Strengthening Food Safety and Production Efficiency
Food & Beverage Processing
With FSMA guidelines recently revised and almond protein/allergens affecting millions of people world-wide, the food plant recently began searching for how to clean to remove allergens and capture productivity savings from their conveyor belt cleaning procedures.
After consulting Goodway Technologies, the confectionary plant chose the most innovative and advanced dry steam conveyor belt cleaning system on the market, Goodway’s portable, clean-in-place brushless system.
In terms of operational impact, it delivered labor savings, decreased time spent on sanitation and maintenance, increased production time, quickened changeovers, increased belt lifespan and reliability, and improved hygiene.
Built over a century ago and known as one of America’s oldest brands, this global confectionery plant maintains one of the largest, technologically advanced manufacturing facilities in the world. Over the years, it’s perfected the service of delivering high-quality food to millions of customers worldwide. However, with FSMA guidelines recently revised and almond protein/allergens affecting millions of people worldwide, the food plant recently began searching for how to clean to remove allergens and capture productivity savings from their conveyor belt cleaning procedures.
With consultation from Goodway, the plant chose the portable, clean-in-place brushless system. This dry steam belt cleaner, used with a Goodway dry steam cleaner and a Goodway vacuum cleaner, is able to thoroughly clean flat, solid smooth top fabric/vinyl conveyor belts. Goodway’s system generates the incredible cleaning and sanitizing power of steam, combined with vacuum extraction, to thoroughly clean these belts and leave them completely dry, introducing no moisture into the environment which is critical to limit microbial growth in dry environments. The steam melts fats, dissolves sugars, and disperses solids (at 5% moisture restriction) as the belt runs through the belt cleaner, then the vacuum extraction removes all the residual soils and moisture, leaving the belt clean and dry after passing through. Steam also loosens up allergens and the vacuum extraction removes them, leaving belts allergen free. In one pass through the belt cleaner, this manufacturer is able to consistently achieve 0 ATP readings on the belts and negative allergen swabs! Since the belt cleaner cleans 100% of the belt surface, a consistent and high level of sanitation is achieved, eliminating the possibility of needing to re-clean the belt.
The financial and productivity results? Last year facility managers installed the system on three conveyor belts which generated indirect labor dollar savings of $79,114. Additionally, the three lines realized a full 20 hours of additional line availability, leading to five additional shifts between cleanings.
The system’s secret sauce is the use of dry steam and vacuum extraction. The system boils tap water to 360 degrees Fahrenheit which produces dry steam with an adjustable pressure up to 145 PSI and output temperature of 290 degrees Fahrenheit. Steam lowers microorganism counts and loosens up allergens, which are suspended in some residual moisture and removed by vacuum extraction. After using allergen swabs, it was confirmed that allergens were removed from the belt surface completely and food safety was increased. In terms of operational impact, it delivered labor savings, decreased time spent on sanitation and maintenance, increased production time, quickened changeovers, increased belt lifespan and reliability, and improved hygiene.
Soon after this success, production, savings and food safety news spread throughout the plant, other lines began using the portable belt cleaners to achieve similar results. Good news spreads quickly.