Cleanable conveyors are a necessary equipment choice for applications where sanitary performance is a basic requirement, from food to pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, animal feeds and more. Here are five key factors to consider for your upcoming cleanable conveyor purchase.
1. Cleanable conveyors should be fast and easy to clean, not just cleanable
Cleanable conveyors vary in the ease with which they can be cleaned. Look for features such as quick-release clamps and fasteners, open design, pivoting features to bring parts within easy reach, access ports, ‘clean-in-place” (CIP) systems, etc. when shopping for a cleanable conveyor.
What to ask: Ask equipment manufacturers how they have designed their cleanable conveyors to make cleaning fast and easy for operators and maintenance personnel.
2. Consider cleanable conveyors with mobility/portability options
Some cleanable conveyors have options which allow you to move/transport the conveyor to designated cleaning stations. Portability can also allow for additional flexibility should you ever re-engineer or reconfigure your processes in the future.
What to ask: Ask potential suppliers whether their cleanable conveyors are available with a mobile/portable base.
3. Ensure the conveyor meets necessary regulations
In some cases, applications may require cleanable conveyors be certified or compliant to a specific set of regulations, such as FDA, USDA, etc. This is especially common in food processing, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical manufacturing, and dairy processing facilities.
What to ask: Ask equipment providers whether their cleanable conveyors are certified or compliant to any regulations or standards that your application is subject to. Make sure you ask to see the actual compliance documentation and keep this in your records.
4. Consider cleanable conveyors that address the sources of spillage and contamination
One factor that sets cleanable conveyors apart is how well they address sources of contamination. Look for an equipment provider that prioritizes controlled conveying, the reduction of spillage, and other possible sources of contamination. These can include lubricants, corrosion, dust, and other environmental contaminants, as well as product spillage. Consider how well the conveyor’s design eliminates entrapment points, such as ledges, where material can accumulate and degrade. Where cross-contamination is a risk factor, consider how well the design protects product from sources of cross-contamination when in the conveyor. Preventing spillage and contamination impacts the frequency of cleaning required, and reduces contamination risks.
What to ask: Ask equipment manufacturers how their cleanable conveyors have been designed to prevent spillage and other possible sources of contamination.
5. Consider the availability of replacement parts
No matter which equipment you purchase, all cleanable conveyors will have parts and components which require replacement at certain intervals. Be sure to choose a supplier that is committed to supporting their equipment long-term with replacement parts. Additionally, investigate the supplier’s responsiveness when it comes to spare parts turnaround and provisioning.
What to ask: Ask your supplier how long they will stock replacement parts for your cleanable conveyor and what their turnaround time is. Dig deeper by asking what their performance rate is on their target turnaround timeliness. If they don’t measure it, they may not manage it.
UniTrak manufactures the KleanTrak sanitary vertical belt conveyor and the Easy Clean flexible screw conveyor. The KleanTrak cleated belt conveyor is ideal for those applications where fast and easy cleaning is a key requirement, while the Easy Clean features a tilting mechanism to ensure easy cleaning without the use of ladders or lifts. For more information about cleanable conveyors from UniTrak, please contact our sales team.