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Should you consider making more use of Monolithic belts?

07 February 2022

Recently, there has been a marked emphasis on the need for increased hygiene and disease prevention. Meanwhile the food industry has been continuing its fight with bacterial and foreign object contamination. Viruses and bacteria are two different things, so the result of getting the hygiene policy wrong can be disastrous. 

One of the major hazard control points in the HACCP principle is the conveyor belt. Very little moves through the food processing operation without encountering a conveyor belt. The food industry is constantly looking to use of conveyor belts that offer the highest hygiene levels and the lowest risk of plastics and fabric contamination. There are also water and labour costing to be considered in the cleaning process.

Food production is faced operation costs, such as the costs of materials, labour, plant and services and also has to meet the demands of health, safety and environmental considerations

So, given the challenges faced in food production, why should you consider making more use of 'truly monolithic' belts? here are nine reasons.

Bacterial Hygiene – Monolithic belts have no layers, pins, or crevices to hide the contaminants that harbour bacteria.

Plastics contamination – Truly monolithic belts are made of soft plastics which cannot shatter and leave particles of the belt in the product. 

Textile contamination – Truly monolithic belts don't need a textile cord for strength. Reinforcing cords can become exposed and absorb product which cannot be cleaned. 

Maintenance costs – Monolithic belts are 'fit and forget'. They run without the need for tension and there some that are actually self-tracking, such as the Mafdel 'Positivebelt'. This results in lower wear and tear on the conveyor and almost maintenance-free operation.

Cleaning costs – Truly monolithic belts can be 'Clean in Place' (CiP) and there is no need to remove the belt from the conveyor, so labour costs are reduced. The belt surfaces are smooth and very easy and quick to clean which also reduces labour input. 

Water costs – A water-saving study was made in the United States which revealed, because of the quicker cleaning of a monolithic belt, there was an eighty percent reduction in water use per belt. Water is expensive to both use and to get rid of.

Environmental considerations – Recycling is a major consideration and waste to landfill is avoided as much as possible. A monolithic belt has no other materials within it and is either pure TPU or PES both of which are recyclable.

Initial belt cost – Monolithic belts are priced at a similar level good quality modular counterparts. When this is factored in with all of the benefits preceding, monolithic belts represent an attractive economical solution to conveying.

Conveyor costs – Positively driven truly monolithic belts run without tension so, apart from the product on the conveyor and the weight of the belt itself, This results in the possibility of open, more hygienic conveyors that are more lightly built, cost less and are easier to clean and maintain.

It's clear that there many applications in industry where a truly monolithic belt will not be suitable. Applications where there are changes of direction, high temperatures or knife edges for example prevent this belt's use. There are, however, many applications in the meat and poultry industry where truly monolithic belts are now the default product to convey goods 

On the 3rd of March, GB Belting Limited, in conjunction with Mafdel, will be holding a webinar to discuss the develop and use of Monolithic belting in the Food processing Industries.

For further details CLICK HERE or 01642 762686

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