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Astec supply stainless steel--ZLP conveyor.

Astec Conveyors were approached by a major snack manufacturer, to develop a stainless steel zero line pressure (ZLP) conveyor to meet their specific needs.

With hygienic requirements becoming more challenging, particularly within the food industry, Astec Conveyors have experienced increasing demand for a stainless steel product, as it provides a cleaner and more hygienic conveyor solution than those manufactured with aluminium or mild steel powder coated side frames.

This Astec system was designed to provide for smooth transportation and product accumulation without product contact or line pressure, plus optimum reliability and easy maintenance.

Individual product "zones" were created along the length of the conveyor system, each driven by a 24V brushless motorised roller that in turn chives slave rollers via linking belts. Each zone has a retro-reflective sensor to monitor the path of the products along the conveyor.

When the first product moves or is removed from the zone, the following zones (if occupied) are powered to feed forward to the next available zone and index product in sequence. Product can be removed from the conveyor at any location on the conveyor and the system will operate to allow full accumulation. Since the motorised rollers only run when required, this provides considerable energy saving costs.

This system was also used at conveyor merge points eliminating the need for vertical blade stops and a pneumatic supply.

The conveyor frame and supports are manufactured from stainless steel with 50mm diameter zinc plated grooved rollers at 75mm pitch and are designed to support easy maintenance. In the event of a drive roller or drive belt failing these can be easily removed and replaced. The profiled side frame has a removable cover that can neatly incorporate the cable runs for the drives eliminating visible wiring.

Astec control the conveyor from a PLC and not control cards on the drive rollers, which in their experience enables programme modifications and fault finding to be carried out more easily if required.

Astec Conveyors can provide bespoke design, manufacture and installation of conveyor systems to meet individual handling requirements for light, medium or heavy duty applications.

Contact Astec Conveyors 01283 210333 or visit
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Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Jul 1, 2013
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