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Zarecki expands production with integrated conveyor system

10 April 2024

The company needed a conveying solution for a new production line to process a wide variety of very delicate berries.

Today the company processes over 6,000 metric tons of fresh fruit every year. In 2022, while expanding production with a new line that sweetens and dehydrates different types of berries, Zarecki turned to Key Technology to find a suitable conveying solution.

 An integrated vibratory conveyor system with five Impulse shakers was specified for the task. “The fruit on this section of our new processing line is as delicate as jellyfish, so our highest priority when choosing shakers was protecting the quality of these fragile berries,” said Marcin Sosnicki, Managing Director at Zarecki. “The new conveyor system also needed to handle a wide variety of fruits – you’d be surprised how differently a cherry behaves from a blueberry, plus we handle our apple products on this line for part of the year as well. Versatility and fast changeover were important criteria during our selection process.”

Key technology first took steps to research and test the products before presenting its conveying recommendations.

Designed for processing and packaging lines that require precise metering and low maintenance drives, the Impulse shaker conveyors are well suited for product mixing, ingredient feeding, scale feeding and more because they start and stop quickly, which helps maximise product quality, throughput and line efficiency. Impulse is equipped with dedicated solid-state controls that enable conveying pan amplitudes to range from zero to 100% for superior production versatility.

“The Key team visited us in Poland two or three times to fully understand our operations during the design process and tailor our conveyors to fit our existing layout. Then, a Key supervisor came out to oversee the line assembly, installation, commissioning and first production,” continued Marcin. 

Running at speeds of up to two metric tons of fruit per hour, Zarecki’s new line sweetens cherries, currants and blueberries with infusion tumblers, which discharge the syrupy product into a flume system. From there, product is run through a series of three Impulse conveyors with specialised screens that de-syrup and de-juice the fruit. Next, an Impulse transfer conveyor directs the product 90° around a corner and feeds an Impulse spreading conveyor featuring custom-designed lanes, which spreads the infused fruit for presentation to the dryer’s infeed system.

When this line is running apples, the product skips the de-syruping shaker and moves directly from a separate apple preparation line to the first Impulse de-juicing shaker, since the apples are not infused.

“One useful aspect of this integrated conveyor system is it acts as a buffer between batch processing upstream and continuous processing downstream at the dryer, which needs to be fed constantly,” noted Marcin. “And because Impulse is equipped with electromagnetic drives, we can simply adjust the speed from the control panel when needed. This makes things easier for our operators at the same time it helps preserve our product quality and increase our line efficiency.”

Impulse’s magnetic drives also help minimise maintenance, with no sliding or rotating parts to wear and no belts or bearings to fail. Oil-free drives help protect food safety while rugged construction makes these conveyors ideal for 24/7 use in harsh environments. All units are dust- and moisture-resistant with an IP65-rated enclosure to ensure years of trouble-free operation.”

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