A HepcoMotion PDU2 Profile Driven Unit is being used at the heart of a novel steam-powered conveyor belt cleaning system developed by Keith Handy Design.
Thanks to some innovative thinking by the consultancy Keith Handy Design, hygiene-conscious manufacturers can now make substantial cost-savings on the labour-intensive process of conveyor belt cleaning. Primarily aimed at the food-processing sector, the company's mobile Jet System not only automates the task but also enables mesh belt conveyors of different sizes and dimensions to be served by a single unit. This makes the Jet System a highly a cost-effective investment even for small manufacturers.
Providing both structural support for the machine and linear movement of the steam generation head is a HepcoMotion PDU2 Profile Driven Unit. This robust product combines proven belt technology, advanced materials engineering and Hepco's expertise in aluminium profile design. It comprises a slotted profile into which fits a drive belt and carriage. This arrangement effectively seals the unit and creates the clean profile that proved so attractive to Keith Handy when he was specifying a linear system for Jet System.
Keith Handy explains: "I expected to design the linear system myself but the PDU2 fits the bill perfectly and is available off-the-shelf. It is neat, lightweight, compact and allows the span of movement to be adjusted within a smooth profile."
Benefits of the PDU2
As the PDU2 is driven by a small, comparatively low-powered stepper motor, its low-friction characteristic was also considered to be important. The Herculane wheels that are central to the design of the PDU2 run virtually friction-free on the inside surface of the profile and also provide stable support for the carriage plate.
The Jet System uses steam as its power source for cleaning. Steam generation has developed significantly over recent years. Today it is an environmentally-sensitive technology that uses no chemicals and minimal water compared with conventional methods. Furthermore, steam sanitises as it works, breaking down debris and killing bacteria on contact.
Keith Handy continues: "The hard-anodised profile of the PDU2 and its corrosion-resistant internal components were important factors for these relatively hostile conditions. And with increasing demand for power-wash versions of the Jet System for the US market, the corrosion resistance of the PDU2 is especially important."
The first UK installation of the Jet System at Allied Bakeries in Stoke has proved a resounding success and further installations of the system are being commissioned for the Allied Bakeries Group.