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A Quick Read on Mepaco's Products and Industries we Serve

Here is a quick read on our products and industries that Mepaco serves.

Equipment Products: Cookers, Blenders, Dumpers, Metering Screw Conveyors, Mixers, Pump Feeders, Sanitary Belt Conveyors, Sanitary Design Lifts, Vacuum Stuffers and systems.

Food Manufacturing Industries: Dairy, Meat and Poultry, Pet Food, Plant-Based Foods and Proteins, Processed Foods and RTE, Fruits and Vegetables.

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The Meat Attachment Test Results Are In

 

We recently designed an in-house meat attachment test to determine performance of stainless finishes used in processing equipment. In a device designed by our technicians, we tested an electropolished panel on the left, a pickle passivated panel in the center and a bead blasted panel on the right.  The 70% lean beef patty with an internal temperature of 44 degrees, was placed on each of the stainless finish examples, and the mechanism was tilted to at least 90 degrees.  

The video will show that the electropolished sample demonstrated the least meat attachment.

Mepaco, part of the Apache Stainless family, offers mechanical and chemical finishing in-house.  Many customers specify our high-performance finishes to reduce food safety risk and to create sanitation efficiencies.

Contact our sales and application experts for more information.


Batching Bin System Animation Debue
 

This animation demonstrates the modifiable Batching Bin System. 

Pre-broken frozen food products (red meat, fish, chicken, vegetables) are delivered to a designated surge loader on a traversing belt which locates the exact drop position. Once the recipe is established and the demand is made, the applicable surge loader(s) deliver product. Load cells are used to measure product displacement over a given time (loss-in-weight method). Mix tanks, blenders or cookers signal for the raw materials in a given SKU and the surge loading metering screw conveyors will deliver the correct dosage of product required through the primary grinder and then to the batch for final formulation.

Contact our technical sales representatives for questions and a personal virtual tour of this system!

 


How to Increase the Life of Bearings

With the complex demands in food processing and production, safety, and quality, every component within food equipment is critical. Any machinery with moving parts will utilize bearings. Here are some tips to reduce wear issues and extend bearing life:

  1. Mount the bearing correctly after maintenance. Make sure shims are re-installed and that the shaft is correctly positioned, and make sure that the shaft and bearing housing have the correct tolerance. A bearing sitting loose on a shaft will cause significant damage to the shaft.
  2. Grease bearings according to manufacturer recommendations. A low RPM bearing on a mixer will not require grease as often than a grinder gearbox bearing. One grease schedule does not fit all bearings.
  3. Use the correct food-grade lubrication in the right quantity. Over-lubrication can blow out the grease seal, under lubricating can increase friction and cause failure. Seals protect bearing lubrication by keeping moisture, dust, and dirt out of the bearing; make sure seals are inspected and maintained properly.
  4. Check bearings regularly for excessive play and replace bad bearings before they cause damage to the equipment. Replacing a bearing is much less expensive than replacing a worn and grooved shaft.
  5. Choose the bearing type that will uphold to the food processing application.

    Standard bearings are steel ball bearings, mounted in a painted cast iron housing. Mepaco’s coating on standard bearings is a sealant with anti-corrosive benefits.

    In aggressive applications, food processors often choose polymer bearings. The polymer bearing has a moderate up-front investment – but the total cost of ownership is lower because it requires less maintenance when used in aggressive applications.
Visit Field Services for support!

Quick Upgrades that Increase Production Right Now


1. Pull more out of your grinder

Ask your grinder experts about an upgrade kit to address a different plate configuration to increase throughput.  

If you do not have a level sensor, contact your controls partner to add controls to turn off the grinder before it runs dry. A continuous flow of meat product will keep the plates and blades lubricated - required for best performance.

Keep the pins, bushings, heads, and knives in well maintained condition.

2. Tune your system

Schedule an audit to tighten up your process. Look to remove 15 - 20 seconds from all inefficient processes. 

Consider VFD motors at different speeds to improve production flow.

3. Address small issues before they become a big downtime issue

With production at or near max or a lack of production staff, preventative maintenance may not be consistent. Operators need to allow time to address small maintenance issues. Rushing to close a safety grate that slams on the equipment causing welds to break, or not reporting wear of critical parts can lead to significant downtime.

If there is a repair needed on a piece of equipment, the best advice to ramp-up production is to have long-lead item parts on hand. Agitators that are custom fabricated can take up to eight weeks for delivery. Cylinders, motors, gearmotors and gearboxes are all long-lead items that can take up to 2 - 5 weeks for delivery.

Call Mepaco Parts and Field Services if you need support with these upgrades at 920-356-7334.


Apache Stainless Explained!

 

For graduates near and far, we express accolades for this achievement, especially in these uncertain times! Highschool, technical college and college graduates have done an incredible job navigating through all these challenges. 

