Main­te­nance time also means up­grad­ing to bet­ter per­form­ing equip­ment

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - FOOD -

For many hor­ti­cul­ture busi­nesses, the harvest, pro­cess­ing and pack­ag­ing sea­son is draw­ing to a close. EQM is al­ready un­der­tak­ing main­te­nance and equip­ment re­views for many of its food in­dus­try clients and more and more are look­ing for greater re­li­a­bil­ity of equip­ment and higher per­for­mance.

EQM’s An­thony Blox­ham says there has been a trend over the last cou­ple of years to re­place alu­minium equip­ment with stain­less steel, and although the up-front cap­i­tal out­lay is more, in the long run busi­nesses are much bet­ter off. “We are vis­it­ing sites that are en­ter­ing their an­nual main­te­nance pe­riod but they are also look­ing for per­for­mance im­prove­ments and that is about hav­ing the right equip­ment for the job.”

Blox­ham points to a pet food pro­cess­ing plant that had been us­ing an in­fe­rior gear­box and mo­tor made of alu­minium. “The gear­box and mo­tor was driv­ing a con­veyor that took pet food from a large chiller through a me­tal de­tec­tor prior to leav­ing the plant, but it was on its last legs. It was op­er­at­ing in a very harsh en­vi­ron­ment with high-pres­sure hoses used regularly for wash downs. We rec­om­mended they in­stall the EQM iSeries Stain­less Steel Gear­boxes and mo­tors which would im­prove per­for­mance but of­fer bet­ter pro­tec­tion in the harsh en­vi­ron­ment.”

The iSeries gear­box fit­ted per­fectly with the IP67 mo­tor and only had to do a slight mod­i­fi­ca­tion to fit the torque arm mount.

“Stain­less was the most suit­able re­place­ment. It will last much longer and its per­for­mance far ex­ceeds the pre­vi­ous so­lu­tion.”

One of New Zealand’s largest food pro­ces­sors nearly ended up with sauce on its face when a spe­cial plan­e­tary gear­box broke down.

Blox­ham went on­site to see what could be done, and what would have been an easy re­place­ment if they had had the ex­act gear­box, turned into a big­ger is­sue, due to the spe­cific equip­ment not be­ing avail­able in New Zealand and the Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer be­ing closed for its sum­mer hol­i­days.

How­ever, look­ing for a quick so­lu­tion to keep the sauce line run­ning Blox­ham as­sessed the gear­box and went back to EQM to see if there was any other so­lu­tion.

“The main is­sue was the mount­ing needed to match up and I was con­fi­dent that a stan­dard STM gear­box would solve the prob­lem. We found a worm gear­box that had the match­ing out­put mount­ing and shaft size and then se­lected an in­put flange and cou­pling to fit the small mount­ing di­men­sions of the ex­ist­ing servo mo­tor. Ev­ery­thing lined up per­fectly, so I raced back to the site to in­stall it,” he says.

All in all the pro­duc­tion line was down for a lit­tle over three hours and not only was the line up and run­ning but within days they dou­bled the speed of pro­duc­tion. It went from pack­ing 60 squeeze bot­tles a minute to 120 bot­tles! The na­tion’s tomato sauce lovers can thank the quick think­ing of EQM.

The STM UMI se­ries has the unique fea­ture of an in­put cou­pling, which en­ables this gear­box to be easily adapted to in­di­vid­ual cus­tomer re­quire­ments.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.