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Inverted Conveyors for Van den Berghs.

Two carousel-style inverted conveyor systems, supplied by Stewart Gill Conveyors, a division of Air-log Ltd, tel:0125 233 2221, were supplied to Alma Engineering to ensure the correct amount and variety of spice gets into each Batchelor's Cuppa Soup.

Van den Bergh Foods, the manufacturers of this range of powdered soups, commissioned the mechanical handling company Alma Engineering to design and build a system that would enable operators to select the spices required for each batch of soup more easily. As some 250 tonnes of Cuppa Soup are produced each week, and the spices are relatively expensive, it is important they are not wasted when following a recipe.

Two Stewart Gill inverted 550M conveyor systems were installed last year by Alma as part of a [pounds]1m. process improvement programme in the manufacturing plant at Ashford in Kent.

The inverted chain conveyors are in carousel formation to provide accessible spice storage. Each conveyor has eight platens running on a closed track, and each of these platens has six 25kg sealable compartments. These compartments are replenished from cartons or drums at least every shift, as quantities ranging from 10g to several kilograms may be required in each compartment, depending on the proportion of spice needed for each recipe.

The compartments are indexed around and the carousel is worked forwards or backwards to reach the required spice, as operators work from recipe cards, that are delivered by a computer batch ordering system, to select the correct ingredient. Compartments are decanted manually once the right material has been accessed on the conveyor.
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Publication:Food Trade Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 1, 2000
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