Clean-cut solution for hygiene

<i>The conveyor solution combines positive-drive benefits with high hygienic standards, reducing cleaning and downtimes whilst optimising machine availability and productivity. </i>
The conveyor solution combines positive-drive benefits with high hygienic standards, reducing cleaning and downtimes whilst optimising machine availability and productivity.
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Whether it’s sizzling hot from the barbecue, finely sliced with a creamy sauce or slowly roasted in the oven, chicken is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. A stunning 70.5 million metric tons of ready-to-cook chicken products were sold globally in 2008: nearly 4% up on the previous year. Exportslachterij Clazing BV in Zevenhuizen, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, is one of the companies helping to ensure an uninterrupted supply of this fresh, high-quality meat on our shelves.

Since 1967, Exportslachterij Clazing BV has grown from a workforce of ten and daily production of 800 chickens, to 140 employees processing 600,000 chickens a week for the downstream processing industry, wholesalers, retailers, business-to-business and independent poultry dealers.

Clazing is absolutely scrupulous in its implementation of hygiene standards across its entire production chain: from its collaboration with poultry suppliers through to its production and conveyor systems and its fleet of twenty HGVs. Food quality, safety and internal controls are externally monitored by Lloyd’s and the Dutch Cattle and Meat Inspection Service, and there is complete transparency on the origin and traceability of all its meat.

Both the company’s production facilities incorporate Interroll Drum Motors and Volta SuperDrive™ thermoplastic belts in their input and output sections. The 138mm diameter, stainless steel, food-grade Drum Motors have IP66 protection, which means they are suitable for high-pressure cleaning. Cleaning of the belts is simple as their smooth, homogeneous surface is non-absorbent – reducing bacteria levels and resulting in huge water savings.

A large number of conveyor units are used in deboning and cutting machines. “We process 40,000kg of clean meat here every week from our slaughtering operation,” explains Danny Van Dalsen, in charge of Clazing’s downstream processing. “We deliver the fillets, drumsticks, joints and chicken spare ribs to our main operation unpackaged, in 10kg and 5kg containers, to be collected by supermarkets, butchers, retailers, restaurants, and other customers. Thanks to this solution, we’ve been able to cut down on machine idle time and maintenance checks. Residue controls generally produce values between 0.32 and 0.36, which points to an impeccable level of hygiene. If the figure is between 0 and 1, no action is necessary. If it lies between 1 and 1.5, you have to perform another control within a week. Anything over 1.5 and you have to do an immediate clean, change the belt or take some other remedial action.”

The Interroll solution helps maximise availability and, thanks to the easily accessible conveyor units, cleaning and maintenance are much simpler than with comparable conveyors. The result is a lasting reduction in costs. One of the key features of the Interoll Drum Motor is its smooth surface, which helps keep meat and bacterial residue to a minimum, ensuring a marked reduction in cleaning time, cleaning agents, and water and electricity consumption. Both the drum motors and belts have been granted food-grade status by the FDA and USDA.

Another defining characteristic of this conveyor design is its above average useful life. Thanks to the interlocking positive drive provided by the drum motor, linking together with the belt teeth removes the need for tensioning, so mechanical stress on the drum motor belt unit is kept to an absolute minimum. Since the belt is never under tension, but remains centred and directionally stable, there is no risk of it moving from the centre against the profile because of excess tension. This special conveyor belt design, with its integral teeth, not only prevents off-tracking and reduces elongation, but also completely eliminates delamination and contamination of the meat.

All in all, the Interroll Drum Motor helps achieve maximum availability and productivity, whilst optimising the total cost of ownership to performance ratio, and offering a return on investment of less than a year.

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