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Spiral update

28 January 2019

Food Processing reports on a spiral conveying solution that promises zero slip and reduced tension. 

Spiral conveyors are well used within the food manufacturing industry as they can offer an effective product proving and cooling solution in confined spaces. Lantmännen Unibake UK, a supplier of bakery products, is a typical user of spiral conveyors. The company has employed one for some time, to cool its freshly baked products.  When it came time to replace the ageing conveyor the company called in L.A.C Conveyors & Automation, tasking the company with providing a new spiral conveyor that would enable it to reduce the number of transfers, increase produce throughput and free up more floor space on the factory floor for other uses.

L.A.C. visited the site to make an initial survey and assessment of the project requirements. A number of potential solutions were drafted and then modelled in 3D for presentation of a new concept stainless steel spiral conveyor.

For this application L.A.C. specified the use of an Intralox i-Drive system for the belt solution with an overall continuous run of 575m utilised which was installed in the 17 tiered stainless steel conveyor. There are two entry floors in the conveyor which has improved operatives and engineers access to products and for maintenance purposes.

The new spiral conveyor has provided Lantmännen Unibake UK with a 30% increase of product throughput along with a significant decrease in downtime for maintenance. The new conveyor also resulted in a reduction of three product transfer points. Valuable floor space for new storage units was also released by raising the spiral conveyor up on legs.

Intralox can offer a patented Direct Drive System (DDS) for spiral conveyors which is said to offer advantages over tension-driven, stainless steel belts. Instead the Intralox DDS solution relies on an operating system that engages the belt edge directly with the drum to generate zero slip and to reduce belt tension. Eliminating drum-belt edge friction results in reduced tension and more reliable performance.

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