For food and beverage companies working with powdered ingredients, moving materials throughout the production process needs to be an effortless task to keep production running smoothly and on-time. To accomplish this, many processors turn to screw conveyors.
What is a screw conveyor?
A screw conveyor is type of a mechanical conveying system that’s popular amongst a variety of processors for its ability to move large quantities of product in a efficient and controlled manner. Screw conveyors can also be designed to meet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sanitation standards—which is a vital requirement for food and beverage makers. Additionally, screw conveyors are highly customizable, and can be designed to fit in a variety of work environments and to convey a variety of material types.
Screw conveyors transport products by using a spiral blade that’s coiled around a shaft within an enclosed trough or tube. The blade puts force against the product as it’s being rotated, which helps move the product at a controlled speed, while the enclosed tube helps ensure sanitation.
But is a screw conveyor right for your food or beverage processing plant?
To help you decide, below we highlight a handful of food and beverage-related process and product types that are well-matched for screw conveyors.
1. Food Powder Processing
Depending on the food powder, many have different consistencies. Some are dry, some are wet, and others are greasy. Screw conveyors are able to handle a variety of different types of product—and without a lot of system maintenance. Further, screw conveyors consistently convey product, helping food processors keep up with production demands.
2. Raw Ingredients
For those who process raw ingredients such as sugar, flour, spices and grains, sanitation and efficiency is an absolute must. But many also need flexibility to handle the bulk loading of materials into the conveying system. As a result, many often take advantage of screw conveyors for their versatile design of screw conveyors when handling bulk materials.
3. Ready-To-Eat Foods
Ready-to-eat food is defined as any item that does not need to be cooked before eating. These foods items range from the powders you use to make a protein shake to the gas-station delicacies you snack on during road trips. Because these products are consumed directly after they’re unpackaged, USDA rules and regulations regarding ready-to-eat manufacturers are extremely strict and comprehensive.
During the process of transforming barley and wheat into a satisfying pint of beer, breweries require moving bulk amounts of hops from storage mills to large brewing canisters. It’s in the canisters where water is added and the fermentation process begins.
Screw conveyors do a fantastic job of efficiently metering hops and grain during the brewing process. The contained screw conveyors are able to move material without degrading the product, which preserves the rich flavor and aroma present in the enjoyable end product.
Dairies often turn their surplus milk into milk powder—which has a longer shelf life than liquid milk. To accomplish this, dairy powder processors need a sanitary system that can efficiently convey their product.
A vibrating conveyor can be used to move the powder throughout a facility with degrading the product, but their long and space-demanding nature isn’t the perfect fit for processors who have a smaller facility.
For smaller facilities, the inclined screw conveyor is a great option. It allows for the plant to maximize space, without giving up any of the essential sanitation requirements. Additionally, there are screw feeders that meet 3A Sanitary Standards to ensure a sanitary screw conveyor installation.
Is a Screw Conveyor Right for Your Industry?
Screw conveyors feature easy to control variable speeds, sanitation and customizable designs to fit the needs of a variety of food and beverage manufacturers. Depending on the facility and the specific product you’re handling, the type of screw conveyor we’d recommend can vary.