Post-harvest food processing requires power transmission every step of the way, according to CBC’s Troy Markland. As the Product Manager for CBC’s Power Transmission (PT), Chain and Ironware portfolios, Troy understands that it’s the power behind the processes that turn produce into product.

“Imagine the process a piece of fruit hanging from a tree goes through to become a pie or a jar of jam,” he says. “Now imagine all the conveyors, pulleys, pushers, chains and sprockets that power that equipment required to get to that finished product. It is in that post‑harvest stage where CBC plays a significant role in implementing and streamlining those processes.”

Once produce is harvested off the fields, it will come into plant facilities on crates to be washed, before going through a series of plant processes to be blended, peeled, canned, or in some cases baked into a product. “These processes require niche conveying systems to move the product throughout a plant,” says Troy. “And there are few suppliers that have innovated this type of conveying technology like Rexnord has with their range of TableTop and MatTop Chain belt products.”

Troy has been working with Rexnord for decades in the area of Power Transmission products and often defers to their product range when supplying Power Transmission solutions to customers in the food‑processing segment.

“Even with my 40 years of experience in Power Transmission, I still consult frequently with the product experts from Rexnord when I am looking to design a more effective conveying application for a client. The Rexnord team help keep us up to date with the latest PT technology and product innovations, which only adds to the breadth of our knowledge offering for customers,” remarks Troy.

When it comes to designing an effective general conveying application where there will be regular food contact, National Product Manager for Rexnord Australia, Matt Crehan, recommends the Rexnord 2010 Series KleanTop Belt —a modular belt solution designed to accommodate a variety of product types.

“The KleanTop Belt is our number one solution for food conveying and a favourite amongst food processors for its versatility and durability,” he says. “The KleanTop belt is a robust multi-purpose belt solution; capable of conveying very heavy loads and increasing production. Its modular chain-like assembly has an open hinge design for more flexibility moving product on the line and complete modularity for constructing a line.”

True to its namesake, the KleanTop belt has been designed for easy assembly and disassembly for sanitation cycles. The smart pin retention design secures the belt in place, and the pins can be removed using a screwdriver for quick, efficient, and optimal hygiene for food processing.

“A range of different surface textures – solid, perforated, and nub top – are available for common food and raw ingredient conveying requirements,” says Matt. “And these are available in different thermoplastic materials – acetal, polypropylene and polyethylene – which are designed to suit common application processes such as cooking, cooling and freezing.”

As an example of the KleanTop conveying solution in action, Matt presents case study where a food-processing customer was encountering numerous issues with their conveyor since its initial construction and approached CBC and Rexnord seeking a replacement design.

“The customer was using a standard polyvinyl chloride (PVC) belting conveyor on their application with moulded plastic pushers to convey vegetables,” explains Matt. “The vegetables had to move from a hopper, up an incline, then across to a discharge conveyor.”

According to Matt, the belt tracking on the incline was jumping and stalling, causing the belt to stretch and the engagement at drive pulley and pushers were breaking. As these issues worsened, the customer was incurring huge costs from losing significant volumes of product during a breakdown and in addition to that, downtime on overall production.

After a joint site visit and assessment of the application, CBC and Rexnord offered a KleanTop MatTop conveying solution – a large 50.8mm (2”) pitch chain complete with 76.2mm (3”) high pusher flights spaced along the belt and sideguards down each side of the belt. The robust pusher flights and sideguards enabled more bulk products to be conveyed up the steep incline with minimal product loss or damage.

In addition to these features, large 260mm (16 Tooth) diameter sprockets were added to the conveyor design to create a positive drive, thereby eliminating the chain jumping issue and reducing the potential for any premature stretching to occur to the belt.

“After an initial installation success, the customer returned to CBC to further examine other places on their site where Rexnord MatTop solutions could be utilised to maximise production output,” says Matt, concluding that the solution proved to be a success.

With increased production at the forefront of food-processing right now, and a rapidly changing global economy; CBC has shifted their focus to suppliers who offer good stock coverage and backup ordering processes like Rexnord.

“We have to stay ahead of ordering right now due to potential stock issues, so it helps that Rexnord have a very wide diversified range of food-grade conveying products in the global market that are streamlined and designed to be readily replaceable,” says Troy.

“Through Rexnord, CBC can provide a product that works from start to finish on the line, from washing to packaging. The TableTop chain and the MatTop chain range offer complete solutions for every process.”

Rexnord 2010 KleanTop Belt Key Applications:

  • Receiving
  • Washing and draining
  • Cutting and dicing
  • Infeeds and outfeeds
  • Freezing
  • Packaging

Features and Benefits:

  • Strong carrying surface: Conveys larger volumes of product and increases production
  • Open hinge design: Easy access for sanitation and abrasion resistant
  • Smart pin design: Easy screwdriver assembly and disassembly
  • Optional design alternatives: Nub Top, Flat Top, or Perforated Top