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Video: Top 10 Dumper Safety Innovations

In the interest of food safety and personnel safety goals across food processing customers, Mepaco has innovated options to solve these goals. Dumpers are a part of nearly every system and can be the first process in an automated solution. With automation comes food safety and personnel safety issues that these options and features on dumpers, can address. Here are Mepaco’s Top 10 Dumper Safety Innovations: 

1. PRS (Pallet Retention System) 

The PRS design limits the potential of foreign material entering the product stream, by separating the combo from the pallet in the dump cycle. Upon completion of the dump cycle, the dumper and frame are reunited, and the carriage assembly returns to the start-load position. PRS is available on the DP3000 Pivot Dumper and the HD 3000 High Lift Dumper models. 

2. LRS (Pneumatic Liner Retention System)

The LRS controls a device that prevents the liner from separating from the combo and falling into the hopper and food stream. The liner hold-down prevents operators from having to reach and try to control the liner by hand. LRS is available on the DP3000 Pivot Dumper and the HD3000 High Lift Dumper models. 

3. Elevated Load Height 

Elevated load heights are specified in layouts that may have limited ceiling height available. Whether it benefits production or personnel maneuverability, elevated load heights can be customized into the dumping equipment solution. Elevated load heights are commonly added to DP3000 Dumper models. 

4. Stainless Cylinders 

Upgrading cylinders to stainless will provide sanitation performance and longevity. Depending on the sanitation protocols, it may extend the cylinder replacement parts rotation.

5. Counterbalance Valve 

Counterbalance Valves are engineered for cylinders to safely hold a dumper carriage with load. The counterbalance valve uses back pressure from the power unit to open and bring the carriage down. In the event of a hydraulic line rupture, the carriage will hold in position. 

6. Electropolished Chute 

Electropolished food contact surfaces help with high food safety standards in a processing environment. An electropolished chute will support efficient sanitation that is cleanable to a microbiological level. 

7. Beacon Light 

Adding a signaling light alerts faults in applications where safety is an issue. There are several options for Beacon Lights, this video shows a model with a horn. 

8. Safety Guarding 

Personnel guarding can also be designed for the entire dump-zone footprint. Guarding is engineered for the plant requirements. Another configuration is a pocket door design that allows for safe fork truck access for loading and unloading. 

9. Automation & Controls 

With a full safety enclosure and controlled dumper system, the load set point, detraction, and down control can be integrated into the HMI (Human Machine Interface). The dump function can also be automatically timed to feed downstream equipment using loss-in-weight or level sensor technology. The safety enclosure can also be designed and controlled to open automatically for loading and pallet removal. 

10. Safety Training 

If you have operators who are unfamiliar with dumper operation, please inquire with field services and parts. When followed, Mepaco’s manuals, media resources and even a training program if required, will help with the safe operation of your dumper equipment. 

Learn more about the Mepaco Dumper line of equipment, on our web page.

Proper Operational Procedures Improves Dumper Performance

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.

New Video: Mepaco Dumper Equipment Configurations

Mepaco offers a range of dumper configurations that are customized for specific applications in food manufacturing environments.

Column Dumper CD1000  The Column Dumper CD1000 is designed for buggies with a standard working capacity up to 600 lbs.

High Dumper HD3000 The HD3000 has a 3000 lb. capacity with a high discharge height specification.

Lift Dumper LD3000  The LD3000 Lift and Dump equipment provides the  highest discharge height of all Mepaco dumpers.

Pivot Dumper DP3000  The DP3000 (Pivot Dumper) is constructed from T304 Stainless Steel material and is a USDA approved design.

Dumper Equipment Options

  • Pallet Retention System
  • Liner Hold Down
  • Safety Guarding
  • Stainless Components
  • Elevated Load Height Configurations
  • Hydraulic Power-Pack (painted mild steel or stainless) cover
  • Alternative Shoot Designs
  • Custom Carriages


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