Conveyors for Craft Breweries and Distilleries

April 6, 2016

In May, UniTrak will be exhibiting at the International Powder & Bulk Solids Conference and Exhibition in Rosemont, IL, May 3-5, 2016. In advance of the show, our Leadership Blog will feature a series of articles on topics that will be of interest to show attendees. This week’s blog on conveyors for craft breweries and distilleries is the fifth in our International Powder & Bulk Solids Conference and Exhibition blog series.

Craft breweries and distilleries face a common set of conveying challenges: transporting the dry grain ingredients used as production inputs to the mixing vessel or mash tun. Because many craft breweries and distilleries produce limited production volumes, choosing conveying equipment that is reliable yet economical to own and operate is a key requirement.

Conveyors for Craft Breweries and Distilleries: Challenges

Compared to mass producers, craft brewers and distillers use batch production methods to carefully make small volumes of product at a time. Batch production is often a challenge because this method of production is typically more labour and time intensive, and therefore less efficient, than mass production operations.

In batch production, equipment needs to be cleaned and moved more frequently, meaning more downtime between processes. To increase efficiency and maximize profits, craft brewers and distillers should select conveyors which are reliable, support easy cleaning and turnaround, and are easily moved between processes in the production flow.

In many microbrewery and craft distillery operations, space is also at a premium. Surmounting the challenge of restricted space requires using conveyors which have small footprints, require minimal headroom, and which are adaptable to accommodate irregular process geometries.

Conveyors for Craft Breweries and Distilleries: Solutions

UniTrak offers two equipment solutions which are excellent choices for the batch-type operations usually found within craft breweries and distilleries.

Powderflight aeromechanical conveyors combine a high throughput rate of up to 1440 cubic feet per hour with a small equipment footprint. Powderflight aeromechanicals can convey product at any angle from 0°-90°. A portable base is also available which allows the conveyor to be easily moved to any processing point. The conveyor’s speed, combined with the rope and disc design, creates a high-velocity air stream which conveys product with minimal damage and attrition. Powderflight conveyors are energy efficient, with a low power consumption compared to other mechanical conveyors.

Powderflight conveyors have been successfully used in craft brewery applications to transport malt to the mash tun where the malt is mixed with hot water to form the mash. In these applications, the Powderflight’s ability to move the malt through the conveyor at a high speed with no degradation or loss is a decided advantage. See our brewery specific blog post here.

UniFlex flexible screw conveyors are an economical solution for applications that involve lower throughput rates. UniFlex conveyors can be fed manually with sacks of ingredients and are capable of conveying material at the rate of 650 cubic feet per hour. In operations where the grist hopper or mash tun is elevated, the casing and auger of the UniFlex conveyor can extend up to an elevated mezzanine.

Hoppers for UniFlex conveyors are available in 2.5, 4.0, and 8.0 cubic feet capacities to suit the amount of material that needs to be conveyed. To support easy equipment cleaning and turnaround, an Easy Clean version is also available featuring a washdown motor, quick release clamps, rounded surfaces and a tilting feature.

If you are a craft brewer or distiller that requires effective and economical conveying solutions for your operation, UniTrak is your preferred equipment partner. For over 45 years, we have helped customers the world over solve their toughest bulk material conveying challenges. To find out how UniTrak equipment can address your application needs, please visit us at the International Powder & Bulk Solids Conference and Exhibition, booth 2425, or contact our sales department directly.

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