An equipment safety and sanitation audit can provide direction for implementing improvement procedures and specifying equipment updates that mitigate risk and solve for safety and production goals. Here’s an excerpt from our audit checklist:
Mepaco is exhibiting this week at Process Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago - booth S2024!
To promote our event, we are hosting a daily series on Ask the Experts and highlighting the equipment in our booth.
Our first video is in the DP3000 Dumper with a tour given by Cory Buchholz.
Depending on the complexity of the equipment and controls, there are a few options for production personnel to learn how to operate the equipment. The manual explains the operation of the equipment and its components. The customer can visit Apache for training and testing or contract with Mepaco Field Services for on-site training.
In one example, the production staff did not understand how to operate the HD3000 Dumper, causing the carriage to bind-up where cylinders weren't lifting in tandem. The issue was caused by incorrect operation.
Due to the operational configuration of the hydraulic cylinders, the HD300 dumper must be fully cycled (complete cylinder extension and retraction) each time it is used. The production staff was not fully retracting the dumper leaving the carriage 12 - 18" off the ground. This allowed the cylinders to start up unevenly and compounded if the staff did not fully extend the dumper. This caused the dumper carriage to misalign and bind against the dumper frame.
Once the carriage binds against the frame the only way to safely correct the situation is to lock out the hydraulic power unit, disconnect the hydraulic line from the overextended cylinder and allow the carriage to drift down until it is re-timed. Once the cylinders are re-timed the power unit can be operated to bring the carriage to the fully down position. Air will need to be bled from the cylinder that had the hydraulic lines removed.
Please call Joe Hertel, Field Services Manager, at 920-219-2286 if you have any questions about the operation of Mepaco equipment or if a training visit is necessary for new personnel.
Now playing at the Mepaco's IPPE Booth B4853 are several system videos and 3D animations that showcase Pre-Blend Systems, Grind Blend Systems and Accumulation Systems. Mepaco's entire sales team will be at the IPPE show to answer questions on how to increase production, yields and product integrity.
Mepaco provides a custom system approach to customer plant and processing requirements that includes immediate and long-term performance goals, as well as sanitation and safety requirements. Our equipment includes grinders, mixers, blenders, vacuum pumping units, hoppers, loaders, screw and belt conveyors and dumpers.
We strive to be a strategic partner with a team of long-standing, experienced engineers and project managers who work with you on your specific application. Our equipment designs are modified to specific requirements to meet customer product, safety and sanitation goals. We are a complete SOLID WORKS 3D capable engineering design team.
Also as a strategic partner, Mepaco has in-house controls capabilities with the latest in software and device technology to bring the best results in process and material handling systems. Customers can expect UL listed industrial control panel design and assembly, as well as UL listed stainless NEMA 4 enclosures, allowing Mepaco to provide controls programming and integration with your system.
The Mepaco team understands how valuable production uptime is to your company's bottom line. We are evolving our service team to provide quick response commissioning, ramp-up, maintenance, repair, and emergency break-down support.
IPPE International Production and Processing Expo
Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta Georgia
Jan. 31 Tuesday 10am -5pm
Feb. 1 Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Feb. 2 Thursday 9am - 3pm
With the sophisticated demands in food processing and production, safety and quality, every component within food equipment is critical. Any machinery with moving parts has friction and ‘wear’ issues, and to accommodate most equipment uses a standard bearing. But in applications where the standard bearings compromise food contact areas, Mepaco offers the polymer bearing.
Standard issue bearings are typically ball bearings, mounted in a painted cast iron housing. While the painted coatings are a sealant and deliver anti-corrosive benefits, rust and paint chips can still exist and find its way into the product path. Secondly, maintenance, disassembly, and replacement of bearings is very time consuming in a busy production setting. And lastly, if used above an open product path, grease may cause product contamination. For these reasons, steel ball bearings are best used in equipment and areas where they will not come in contact with food.
