quick freezing line. This in turn reduced their unplanned and planned downtime.”

CompactGrid has been used for snack foods such as tortilla chips, meat products including bacon, baked products such as biscuits, vegetables and poultry products. The belt has a 10 x 10 millimetre nominal square opening designed to handle small and delicate products. The tight mesh of the belt allows for optimal product support and can handle heavy loads. Thrower explains that a customer who utilised the belt for a chicken battering application found that CompactGrid aided production of quality products, causing fewer defects than other mesh belting during the battering process.

“Use of CompactGrid stainless steel belting instead of plastic modular types can increase food conveyor hygiene standards by at least 10 times, and in some cases by more than 100 times, especially in high usage and difficult to clean areas,” says Thrower. “CompactGrid has more open area, providing effective cleaning where hygiene and ease of sanitation are important, especially in areas where accessibility and extended production runs present cleaning problems. Typically, it does not need to be removed from the conveyor system for cleaning; its openness allows visual inspection of draft shafts without the need for dismantling, eliminating the need for clean out of place tanks and reducing maintenance downtime. We offer sanitation guidelines in the help centre of our website.”

Wire Belt’s customers have to meet stringent industry standards and look to the company to be able to provide a product that will meet those standards.

“CompactGrid fulfils those needs and has USDA approval,” explains Thrower. “A customer installed CompactGrid to eliminate the difficulty in their cleaning. They process bread and the consistency of the dough was very soft and the previous plastic belt allowed the dough to seep into the belt. Maintenance had to remove the belt nightly in order to properly clean the old belt. By replacing it with CompactGrid, they eliminated this lengthy procedure. Installing CompactGrid on a conveying system is quick and easy. When the time comes to replace a belt, CompactGrid’s design allows processors to join or splice the belt on their conveyor by simply hooking the belt ends together and crimping to close. Its simplified splicing operations speeds installation and replacements, reducing maintenance time and lowering labour costs.”


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