Chocolate is the most popular sweet treat in the world. According to the World Cocoa Foundation, we consume more than three million tons of cocoa beans a year. So not surprisingly chocolate factories are a non-stop hive of activity.
When a chocolate factory near Leeds, United Kingdom, was having problems with cleaning two large, heavy plastic modular belts, Habasit was called in to develop an alternative solution.
The incline belts that took small round chocolates to the bagging machine were large, heavy belts that needed to be removed every second shift (every two to three days) by engineers so they could be cleaned. The chocolate was getting in between the links/hinges of the belt, sidewall and flights and underneath it. The removal process took four hours each time and the belts then had to be soaked for 12 hours to remove the engrained chocolate.
Hygiene standards are extremely strict at the factory and those in charge were not completely happy with this cleaning regimen. They wanted the belt to be taken off every day.
To both reduce plant downtime and improve hygiene we recommended Habasit Cleandrive™ belts which are recognized for being lightweight and for their safe and hygienic food processing performance. We made all the necessary changes to rollers, sprockets, etc., and completed the job over a weekend earlier this year. The belts did not need to be removed for several months as they can now be easily wiped clean whilst in place.
Problems solved – engineers are now free to do other work and there’s less stress on motors as the belts aren’t as heavy. The chocolate is no longer getting in between the sidewalls and flights. What’s more, the customer is also planning to transfer further belts over to Habasit Cleandrive™.
Across a wide variety of industries and conveying applications, Habasit seeks to optimise the Total Cost of Ownership of our customers’ facilities via our leading range of fabric, plastic and monolithic belting solutions: Habasit – Solutions in motion, come put us to the test. (LC)