What conveyor equipment does your company produce that can help food manufacturers?
One of Apex Motion Control’s conveyor systems is the Cake Stacker—a new way to remove the tedious and labor-intensive task of assembling cake layers with mid-fill icing. The Cake Stacker automatically assembles cake layers after mid-fill icing has been applied, and it can stack up to 60 individual cake layers a minute for round, quarter, and half-sheet cakes. This system is compatible with cake dimensions up to half-sheet cakes (18” x 13”) and round cakes (13” diameter). Because of its modular customization features, the Cake Stacker can handle cakes with up to 6 layers.
We also make standard and custom-designed horizontal reciprocating conveyors that can efficiently move products from one conveyor level to another.
Oven in-feed and oven out-feed conveyors are other offerings of Apex Motion Control which are specially designed for pre- and post-bake bakery production. These conveyors can be adjusted to fit your production floor, whether it needs inclines, multi-directional lines, or even breakaway points. Aside from offering intelligent designed conveyors for bakery and food processing, we’ve also designed and built custom conveyors for other industries, including a packaged milk and yogurt conveyor for palletizing, and a conveyor system for medical mask transport and stacking.
To see our conveyors in action, you can visit https://apexmotion.com/smart-conveyors/
What are some benefits of using conveyor equipment?
Conveyor systems are excellent for addressing the labor shortage and reducing workplace injuries — they let your production staff concentrate on more value-added tasks without the risk of experiencing repetitive strain injury. Overall, these conveyors are effective at streamlining your operations, so you can eliminate bottlenecks across your entire production process. For example, when handling thin layers of cake, they tend to break or crack, which results in increased waste and ingredient costs. However, the Cake Stacker can improve throughput and consistency, thus reducing breakage and keeping the cakes intact.Our conveyors are also designed to be hygienic, so they work within production guidelines. Depending on your production floor layout, these conveyors can be customized to multiple configurations and footprints that best fit your needs. If you have any other Apex products like our Tray Feeder or Baker-Bot, we can create conveyors that fit with our systems to make the process even more streamlined.
Can you give me an example of a food processor where Apex Motion Control has successfully applied their automation products and services to help with conveyors?
We have a variety of customers across the world that use our conveyor systems. For example, one customer implemented our Cake Stacker into their cake production line, so it could automatically stack their 3-layered cakes after icing was deposited on each layer. Other customers have also used our conveyor systems for different products like milk jugs, surgical masks, and packaged yogurt.
What innovations do you foresee in the near future for conveyors?
Belts nowadays are becoming easier to clean and maintain. Current designs are already doing a great job of making conveyors easy to maintain, even without any technical experience with automation.
Cross-contamination is always an issue with food production. We are now seeing manufacturers implement more of a self-sanitizing module or allergen detection systems as part of a complete conveyor.
Conveyors are also becoming more adjustable to accommodate multiple products on the same line. Rather than having two separate conveyor systems for different products, food manufacturers may soon be able to have a variety of products used in the same conveyor line. With growing developments in adjustable conveyor speeds, elevation changes, redirecting barriers, and other technologies, you could create a single, seamlessly integrated conveyor system for all your products at once.
There is also growing innovation in beltless conveyors. Rather than having a common belt or chain on the system, these beltless conveyors use magnets to move containers over a stationary surface. These containers can act as carts that hold the main product, to move your food across your plant without the need for a conventional conveyor belt. This could potentially make conveyor systems easier to clean depending on the design, while also making them safer if there are less moving parts on the external surface.