We share this video about what we do here at Apache and we look forward to meeting new graduates in the community or even working at our company one day.

Good luck and congratulations to all 2020 graduates!

Visit CAREER PAGES!


5 Common Bottlenecks that Impede System Yield Goals

Our service techs, engineers and application experts have pinpointed five most-often congested production areas and processes observed in food manufacturing plants:

1. Underperforming grinders

Grinders underperform due to dull plates and knives and other worn parts. Adjustment of the HP/RPM/Pitch can be made to increase capacity. If not properly maintained, the pin and bushing will wear on the head of the grinder and over time, will become a throughput issue.

The root cause of dull plates and blades is often because the grinder is running dry. The grinder must always be lubricated with meat product: If the operator looks away for only a few seconds, the blades and plates will be ruined. Some processors use level sensors that shut-off the grinder before it runs dry and is automatically controlled to turn on when the product is running.

2. Over-blending

Over-blending product is a waste of production time and efficiencies. Sometimes the blender is overfilled to increase production. The consequences are extended load/discharge and blend cycle times. A slight increase in the batch size leads to losses in the overall production rate with a sacrifice in quality and accuracy.

While the equipment may be the wrong style for the application, a different agitator may produce a quick, effective blend. It may also be a process issue where the recipes and timing require tuning to control the blender more efficiently.

3. Manual unloading

When the blender or mixer needs to be manually unloaded, several minutes of production are lost. The equipment must be shut off, the operator must manually remove product around the doors, then close the doors before taking the tote by fork truck to the dumper.

Screw conveyors, metering screws or pump feeders may be able to be planned into the system to automate the process, even as a retrofit, if the floor layout allows.

4. Overtaxed mixers

Mixers are the workhorse of the grind/blend line. It is vital to keep them feeding downstream operations. Automation of the unloading operations through metering screw conveyors and pump feeders can help to keep the mixer running continuously.

Another issue is the horsepower specifications. If CO2 is used in the process, it causes the product to harden and it can tax the agitator and motor and may even cause damage to the mixer if not specified correctly for the application.

5. Ineffective loaders

Some processors struggle with effective loading using off-the-rack equipment. Screw conveyor systems can be designed for the application to provide the best flighting and spacing with tighter tolerance for positive conveyance and the fastest feeding possible. Self-clean-out solutions can further increase loading performance.

If you have any questions or have an application to discuss to remove your production bottlenecks, call Mepaco at 920-356-9900 and we will put you in touch with a specialist.

 


Mepaco Parts Status Update

Updated 3-26-20

There are no major disruptions in our supply chain, but here is a status update with a breakdown of lead times and also recommendations for inventory.

RECOMMENDED SPARE PARTS IN-STOCK*

Disharge Seals
Door Gaskets
Seal Housing
Air Seal Kits
Cover Gaskets
Discharge Bearings
Safety Switches

*Most common spare parts are in-stock, but uncommon parts have a lead time of 2 - 3 weeks.


LONG LEAD TIME PARTS

Agitators  8 - 10 weeks 
 Part Factory Paint / Unpainted    Washdown Paint
 Cylinders 4-5 weeks 7-9 weeks
 Motors 1-3 weeks 5-8 weeks
 Gear Motors    2-3 weeks 5-8 weeks
 Gearboxes 2-3 weeks 5-8 weeks

 

We are working with required distancing and sanitation to help our customers maintain their production schedule. Our parts and service specialists are on stand-by to support you.

Contact parts@apachestainless.com or call 920-356-7347.


Meat and Food Processing Industry Resources for Coronavirus

 

We want to share Coronavirus information from industry resources and associations:

Mepaco is working on parts and service strategies, and communications, to help processors keep down-time to a minimum.

We appreciate the long hours and resource challenges by all in the meat and food processing industries and professionals who are dedicated to supplying the country during this time.

With sanitation and distancing policies in place, we are fully staffed and our experts are available to answer service and support questions.

Contact Parts & Service
Contact Sales Support

 


Announcement: On-Line Manuals and Parts Information

Starting 2020 , Mepaco's manuals and parts information are now on-line. Since Mepaco's equipment is highly customized by application, we are developing manuals to include standard options. 

As projects near completion, customers will be invited to sign-in to create a folder and password.  Manual access is also available at  www.mepaco.net/library or simply by clicking on MANUAL ACCESS at the top of every web page. Once signed up, customers will need to follow the email prompts to set up a password.  Manuals, parts lists, parts drawings, controls information and any other custom addendums will be available in the customer folder.

The Mepaco Manual Library:

  • Password access is given by company name (on your PO) and (ship to ) city with a password reset every six months
  • Maintenance and purchasing team members can also be granted password access
  • All your new equipment parts lists are available at any time in your secure customer/city folder
  • Access all Mepaco's product line manuals
  • Access to revised manuals when technology updates are available
  • Receive email notifications when new documents are added

For more information, download our flyer.

 


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