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Reliable by Design


10 Food Processing Equipment Designs that Drive Safety

 

  1. Safety guarding is recommended on equipment like the dumper shown in the animation.  Relays control the e-stop position and if personnel trips the switch, the equipment will cease operation.
  2. This PRS (Pallet Retention System) shown on a DP3000 Dumper, and allows the combo to complete the dump cycle by separating from the pallet, limiting the potential for contamination.
  3. A liner hold-down prevents the liner from separating from the combo and falling into the hopper.
  4. A drop-tier conveyor can be included in system layouts to provide visual inspection of the food product.
  5. The articulating screw conveyor is designed to pivot to allow for versatile production and lower for maintenance.
  6. Custom stainless and passivated platforms provide personnel safety and easy access for sanitation.
  7. Electropolished food contact surfaces guard against bacterial attachment and create sanitation efficiencies.
  8. Tool-less quick-release seals provide quick access for maintenance and sanitation.
  9. Durable food safe coating on equipment components resists corrosion in harsh environments.
  10. Type 304 or 316 stainless construction is a best practice for equipment designs using either open-frame construction with exposed threads or tube frame designs with non-exposed threads.
That's our top 10 safety best practice call-outs for this system, learn more at www.mepaco.net. 

 

 


Lunch & Learn Customized to your Business

 

If you would like to learn more about food safety and sanitation equipment innovations trending in food processing equipment and systems, we are offering a Lunch & Learn presentation.  


Discover:

  • Food processing equipment that is customized to specific applications and to scale
  • System examples with animation and video that solve processing throughput
  • Sanitation design options and best practices
  • Maintenance and food safety driven innovations

 

Our focus will be to customize this presentation to talk about your production needs, and safety and sanitation goals.

We will monitor COVID-19 travel and distancing regulations and if allowed, we can have the Lunch & Learn at Apache Stainless or at your facility. Just let us know and we will take care of lunch.

We will also offer a virtual meeting if that works best, and we will send attendees a gift card for lunch on us!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Contact a technical sales manager to schedule!


10 Solution Examples to Reduce Foreign Material Contamination

Every food processor has their own unique food safety challenges. Here is one process room scenario where attention to process layout, equipment modifications and training can significantly reduce foreign material contamination.

  1. Operator Training High-volume automation brings a high degree of risk for machinery fatigue and vibration. Over time, nuts and bolts will loosen and moving components that become misaligned can produce loose metal. In addition, the equipment operator must completely understand how every facet of the equipment works, including the symptoms when it isn’t running properly.  
  2. Seal Maintenance Many causes of downstream food contamination are the result of a broken seal, improper packing or a grooved or broken shaft. COP (clean-out-of-place) split seals should be checked for wear and sanitized daily. Seals should be part of the preventative maintenance program and included in your parts inventory.
  3. Pallet Retention System (PRS) The PRS is integrated into the loading base of select pallet dumper equipment. It is engineered to securely remove the pallet away from the dump zone so that wood, nails, and other impurities are prevented from entering the product stream. 
  4. Liner Hold Down Another option on pallet dumper equipment is the liner hold-down mechanism which is engineered to hold back the liner during the dumping process. The liner hold-down prevents the plastic from entering the food zone and prevents the operators from having to lean or reach over the food zone to control the liner.
  5. Electropolished Food Contact Finishes Processors often choose electropolished food contact surfaces on equipment which provide the smoothest surfaces for ease of sanitation, and provide the highest level of corrosion resistance, including the performance of weldments.
  6. Open-frame Construction Open-design framework with butt weld type, ground to a smooth finish provides superior sanitation performance.  Bolt and thread designs should be hygienically designed with enclosed threads.
  7. Metal Detection In this example, the metal detector is placed near the beginning of the grind-blend line to detect and circumvent tramp metal from entering the grinder and downstream equipment.
  8. Drop-Conveyor Inspection The drop belt conveyor shown in the layout allows trim meat to be flipped during conveyance and allows for visual inspection of foreign material before the product is transported downstream.
  9. Grinder Maintenance Foreign material can include metal shavings and shards from grinders.  Keep the grinder finely tuned and in proper alignment; keep the pins, bushings, heads and knives in well maintained condition. 
  10. Sanitation Training  Confirm that the sanitation crew completely understands the proper disassembly and reassembly of all COP (clean-out-of-place) components. Improper installation may create wear points on machinery which can lead to contamination.

