Baking & Snack - July 2020 - 63

uct buildup and sanitation requirements. We see manufacturers come up with innovative solutions to replace
high-tension belts with low-tension types such as modular or positive-driven belts, eliminating the need for automatic trackers."

Clearing the way
Keeping the belt and conveyor clean proactively prevents most issues.
"Too many times, we see the tracking of a belt is influenced by debris or contamination on the rollers, sprockets or the conveyor bed," Mr. Achterberg said. "At CBF
Bakery Systems, we recognize this and provide designs
that give the sanitation and maintenance team easy access to clean and inspect as needed."
Kenneth King, Ashworth's commercial support manager, noted that manufacturers often must contend with
ingredient build-up such as salt from salt applicators on
snack or cracker lines. If it builds up on sprocket teeth,
the system loses drive force.
In bakeries, toppings, seeds, flour and crumbs may
gunk up a conveyor operation, noted Dwight Fameree,
engineering manager, Axis Automation. Using a wider
poly belt and an effective reclaim system will collect debris and prevent it from continuing down the line.
"Sometimes buildup is something that cannot be
avoided," he said. "In these instances, more frequent
cleaning may be necessary. And, of course, a robust preventative maintenance plan with inspection of the critical components will extend their life."
After cleaning a conveyor, make sure to reassemble
the line to its exact specifications.
"If modular plastic belting is removed from conveyors, it is imperative that, when reinstalled, the drive and
tail sprockets be properly aligned with the belt," said
Bob Harrington, vice president of sales and marketing,
Capway Automation. "Failure to align the sprockets will
damage the sprockets and the belting."
He added that misaligned sprockets result in aggressive wear and the possibility of product contamination.

"Test run the conveyors after cleaning to inspect proper alignment and tracking of the belting," he said. "This
will make the bakery preflight startup much easier."
Mr. King added that Ashworth provides factory service support. Its service technicians will conduct a visual
inspection of the conveying system followed by a detailed maintenance and sanitation checklist to maintain
optimal belt and conveyor performance.
On production lines with long run times, Mr. Rinks
suggested looking for open-design conveyors that are
not only durable but also easier to maintain.
Specifically, ask for push-on wear strips, direct-drive
gearmotors that are held on with a quick-lock coupler,
or motors with quick disconnects for ease of wiring.
Mr. Milner said design changes are an ongoing process, and the structural integrity of such systems has
improved over the years. Conveyor frames, for example, are more durable due to the increased thickness of
the material.
Axis Automation uses hard-coated, anodized aluminum pieces to prevent premature wear and 304 stainless
steel sheet metal for side panels for rigidity.
"If it is possible, leveling feet should be used instead
of casters," Mr. Erickson said. "The leveling feet can
be bolted to the floor and will minimize or eliminate
bouncing and vibration that can slowly cause failure to
integral parts of the conveyor system."
Mr. Kiley urged bakers to dial in the speed of their
motors so they operate within the safe continuous ratings of the electrical components. Venturing outside
that tolerance may lead to motor or gearbox failure.
Additionally, improperly tensioned belts will cause early
failure or undesired driving characteristics.
Mr. Martin stressed that all belt-tracking issues
should be taken seriously.
"The impact may not be immediate and dramatic like
a production shut down, but there is a cost associated
with lack of attention to such unresolved issues," he said.
That's the ticket to keeping a smooth operation chugging along on time until the end of the line.

Every maintenance
schedule should
include old-fashioned
visual inspections of
belting and conveyors.
AMF Bakery Systems

*

www.bakingbusiness.com / July 2020 Baking & Snack 63


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Baking & Snack - July 2020

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