Scaling a food and beverage process line

How do you know your bulk material handling equipment can grow with your business? When making capital investments in your food and beverage process line, it’s a question worth considering. The last thing you want is to have your growth constrained by operational capacity limits and let your customers down. But, on the other hand, you don’t want to overcapitalise, especially on a tight budget.

It’s a conundrum Floveyor manages with their customers every day. Take, for example, one customer who continues to overcome the growth challenges 25 years after the initial purchase of their first Floveyor.

In 1997, a local division of a large, multinational food manufacturer began working with Floveyor. They invested in their first conveyor two years after beginning a manufacturing operation for snacks reliant on flour, grains, and seeds. Over time, their process line expanded to meet increasing demand for their popular products.

Timeline: Process line changes of a snack food manufacturer

1997 — The first F3 Floveyor is installed to elevate corn flour, rice, and sesame seeds over 4500 mm in what had been a highly labour-intensive, manual operation.

1999 — One 5.5 m and a second 9.7 m Floveyor are installed to support an increasingly automated production line delivering higher output. A screw feeder was added to the process line.

2000 — A massive product expansion to distribute products to multiple process lines adds six new Floveyors, ranging in length from 3 m to 13 m and a second screw feeder.

2003 — Another 6 m Floveyor helps the snack company keep pace with growth. In just under six years, the operation moved from manual materials handling to using 10 Floveyors.

2005 — A global food giant acquires the parent company of the snack producer, and with it, new production and regulatory standards are set. Fortunately, Floveyors are engineered to keep up with changing requirements. The modular design of Floveyor conveyors makes it easy to modify existing machinery and equipment.

Changes included:

  • Replacing carbon steel parts with stainless steel
  • Adapting product contact areas to meet new hygiene and cleaning requirements
  • Extending the length of the conveyors to align with new process layouts

Floveyor’s aero-mechanical technology and simple design saved the food and beverage company time and money as there was no need to install additional venting and filtration equipment. Because 70% of our exports go to countries requiring ATEX-compliant equipment for hazardous environments, every Floveyor is designed to meet stringent international safety standards.

2012 — Another 5.5 m and a 9 m F3 Floveyor are added to the production line.

From manual labour to complex, multilevel powder handling

One of Floveyor’s hallmarks is versatility and high transfer rates. Both were instrumental to the growth of the process line and leveraged the investment in existing equipment. Floveyor engineering allowed the snack food manufacturer to develop a complex, multilevel production line without sacrificing efficiency or compromising product integrity.

In the current operation, all raw materials safely travel from multiple bulk bag unloaders at ground level to multiple roof-level inlet points for processing, cooking and coating. Floveyors move high volumes of powders and granules through the multistage transfer without dust or product degradation.

The next step in food processing safety

In all, the snack food manufacturer is using 12 Floveyor conveyors and two screw feeders in their process line. The customer is considering adding Floveyor’s polymer-coated x-ray and metal detectable rope assemblies as their next step in process line upgrades. These assemblies contain an additive that highlights contamination caused by things like mechanical faults, worn parts, and other sources likely to damage the rope assembly which can cause polyurethane particles to enter the product being handled. This advanced rope technology provides an additional safeguard against contaminated food products reaching consumers.

For more on conveyors and process line technology

Contact us for a free consultation about solutions for your powder handling challenges. We can partner with you to scale materials handling as your business grows.

 

A snack food manufacturer in Australia scaled their business while leveraging their investment in Floveyor conveyors and process line technology.