In food processing environments, producers should consider polymer bearings to mitigate food safety risks.
The polymer bearing has a moderate up front investment – more than steel bearings – but the Total Cost of Ownership is lower, because of fewer maintenance, safety and sanitation issues.
Mepaco’s polymer bearing is a solid, self-lubricating polymer that is absent of ball bearings. This ensures fewer parts, lowering the chance for breakage or malfunction. In place of the ball bearings, the polymer bearing includes a self lubricating insert, which eliminates the need for grease. That insert can also be replaced without needing to replace the entire housing, reducing the Total Cost of Ownership.
In recent Mepaco systems, the polymer bearing is showing much promise in new applications within traditional food processing environments. While not steel or cast iron in build, the polymer is ‘holding up’, proving to display the durability and efficiency in design.
Polymer technology is changing the face of many industries, and the food industry is no different. The advanced polymer bearings available in Mepaco products represent the promise of innovative components. And with a lower Total Cost of Ownership along with improved quality and efficiency, the smooth polymer bearing should be a reliable transition for all producers.
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Mepaco offers two models of lifts that meet most manual pallet lift or product lift operations. In the video, Mepaco's Greg Gruber demonstrates the EZL2500 lift in our manufacturing facility.
The EZ4000 Product / Pallet Lift handles up to 4000 lb. loads and raises to any level up to 36 “ for ergonomic comfort. This model includes a self-contained power unit with up-down hand controls and optional turn table.
The EZL2500 Product / Pallet Lift has a load capacity of 2500 lbs. This height adjustable (up to 37”) unit offers a low-profile deck for floor level loading. A hydraulic power unit is included with safety up-down foot pedal control.
These lifts are fabricated from stainless steel with a pickle passivated finished. Both the EZ4000 and EZL2500 are stock units and available for immediate delivery. Portable, rotary top units and other custom built lifts are also available.
Both stainless lifts are kept in-stock for quick delivery.
Register here for immediate pricing.
Magnetic grates help to remove ferrous metal contaminants from flowing gravity-fed product streams in processing equipment.
In the video demonstration, a pen adheres to the magnetic grate, which is part of a screw elevator system. The grate is also easily cleanable for sanitation with the magnet constructed inside the stainless tube. The magnetic grate in the screw elevator shown in the video is hinged and accessible for inspection and manual removal of foreign material and testing.
Grate magnets, suitable for wet or dry food product offer efficient, economical protection of processing equipment while improving product purity.
Various styles and strengths of magnetic grates are available for Mepaco equipment, including: Hoppers, Cookers, Mixers, Blenders and Screw Conveyors. They can be utilized on any piece of equipment that receives free flowing gravity fed food product.
For more information on Screw Conveyors and Systems
The integration of a Vacuum Sampling System in a Mixer / Blender is an efficient way to take product samples. There is no need for equipment and production stops because the vacuum sampler is automatic and can be delivered at different intervals to provide a true test of product consistency.
Compared to manual sampling, the vacuum sampler is much safer for the operator.
In the process of manufacturing fruit pie filling, the ThermaBlend™ first cooks the product to 185°F; then cools it to the proper filling temperature of 75°F.
The cook step and the chill step take approximately 30 – 40 minutes each, which is critical to maintaining product integrity and reaching the production goals of this application.
While focusing on production, yields and product integrity, the ThermaBlend™ provides an effective solution with key features, including:
More information on the ThermaBlend™.
In the video are two options that can be added to a dumper system to eliminate debris from finding its way into the product.
The first is a pallet retention system (PRS) which is integrated into the loading base. It is engineered to securely remove the pallet away from the product “dump zone” so that wood and other impurities are prevented from entering the product stream.
The next option is the liner hold-down mechanism which is also engineered to hold back the liner during the dumping process.
These options meet food safety goals and the liner hold-down prevents operators from having to reach and try to control the liner by hand.
Check out our FAQs and read more about Pallet Retention and Dumpers!