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Forbo Siegling – the solution provider

Published 13 October 2011 | By Forbo

Forbo Siegling did not just exchange belts for the Icelandic food company Bakkavör, but enhanced their entire conveyor concept too. As a result, the conveyor operates more sustainably, quality has been increased and waste reduced.

Bakkavör produces a variety of potato products in its Makerfield plant in the UK. By adapting production machinery and exchanging several belts, Forbo Siegling has made huge improvements in this production process. Forbo Siegling personnel found clever, constructive solutions for two sections of the process.

Blanching and cooling

In the past, a system of modules, reinforced with steel flaps, had been used for blanching and cooling pieces of potato. Because of this belt's heavy weight, some modules repeatedly broke, therefore frequently resulting in downtimes. The risk of product contamination was very high. Each belt repair was very time-consuming.

Forbo Siegling's stronger Prolink series 6.1 modular belt (S6.1-23 FLT PP) is the solution for this application. The modular belt is not reinforced with steel flaps and weighs much less. Only minimal changes to the conveyor were required. The belt was exchanged during just one night shift, so production was not brought to a halt.

The new belt now makes higher pro-duct yields possible, as malfunctions no longer occur. The belt is much lighter, making it kinder to the conveyor. It is also easier to clean, so water consumption for cleaning cycles is much lower. Energy consumption and CO2 emissions were cut by 30%.

Waste transportation

During potato production, the washed-off soil and discarded pieces of potato were removed separately through a shaft. These waste products were transported outdoors on an around 50-metre long conveyor belt. The conveyor frequently malfunctioned, particularly in winter, because the belt froze when outdoors. Furthermore, the vast amount of waste was very expensive to dispose of. Forbo Siegling suggested separating waste transportation. By adapting the conveyor and by using a plastic modular belt, this section of the process was improved significantly. The Prolink modular belt is resistant to low temperatures. When used to convey the pieces of potato outside, it drastically reduces downtimes and is also an excellent solution in winter. The clean, discarded pieces of potato are now used in the animal feed industry. The soil is transported on a second belt (see graphic below). Waste was cut by around 2080 tonnes/year.

The extra space gained between the two conveyors also allows easier access. Separating the two types of waste was an enormous advantage in terms of optimising processes and costs. Production is much more environmentally friendly as a result.

The benefit: customised, one-stop solution with belt exchange and clever engineering.