Power in the process – Modular conveyors for food production


Post-harvest food processing requires power transmission every step of the way, according to CBC’s Troy Markland. As the Product Manager for CBC’s Power Transmission (PT), Chain and Ironware portfolios, Troy understands that it’s the power behind the processes that turn produce into product.

“Imagine the process a piece of fruit hanging from a tree goes through to become a pie or a jar of jam,” he says. “Now imagine all the conveyors, pulleys, pushers, chains and sprockets that power that equipment required to get to that finished product. It is in that post‑harvest stage where CBC plays a significant role in implementing and streamlining those processes.”

Once produce is harvested off the fields, it will come into plant facilities on crates to be washed, before going through a series of plant processes to be blended, peeled, canned, or in some cases baked into a product.

“These processes require niche conveying systems to move the product throughout a plant,” says Troy. “And there are few suppliers that have innovated this type of conveying technology like Rexnord has with their range of TableTop and MatTop Chain belt products.”

Troy has been working with Rexnord for decades in the area of Power Transmission products and often defers to their product range when supplying Power Transmission solutions to customers in the food‑processing segment.

“Even with my 40 years of experience in Power Transmission, I still consult frequently with the product experts from Rexnord when I am looking to design a more effective conveying application for a client. The Rexnord team help keep us up to date with the latest PT technology and product innovations, which only adds to the breadth of our knowledge offering for customers,” remarks Troy.

When it comes to designing an effective general conveying application where there will be regular food contact, National Product Manager for Rexnord Australia, Matt Crehan, recommends the Rexnord 2010 Series KleanTop Belt —a modular belt solution designed to accommodate a variety of product types.

“The KleanTop Belt is our number one solution for food conveying and a favourite amongst food processors for its versatility and durability,” he says. “The KleanTop belt is a robust multi-purpose belt solution; capable of conveying very heavy loads and increasing production. Its modular chain-like assembly has an open hinge design for more flexibility moving product on the line and complete modularity for constructing a line.”

True to its namesake, the KleanTop belt has been designed for easy assembly and disassembly for sanitation cycles. The smart pin retention design secures the belt in place, and the pins can be removed using a screwdriver for quick, efficient, and optimal hygiene for food processing.

“A range of different surface textures – solid, perforated, and nub top – are available for common food and raw ingredient conveying requirements,” says Matt. “And these are available in different thermoplastic materials – acetal, polypropylene and polyethylene – which are designed to suit common application processes such as cooking, cooling and freezing.”

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