COMMON CONVEYOR BELT MAINTENANCE ISSUES AND CLEANING

For the food and beverage industry conveyor belts are an essential part of manufacturing and processing functions.  The need for speed coupled with a desire to create a consistent throughput level requires the belts to run well for long periods of time.

 

 You can’t live with them, or without them.

It’s recommended that a thorough assessment of conveyor systems is conducted minimally once a year.  Cleaning is another story.  Plants must consider certain factors such as material volume, handling and type of material, as well as food safety regulations and guidelines to ensure meeting the demands of today’s food safety standards.

 

What are the signs?

Assessing and formulating a comprehensive conveyor belt maintenance schedule requires patience and an eye for details.  Here’s a checklist for determining potential operation failures.

  • Spills: This can impact the operation’s efficiency and performance, present hazardous working conditions, affect employee safety, cause equipment damage and downtime to clean it up properly.  That means loss of time and money. 
  • Mistracking: Buildup on the conveyor belt can cause the belt to misalign, getting off track or result in uneven belt wear.  Missed production, worker safety and diminished product quality increase delays and costs. 
  • Carryback: During the manufacturing process, product moves along the conveyor belt, and inevitably residue will stick to the belt surface.  It builds up daily and eventually causes damage and/or downtime, lost productivity, and health issues for workers and consumers.   Again, time and money are wasted. 
  • Slippage: Lack of or improperly cleaning conveyor belts manually may cause belts to slip and work incorrectly.  That makes your entire system work harder, uses excess energy, and eventually causes costly interruptions on the line.

Contamination is a huge issue.  Washing and sanitizing conveyor belts will eliminate debris, bacteria, dirt, mold, and soil particles commonly found in food production/processing facilities and helps reduce damage, increases belt life and keeps the system running optimally.

 

Manual Cleaning is not the Answer.

How do you clean conveyor belts in an efficient and effective manner?

The purchase of an automated Conveyor Belt Washer solves a lot of problems.  It saves water compared to manually cleaning with a hose or spray bar.  One pass at up to 10 FPM is normally all that’s required, which saves time and labor, since it’s doing the work of 2 people.  Purchasing a belt washer also decreases production downtime or change over time in plants.  It prolongs the life of the belts by reducing buildup that stresses spiral belts and sugar that is abrasive to plastic belts.

 

Why Purchase the Douglas Machines Corp. Cyclone C-RH Rotary Head Belt Washer?

The belt washer cleans by shearing action, with the head designed to scour a variety of belts such as flatwire, rods or plastic, except for tabletop belting.  Our Cyclone Belt Washer has been proven effective for various manufacturers such as for Maryland, Ashworth, KVP, Cambridge, and Intralox belts.  Stewart overhead coolers, BOC or Wenway freezer belts are also commonly cleaned with the Cyclone system.

What makes the Cyclone C-RH Rotary Head Belt Washer unique is the fact it uses “street” water and has a patented motorized spray head that allows for control of the rotating speed of the wash arm, which is critical to coverage and cleaning effectiveness.  Nozzles are set forward and backward to clean both sides of the open mesh belting.  The opposing angles, not only cleans the top but also those hard to reach areas like the leading and edging trail of the belt surface.

Unlike brushes that are often unable to clean tiny crevices and tight spaces, the Cyclone belt washer will clean conveyor belts free of unwanted deposits.  Although the belt washer does not sanitize, a chemical sanitizer may be sprayed on the belt post-cleaning to remove pathogens.

The Cyclone C-RH is lightweight at only 30 pounds, effortlessly mobile with a portable cart, requires removal of only a couple of wing nuts to transfer the washer easily from one belt to another, and has a maximum water temperature of 160 degrees.

 

Dirty belts shouldn’t be an Achilles’ heel for your plant. 

Conveyor belt maintenance frequently gets shortchanged due to time constraints, budget restrictions and a shortage of labor and training.  Cleaning and service is critical to a comprehensive conveyor belt maintenance program.  Choose a belt washer that’s efficient and effective to sustain your conveyor belts, control contamination and remain food safety ready at all times.

Benefit from our knowledge and profit from our experience by contacting Douglas Machines Corp. about our Cyclone Belt Washers.

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