    Contact our technical sales representatives for questions for Food Safety Solutions in your process layout


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.


Horizontal Screw Conveyors Provide Bulk Handling for Many Industries

Mepaco's screw conveyors are engineered to the requirements of the food processing application. In the photo, these screw conveyors transported pet food. The conveyor in the foreground was placed after the grinder and transported ground product. The conveyor in the background was utilized before the grinder. It featured a trough design that handled large meat chunks, which fed the grinder.

Engineers work closely with the customer's production experts to design systems that minimize space while maximizing flexibility for product formulations and production goals.

Mepaco's screw conveyor systems have served many food processing industries: Baking and Snack, Dairy, Fruits and Vegetables, Meat and Poultry, Pet Food, Prepared Food and Ready-to-Eat. Application expertise includes: Metering, Reversing, Formulating and Thermal Processing.

For more information on screw conveyors and augers, visit:

SCREW CONVEYORS

AUGER UNITS


Accumulation Solutions Solves Bottleneck for Pet Food Processor

Problem

A Pet Food Processor needed to increase throughput due to production delays in waiting for grinders feeding directly to blenders.

Solution

Mepaco engineered a solution that placed surge loaders between the grinder and the blender, allowing the processor to accumulate and stage a full batch of products to be fed into the blender. This system allows the processor to select different volumes of products from a fresh grinder and a frozen block grinder, and feed them together into the surge loader. As soon as the downstream blender is empty, the surge loader quickly refills the blender to begin the next batch.

 

An integral piece of equipment is the Screw Elevator. This equipment was designed with CIP (clean-in-place) spray ball. It features a fixed based with an elevated pivot track to reduce sanitation time.

Another vital piece of equipment are the specialty loaders. These hoppers were designed with extended side walls for high capacity loading.

Product staging and storage was a key factor in getting the maximum throughput from this grind/blend system. This solution saves valuable minutes off each batch that would be spent waiting if the grinders were to directly feed a blender.

Mepaco, part of Apache Stainless, is known for grinding and blending systems. Equipment products, which are customized for the application, include thermal processing solutions, mixers, blenders, cookers, augers, dumpers, sanitary conveyors and material handling systems.

Download Flyer


New White Paper: Comparing Agitator Solutions


Mepaco has recently published a new white paper, "Comparing Agitator Solutions for Food Processing Applications".  The paper, developed in collaboration with sales, engineering and applications teams, is a guide for agitation solutions in Cookers, Mixers, Blenders and Drop Tanks.

In the white paper, there are many details about the technology of agitators, highlighting: ribbon, paddle, combination and double agitator applications.

Download and learn more.

Process Expo Sept 19 - 22; Free Pass!

The Process Expo is the nation's largest trade show dedicated to bringing the latest technology and integrated solutions to all segments of the food and beverage processing industry.

Don't miss the networking benefits, demonstrations, educational sessions, new equipment and technology that is showcased at Process Expo.

Come visit the trade show on us! Here is your FREE PASS CODE 42589.

https://registration.experientevent.com/ShowFPS171/Default.aspx

Mepaco, Booth #1637

Process Expo, September 19 - 22

McCormick Place, Chicago, IL


New Click Book from Mepaco

A new "CLICK BOOK" brochure has been created to showcase Mepaco's animations and videos on equipment and systems for food processing.

This interactive brochure has links to various system demonstrations, brochures, blogs and videos.  Users simply click on the play button or information button specific to the piece of equipment or system.

Check out Mepaco's CLICK BOOK!

https://cdn.flipsnack.com/widget/flipsnackwidget.html?hash=ftuiosa3z

Mepaco provides a custom system approach to customer plant and processing requirements that include immediate and long term performance goals, as well as sanitation and safety requirements.


New Animation: Clean Sweep Surge Loader

Mepaco's Clean Sweep Surge Loader offers a solution that mechanically clears food product between batches on surge loading applications.

In the animation, paddles sweep the sides of the tub and continually push product into the feed screw.

The spin ridge keeps product from barreling, maintaining positive conveyance until the food product is completely unloaded.

This solution reduces food waste and eliminates the need for personnel to have to manually clear product.

The Clean Sweep Surge Loader has been engineered for prepared foods, ground or trim meat products. The design is modified to meet the requirements of the application. Some of the options include different agitator configurations, customized safety grating, load cells, pneumatic covers on the screw conveyor discharge and electropolished food contact surfaces.


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