Sandvik Process Systems is a world leader in the manufacture of steel belts for the food industry, supplying steel belt conveyors for bake ovens, fish freezers, fruit and vegetable drying lines, meat cutting tables, confectionery cooling and conveying operations.
The smooth, flat surface of a steel belt means there are no crevices in which germs could hide, and enables thorough and effective cleaning by whatever means is most appropriate. Steel also has excellent thermal properties, making it equally suitable for heating and cooling applications.
Steel belts for every food processing application
Steel belts can be produced in carbon or stainless steel to suit different applications. They can be manufactured to virtually any length or width. They can be supplied in solid form, or perforated to provide a longer-lasting, lighter alternative to wire mesh belts.
And they also offer a unique range of thermal properties. Steel belts are capable of operating in temperatures from -80°C to +750°C, making them as equally well suited to freezing and baking as they are to straightforward conveying.
Bake oven belts for cookies – and more
Products as varied as bread, pizza bases, granola bars, biscuits, cakes, macaroons and brownies can all be baked on a steel belt. The solid surface provides a crisp base that cannot be achieved on any other conveying medium, and its hard, smooth quality delivers a clean product release.
A number of bakeries have recently switched from wire mesh to Sandvik bake oven belts to meet demand for American-style cookies. With their high butter content, these products can only be baked on a solid belt. And the excellent heat transfer and thermal conductivity of the belt delivers a crisp base and rich, buttery cookie.
Factors such as inherent stability, durability and resistance to stretching mean that steel belts deliver a much longer working life than other materials, in many cases 20 years or more.
Hygienic conveying for meat cutting operations
Food scares have put meat processing operations firmly under the spotlight. The complete lack of crevices, textures or fibres in a solid steel belt conveyor means there is nowhere for bacteria to hide away and breed. The inherent strength of the material means it is more resistant to knife or bone damage than other conveying materials, and therefore less likely to suffer cuts where microbes can develop.
As a flat, smooth, hard and inert conveying medium, a steel belt conveyor can be cleaned quickly and efficiently using heat, pressure, brushes, detergents or chemicals. The benefits of easy cleaning are not limited to health and hygiene matters. Low water consumption and reduced use of cleaning chemicals or detergents means lower costs and less impact on the environment, while faster cleaning results in less downtime.
Research by Finnish food laboratory VTT Expert Services has shown that bacterial build-up on meat conveyors can be reduced by upgrading to a stainless-steel conveyor.
QuickCleaner for cleaning and sanitising bake oven belts
Sandvik has just launched the QuickCleaner system, an innovative new cleaning and sanitising process developed to remove the carbon residues – and potentially hazardous acrylamide – that can build up on bake oven belts.
The cleaning medium – a combination of sodium bicarbonate and calcium phosphate – is blasted at the belt at high pressure, removing the bulk of the residue without damaging the steel. The chemical action of the salt then attacks organic residues at a molecular level, further enhancing the cleaning process.
Long-term food conveyor reliability backed by global service
The durability of stainless steel ensures an excellent return on investment. While initial costs may be higher than for other technologies, this investment pays dividends in terms of both working life and greater productivity, resulting from more reliable operation.
In addition, all Sandvik steel belts benefit from the support of the company’s global sales and service network, with installation by trained personnel and technical support available 24/7.
Sandvik’s total supply service covers every aspect of a steel belt conveying unit, including drums, compact belt tracking devices, belt and drum cleaners, safety scrapers and belt edge detectors, cast iron skid bars, graphite skid bars and both active and passive belt tracking controls.
See how steel belts could benefit your food processing operation
If you need to convey, heat, bake, chill, cool, solidify, pastillise, freeze, steam or dry any kind of foodstuff, and you need to do as efficiently and hygienically as possible, the chances are there’s a Sandvik steel belt solution that could help you do it better. So use the contact details below and let’s work together to explore the opportunities for process improvement that steel belts can bring to your food processing operation.