Why traditional cleaning methods may put food manufacturers at a disadvantage

How long does it take to clean your conveyor belts? Say it takes two people a whole shift to clean – that’s 16 work-hours. What if one person could do the same job in one hour, to a higher standard, using fewer resources? That’s where KHD Technology comes in.

Whether you employ staff working on the lines in an all-hands-on-deck approach or hire temporary agency personnel for the job, traditional methods of cleaning conveyor belts in the food industry involve using a lot of water, chemicals, labour and time. Staff may be required to scrub conveyor belts by hand, dislodging liquid, sticky or dried food residues from the production of bread, cakes, chocolate and more.

Regular, thorough cleaning can also help to avoid downtime from system errors caused by food remnants clogging up and affecting the performance of machinery. This is becoming increasingly relevant as the use of robotic lines becomes more commonplace, as the visual cues used by pick and place systems can be compromised by ingredients building up on the conveyor belt.

The extent of downtime required for cleaning will vary depending on the product being produced, the equipment available, the accessibility of the area to be cleaned, the number of people performing the task, and the expected cleanliness standards to be achieved. There are potentially numerous detrimental effects of this downtime for manufacturers:

  • Lost production time, impacting targets and revenue
  • Working hours and the cost of wages lost while staff are unable to perform their job
  • Cost of machinery sitting idle
  • Delays that could affect customer satisfaction
  • Food wastage

These and other consequences of production downtime can affect your bottom line, making prevention vital to keep your production line running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Reducing production downtime with innovative steam applications

The solution to the problems listed above is to find a better, more efficient method of cleaning your conveyor belts, to reduce factory downtime and increase production levels. One answer is steam cleaning technology. Using portable conveyor belt cleaning units, or fixed return-mounted steam cleaning systems that can be used during production, you can massively reduce the time, energy, effort and resource required compared to traditional methods of cleaning.

In the example given above, KHD Technology was able to demonstrate that the same length of conveyor belt (~130m) could be cleaned in one hour by one operator to a higher standard compared to two people taking an entire shift to do the same job. The resource freed-up using food-grade conveyor belt cleaning solutions can be employed on additional tasks that will increase hygiene and safety standards in your factory.

Constantly-evolving technology

Seemingly simple changes to a recipe can have unexpected repercussions for cleaning efficacy using your current methods. KHD Technology will look in depth at the issues you are facing and offer solutions based on existing or potential applications. We can also work with designers and engineers in the early stages of manufacturing new lines to find the best application and position for conveyor belt cleaning.

KHD Technology

As well as reducing factory downtime, there are many other advantages to using KHD Technology in your workplace. Many companies are being asked to consider the environmental impact of their process. Not only does KHD Technology avoid the use of chemicals, because steam kills bacteria, but our products are also on DEFRA’s Water Efficiency Technology list, which will contribute towards your environmental targets. Please visit our website or contact us to discuss your requirements or request a demonstration, and we can find the best solution for your needs.