Testimonials / Case Studies
Reading Bakery Systems
"Here at Reading Bakery Systems, Compact-Grid™ has been used with great success! We originally looked to Compact-Grid for its open area since we use it in an oven application. Now we also look to this product because of its durability, how well it tracks, ease of installation and how quickly it splices together."
"We also appreciate the great service we get from Wire Belt Company of America, they stand behind their products and are happy to help you in any way that they can."
Reading Bakery Systems
Conveyor belt improves yields, eases sanitation for Barber Foods
Portland, Maine-based Barber Foods has long had a strong foothold in the retail market for portion-controlled chicken products. In fact, it was the first company to offer stuffed chicken entrées — most notably its Chicken Cordon Bleu and Chicken Kiev products. Ensuring uniformity in those products is a top priority, and losing breading on a conveyor belt means lost dollars and extra time spent on the third shift.
A breaking belt
Barber Foods had been using a balanced weave belt on its batter applicator, where the product was secured between two belts and moved through the batter mixture, but the belt kept breaking. “I was changing wires on a daily basis,” says Jayson Hebert, manufacturing engineer at Barber Foods. And in addition to the annoyance of such continual maintenance, Herbert says the downtime was costing the company up to $2,000 to $3,000 per minute.
The original belt’s thickness and belt mass also limited batter mixture flow through, creating excess batter carryout and coagulation of the crumb mixture in and around the belt. That coagulation often led to belt failure. Hebert knew it was time for a change. Enter Wire Belt’s Compact-Grid™.
A new solution
Flow through immediately improved. “I got better pick up because it allows batter to flow through,” Hebert says. “There’s not as much build up on the belt, and it’s much easier to clean.” In fact, Hebert says the stainless steel Compact-Grid™ is very easy to sanitize because the belt has 70 percent open surface area, and is .20 inches thick, which helps circulate air and enhance drainage.
The previous belt’s breakages were costing the company an extraordinary amount of money, so Herbert saw almost immediate payback on his investment. What’s more, in contrast to the previous belt, Hebert says that the new belt is very reliable, adding that it was in use for a “month and a half before there was a single break.”
Hebert now has the Compact-Grid™ on two lines and three different pieces of equipment — two batter machines and a transfer conveyor, which improves yield. Previously, Hebert was losing pieces of product because of the belt’s spacing. The Compact-Grid™ has an openness of 10 mm x 10 mm (3/8 inch x 3/8 inch). Now chicken fingers and entrée products move smoothly and easily with little interruption and Herbert can run strip meat on the conveyor without worrying that the product will fall through.
Everyone in the plant seems to be satisfied with the Compact-Grid’s performance. “It’s really easy to clean, so sanitation likes it. Production likes it because there are fewer product defects, and maintenance likes it because of its reliability,” Hebert says. “I plan to use this [belt again] in the future.”
Wire Belt’s Compact-Grid™ conveyor belt offers a cost effective solution to replacing hard to clean balanced weave and plastic modular belts. At Barber Foods we dramatically reduced batter carryout, maximizing product yield and minimizing product waste. The 70% open surface and lower belt mass offered Barber Foods better flow through, speeding up production!
By Alicia Karapetian
Conveyor Belt Makes Better Baked Even Better
Better Baked Foods needed a small transfer conveyor with a small radius transfer point and a belt that would allow spices to be passed through for reclaim ability. In addition, the conveyor belt had to be clean in place, stainless, durable and easily replaceable.
The North East, PA, - based baking company found its solution with Wire Belt Company of America, Londonderry, NH. The company’s Compact-Grid™ belting is engineered specifically to handle smaller, delicate products while providing a lighter weight, open-mesh belt design. Moreover, the conveyor’s 70% open surface area gives optimal performance in processes where product coating, drainage and liquid/air circulation are factors.
“It met all of our needs and the technical support was first rate. We only need a few feet so our purchase order was very small, but we were treated as if we had an order of $25,000,” says Sam Triscari, Project Engineer at Better Baked Foods. “This conveyor has been in almost continuous for close to 10 months at an average of 10 hours a day, five days a week, and has been operating just like it was put in yesterday.”
The Compact-Grid raises the bar to the next level for metal conveyors by offering efficiency, easy cleaning and durable performance, even in tight spaces.
Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery Magazine
Wire Belt’s Compact-Grid™ solved Sunrise Foods’ conveyor belt surge problem while enhancing its overall conveying system
Sunrise Foods LLC, Albertville, AL a processor of value-added poultry products, was experiencing surge problems with a conveyor belt that enters and exits its IQF line. The company can run up to 4,000 lbs of IQF tenders and/or boneless breast an hour totaling up to 64,000 lbs a day on this belt. After reviewing its options, Sunrise chose the Compact-Grid™ from Wire Belt Company of America, Londonderry, NH.
“The previous belt’s weight was causing surging because it was long. Wire Belt was the only company offering a lighter belt in the weight category and length we wanted,” said Kevin Huff, Sunrise Foods’ Maintenance Manager.
Compact-Grid™ is Wire Belt’s newest conveyor belt innovation. It’s engineered specifically to handle smaller, delicate products, while giving processors a light-weight, open mesh belt design that can outperform many competitive offerings, Wire Belt says. The system’s rugged framework offers maximum strength under significant loads, lessening the time processors will spend on maintaining their conveying system and reducing the number of belt replacements over time.
Installation on a plant conveying system is quick and easy. When the time arrives to replace a belt, Compact-Grid’s design allows processors to join or splice the belt on their conveyor by simply hooking the belt ends together and crimping to close.
The belt is ideal for a cooking operation, such as a conveyorized fryer or an oven, as well as transferring a product directly onto a cooking line. Made of stainless steel, the Compact-Grid™ won’t sweat, slip, droop or catch fire on a system like plastic conveyor belts can. It’s rugged, open design also makes it the perfect solution for cooling freshly baked or freshly fried products in high-volume, high throughput processes.
- Advantages of the Compact-Grid™ include:
- Lower belt mass offers increased efficiency
- Lighter weight than many comparable conveyor belt options
- Positive drive design eliminates expensive and heavy chain edged conveying configurations
- Low horsepower requirement means lower energy consumption in the drive systems
More open areas provide optimum cleaning and sanitation. Its 70% open area makes Compact-Grid™ easy to clean and keep clean. Its clean-in-place design means no clean-out-of-place tanks are required. And the belt doesn't feature closed “link-barrels” like plastic modular belts or woven-wire helixes, such as balanced-weave wire belts. Equally important, there are no places for product particles to be trapped or for pathogens and allergens to hide.
Its grid pattern is designed for optimal product support and it allows maximum flow through for superior convection. Wire Belt says the system is perfect for cooking applications like frying and baking and ideal for high-speed cooling and drying operation. Compact-Grid’s open design allows for excellent flow-through and drainage in coating operations.
Designed with total cost in mind
No expensive tracking systems are required for Compact-Grid™ as are with friction-drive belts. And it offers a much tighter wrap capability than most friction-drive systems for improved conveyor-to-conveyor transfers minimizing chance of product yield loss in high-speed operations.
The Compact-Grid™ is built to outlast other types of conveyor belting in the medium-duty performance category. Improved convection capabilities optimize performance and energy consumption in cooking and cooling operations. Its simplified splicing operation speeds installations and replacements, reducing maintenance time and lowering labor costs.
When asked what he likes best about the Compact-Grid™, Huff answers: “It’s compact, lightweight, east to work with and easy to clean and sanitize. And Wire Belt has been great in responding to our service needs.”
Meat & Poultry Magazine