While it may seem that the food packaging conveyor is just an efficiency tool in modern manufacturing, supply chain and market needs tell a different story. Then there are the precision needs of industry 4.0 manufacturing where automation relies on their precision and regularity that goes beyond that of human handlers to meet its process and throughput needs.
The ability to present the product to the machinery at the right time and the right way is vital to food production and packaging. Food conveyor manufacturers have responded by developing new technologies in belting and motion control to meet today’s high demand and subsequent production throughput needs. This includes development of electrical control systems that ensure seamless integration with production packaging systems.
The role of the conveyor in modern manufacturing is about more than just the need for throughput, speed, and accuracy. It’s equally about the need for food conveyor manufacturers to design conveyors that move products gently and securely. While product damage and slowdowns are major concerns, so too is the reality that even automated production lines require levels of human intervention.
Conveyor systems that cannot meet stringent guidelines for safety and accuracy in throughput, can cause production worker injuries and inefficiency. These incidents can result from cascading problems that start with jams and spacing issue. While workforce safety is paramount, machine and product damage are also major disasters to avoid at all costs.
The design and operational efficiency of the food conveyor has a major impact on meeting regulatory compliance needs regarding food safety. This is true when conveyor belt segments transport raw materials to a processing area while other segments transport finished products for packaging and shipment.
This is true for food packaging conveyor system segments and food production conveyor segments. Each segment may have different food safety and quality throughput management needs. But since they are part of one holistic system in food and beverage manufacturing, food conveyor manufacturers must be capable of providing very agile and customizable design to meet these varied needs.
Conveyor coordination in food production and packaging requires flexible equipment that facilitates fast changes to packaging and processing lines. This requires a true partnership between food production and conveyor manufacturers. The most sought-after food conveyor manufacturers have the knowledge and experience to create designs and systems that account for:
- Product size, throughput, process, and formulation changes.
- Growing production capacity
- Changing package formats, sizes, and materials
Conveyor systems must often still fit into existing footprints while providing belt, motor, and diversion designs that accommodate those changing needs. Each of these changes requires an agile solution to ensure high production efficiency. The ability to balance all of these variables positions leading conveyor manufacturers to deliver designs that allow needed levels of customization. They can do this while also providing high levels of standardization to keep costs low for food production manufacturers.
Choosing the right food conveyor system design and manufacturer is a complex set of decisions. The right conveyor manufacturer will have broad experience in what production environments need and what works across the food and beverage industry. Equally important is their dedication to listening and learning about your specific processes, production culture, and environment. This becomes the key to success in helping you make the right choices in a food industry conveyor belt system.