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Sanitary Conveyor Handles Cake Mix

Partnership between Dorner and JEM International leads to successful filling line for multinational customer.

Sanitary conveyor design expedites disassembly for cleaning and the cleaning process itself.
Sanitary conveyor design expedites disassembly for cleaning and the cleaning process itself.

Show Daily Exclusive - JEM International recently designed a cake mix packaging line to replace an antiquated line at a multinational company. The cake mix maker wanted to improve production speeds and fill-rate accuracy. The application was unique in that it called for the cake mix to travel 16.5 ft. up an inclined conveyor at a 45-degree angle. Normally, JEM builds its own conveyors, but the design of this Z-shaped conveyor would have taken extra engineering time and resources. This was an ideal time to reach out to one of its partners, Dorner Mfg. (Booth C-1844). Turning to Dorner to supply two sanitary conveyors saved time and brought the high level of sanitary standards that JEM and its customer were seeking. The project took about nine months to complete and was installed in 2017.


“The Z-shape was definitely a specialized conveyor and not your typical straight conveyor,” recalls Brett Mattson, vice president of sales at JEM. He explains, “Dorner offers a great design in keeping the belt flat in a Z-shape orientation. No reason to reinvent the wheel on something they know how to do. We trusted them, and they did a great job.”
The line starts with mix loaded into a hopper on a 10-ft.-high mezzanine. Cake mix flows down into a vibratory pan feeder from Eriez (Booth LS-5901), which controls movement of the product as it’s transferred onto the first Dorner conveyor, a straight, 20-ft.-long AquaGard 7360 Series with an 18-in.-wide belt.
This horizontal conveyor feeds (waterfalls) the mix onto the infeed of the AquaGard LPZ (Z shaped) conveyor. On the LPZ conveyor, a cleated belt holds mix as it travels up to the hopper. A clear, removable Lexan shield covers the conveyor and protects the product from the environment. From the hopper, the mix is filled into 44-lb. bags, passes through metal detection and is palletized.
Dorner’s AquaGard and AquaPruf sanitary conveyor platforms are designed for the food and medical industries and meet various regulations (e.g., Baking Industry Sanitation Standards Committee, National Sanitation Foundation, USDA and FDA) for safe and effective operation. One person can completely disassemble the conveyors, without tools, in less than 90 sec. “We have very easy-to-clean sanitary conveyor platforms that save customers time,” says Chris Elley, the Dorner regional sales manager who worked with JEM on the project. “If they run a different batch of cake mix, the conveyors can be cleaned and sanitized in just a few minutes,” he reports.
Mattson recalls, “The ease of cleaning between production runs was huge for our customer. The sanitary aspects of being able to get to all areas of the conveyor for cleaning was important. We’re not experts in Food Safety Modernization Act standards. Dorner is well-versed in that area, that’s why we went with them.”
Elley says this project is a good example of each company flexing strengths in its areas of expertise to create a packaging line that exceeded the customer’s expectations. He notes, “Our core product line is conveyors. We have the engineering and application know-how to design and manage that portion of the project. The hoppers and bagging scales are JEM’s core products and what they do best. They saved valuable engineering time by allowing us to come in and handle the sanitary conveyors. It worked out well for everyone.”
Mattson concludes, “We build many components in house, but we can’t build everything. It’s good to form partnerships with other companies in the industry. For this project, it made a lot of sense to work together.”
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