Downtime is an issue all engineers want to avoid on their production line. And the most obvious way is to choose products and components that:
- are reliable
- have a longer service life
- need less maintenance (planned and unplanned) and
- need fewer repairs.
The result will be a product that’s more cost-effective, because it’s less expensive to own and operate and won’t interrupt production.
That’s what one of the world’s largest producers of beverages for retailers, brand owners and distributors was looking for, in a new belt for their pasteuriser.
Perfecting the pasteuriser
Late in 2016, a major bottling plant in Pontefract was working with a third party to install a new production line, including a new pasteuriser – a critical part of their production process.
The ERIKS Integrated Solutions service centre were obviously aware of the plans for the new line, and put the customer in touch with Rexnord to discuss an alternative to the pasteuriser conveyor belt they were considering.
Of course no engineer would choose to change the specification for change’s sake. But ERIKS worked together with the bottling plant and a third party installer on perfecting the design for the required application and loading.
When all the requirements were taken into account, the ERIKS proposal of a Rexnord® Super Rib (SR) 2000 Series USP MatTop® Chain made perfect sense.
Maximum reliability, minimum downtime
The key to ensuring the productivity of the line in beverage production is maximising the reliability of the tunnel pasteuriser, by reducing or eliminating unexpected chain failure.
Rexnord is the largest supplier of pasteuriser belts in the UK, and the Rexnord SR 2000 is the standard belt found in tunnel pasteurisers throughout the industry.
The company has a long history of designing and engineering chain for pasteurisers, warmers and coolers, and the Rexnord SR 2000 Series USP MatTop Chain is the latest and most-improved design.
The operating environment of the pasteuriser is harsh, involving:
- High temperatures (high enough to achieve pasteurisation)
- Regular heating and cooling over the space of two hours
- Harsh chemicals (used to clean the machines)
- High loads
- Unstable loads (some modern beverage containers are inherently unstable)
- High speeds
All these challenges increased the difficulty of finding a suitable belt within budget. However the Rexnord SR 2000 Series USP MatTop Chain fitted the bill.
The raised ribs of the Super Rib’s surface are chamfered in the same way as Rexnord Tabletop Chain. This allows containers to slide more easily, whilst helping minimise the risk of unwanted product slippage. It’s also highly suitable for PET handling, with extended ribs to provide optimal support.
The Rexnord SR 2000 Series USP MatTop Chain is manufactured from Ultra Stabilised Polypropylene (USP). This is a unique formulation of stabilisers and antioxidants, which protects the polypropylene from degradation due to heat or chemicals. It not only lengthens the chain’s service life, but also increases its reliability throughout its lifecycle, helping to avoid unscheduled downtime and loss of production.
In other words, unlike other belts (and braces), it doesn’t hold anything up.