Food & Beverage – A Case Study

The Situation:

Pack Air was contacted by a company that produces a variety of frozen pizza crusts. The manufacturer was well underway with construction of a new facility when they realized they had a few problems with their production line.

The First Challenge:

The first challenge was that the pizza crust presses at the front of the line produced a 3-across pattern of crusts that were 58” wide, and the multi-million dollar spiral cooler and freezer that was already being built only had 54” wide chains. To add to the dilemma, the pizza crusts could not be touched from the sides because they were too soft and would be more likely to fold over on themselves than slide on a conveyor chain or belt.


The First Solution:

Pack Air offered a simple solution utilizing a conveyor section with three separate chains running at slightly different speeds to offset each row.  A second section then utilized two s-curve chain drifts for the two outside lanes to “drift-in” the outside crusts so the 3-across pattern now fit diagonally onto the 54” wide freezer chain.

The Second Challenge:

After the pizza crusts were discharged from the freezer, they were single filed via right angle transfer to run through a single lane metal detector before heading to two packaging lines. This lead to the second problem in the line: how to evenly divert a single file line of fragile pizza crusts now traveling at up to 160 PPM.


The Second Solution:

Pack Air’s solution was a high speed vertical diverter that directed every other crust (one up, one down) to the two packaging lines. Two linear motors were used as the actuators for the diverter frame because of their high linear speeds and cycle count capabilities.  Linear motors also offer the advantage of having no wear components and are easy to clean.

All conveyors were made to BISSC (Baking Industry Sanitation Standards Committee) requirements with 304 stainless steel frames and welded construction, passivized after fabrication.

The Results:

The client was pleased with Pack Air’s ability to meet both challenges without affecting the in-progress construction of their new facility. We pride ourselves on being able to innovatively address our customers’ challenges and help them out of tough situations.