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Innovative Options Encourage Efficiency


Innovative Options Encourage Efficiency

Dan Orehov
August 20, 2013

Companies active on the technological and logistical segment constantly come up with new products and solutions meant for food manufacturers, which are aimed at simplifying production, reducing costs, as well as at ensuring a more efficient logistic and time management strategy.


In order to reply to their customers’ demands, Ashworth Bros., Inc., the only conveyor belt company that manufactures and services both metal and plastic belting for lo-tension and stacker spirals, has recently introduced a new crate system for their self-stacking belts, which received the United States patent approval. Ashworth’s Rack & Roll™ Crate is an economical and efficient solution for storing and installing ExactaStack™, the self-stacking spiral replacement belt. With over 60 years of innovation for the future of conveyor belts, Ashworth continues to lead the market with the most conveyor belt patents in the food processing, can making, and material handling industries. Companies around the world depend on Ashworth’s products, service, and innovative solutions to maximize throughput and minimize lifecycle costs. Recently, Ashworth has received a patent for Rack & Roll™ Crate system, which is designed for easy crate handling and quick roll-out, roll-in belt replacements for self-stacking spirals. Food processors can now benefit from savings on both lower cost belting with ExactaStack™, and lower cost installations with Rack & Roll™.


AshworthAshworth Factory Service installed a complete “change out” for the world’s largest producer of frozen potato specialties. The company’s plant engineer stated: “The technicians at Ashworth Factory Service are knowledgeable and provide very capable installation services. Ashworth is easy to work with and installed the ExactaStack™ belt to meet our plant schedule.” The combination of Rack & Roll™ and an ExactaStack™ Turn-key Belt Replacement from Ashworth Factory Service is an easy and cost effective solution for food processors to keep their stackers constantly running at peak performance. ExactaStack™ belts are delivered spooled onto Rack & Roll™ Crates; each crate has a footprint and height of less than 4-feet, making the belt easy to stack, store, and maneuver. Installation of a self stacking belt with the Rack & Roll™ Crate is simplified by rolling out the new ExactaStack™ belt directly from the crate to the in-feed of the stacker. The old belt is conveniently rolled into an empty Rack & Roll™ crate from the out-feed. “When we began manufacturing ExactaStack™ we faced the problem of storing, handling and installing the self-stacking spiral belts,” states Joe Lackner, vice president for Ashworth. He expands by saying, “We looked at the crates from the competition and theirs were 10-feet long and awkward to store, move and unload, which increased the risk of damaging the belt. We saw this as an opportunity to help our customers with a better solution.”


Data monitoring made easy


The T&D Corporation has recently released a new data logger model for the European market to facilitate CO2 measurements inside manufacturing plants and public or agricultural buildings. The Japanese T&D Corporation was founded 1986 in Matsumoto. The company name derives from “try and develop” and emphasizes the company’s ambition to create innovative products with a high degree of practical usefulness. Having started out developing electronic products mainly for the automotive aftermarket, today the company is the Japanese market leader for data loggers. The new wireless CO2 recorder RTR-576 from T&D Corporation is a three-channel data logger designed to simultaneously measure and record CO2 concentration, temperature and humidity. Monitoring CO2 levels enables users to identify under-ventilated areas – the source of most air quality complaints – and allows the necessary steps to be taken to maintain optimum air quality. The logger can also help to identify energy saving options in over-ventilated spaces. With its internal NDIR sensor, the new model achieves CO2 measurements from 0 to 9,999 parts per million.


Automatic atmospheric pressure adjustment for each location ensures that CO2 measurements are stable and accurate. Humidity and temperature from 0 to 99 per cent relative humidity and -30 to 80° Celsius are captured by a high precision sensor. The data logger can store up to 8,000 data sets at arbitrarily chosen intervals, and its specialist software enables data from all three channels to be viewed simultaneously in graph or table form. The RTR-576 also features flexible recording and battery operation. In combination with a networked RTR 500 series base station, the RTR-576 enables users to upload current readings to the T&D WebStorage Service and to monitor them via a PC or mobile device from anywhere in the world at any time. The necessary software and a storage capacity of up to 20 MB on the company owned server come free of charge. Depending on the base station model and data collector being used, communication via USB or LAN networks is possible. There is growing awareness throughout Europe of the need to monitor CO2 levels within buildings to help determine indoor air quality (IAQ), and recommended guidelines exist for public buildings such as schools and office facilities. Areas with poor ventilation can lead to an increase in CO2 levels, which can cause concentration disorders as well as health problems. Monitoring CO2 and climatic conditions like temperature and humidity is also important for buildings that house valuable goods, such as museums, greenhouses, processing areas and livestock barns.


New freezer plant opens in France


Recently, GEA Refrigeration Technologies has opened a new Freezer Competence Center in Dijon, France. The new “Technology Center Freezing Europe” immediately began to manufacture and assemble spiral chillers and freezers from the GEA A-Tec and GEA Maxi-Stack ranges. These systems primarily chill or freeze foods produced as ready meals and as meat, bakery, and ice cream products. Until now, these spiral freezer series were exclusively manufactured in Vancouver (Canada). The expansion of production capacity by the new Dijon plant will have positive effects, especially for customers in Europe: they profit from greater flexibility in planning and contract execution, shorter delivery times, reduced transport costs, and a closer-located new Service Center. In addition to these production facilities, medium-term plans for Dijon also include manufacturing of a key core component for the GEA Maxi-Stack system, the patented self-stacking conveyor belt – the GEA Q-Belt. One of the factors in selection of Dijon as production location was its proximity to a GEA Farm Technologies plant, in which stainless steel milk tanks are produced. This geographical nearness offers the company greater synergism in purchasing stainless steel materials and in processing. “Owing to sales prognosis, implementation of freezer production in Europe was a logical development. A win-win situation will be offered in Dijon: our customers profit from the proximity of the plant and from lower logistics costs – and the location enables additional opportuni-ties for even better market penetration in Europe,” said Dr. Hugo Blaum, segment president of GEA Refrigeration Technologies.