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18 Aug 16

Sanitary vs. Stainless Steel Conveyors

Know What You’re Getting Before You Buy

By John Kuhnz
Vice President, Engineered Solutions Group, Dorner Mfg.


There are many factors that drive food processors to upgrade their conveyor systems to a more sanitary platform. Leading the charge is
the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which takes a more proactive approach toward food safety by adding safeguards to try and prevent contamination or problems from occurring within the nation’s food supply in the first place. Besides the FSMA, companies cannot afford to have a contamination outbreak traced back to poor sanitary designs in their equipment. The risks to their reputation and to their customers’ well-being are too great.

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30 Mar 16

Make vs. Buy: The Real Cost of Making it Yourself

With a competitive, evolving global market place, changes in outsourcing, and scarce availability of engineering talent, the decision to make or buy conveyors is one that many companies face every day.

Up front, the decision to make it yourself sounds like a money saving idea:

  • You're already paying your employees...
  • It's less expensive to buy components...
  • You have a better understanding of your needs...
  • You have done it before...

But there are several factors that need to be considered when making the critical decision to MAKE or BUY. There are many aspects that can easily add to the bottom line. Some factors are easily quantifiable, while others are harder to determine and measure.

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26 Feb 16

Sending Products to New Heights

Dorner Conveyors: Raising the Bar in Product Elevation

"Space is a premium." We hear it every day.

Gone are the days of expansive production facilities stretching far and wide; where getting from one side to another was a hike in itself. Today, plants are smaller and more streamlined to best use the available space to achieve maximum efficiencies. That often means moving product up or down in the manufacturing and packaging process.

Conveyor systems need to be robust to withstand 24/7 operation, yet agile and flexible to meet the challenging needs of modern manufacturing practices.

Dorner has been a pioneer in the development of conveyor platforms designed specifically for vertical elevation applications that are becoming more prevalent every day.

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18 Aug 15

Moving Along with High-Tech Conveyor Systems

As seen in Machine Design.

July 14, 2015

If we could climb into a time machine and visit manufacturing facilities in the 1950s, we might be surprised at what we'd see in terms of conveyor belts: rather rudimentary conveyors simply moving parts from point A to point B through packaging and assembly (and just two kinds of conveyor belts-dirty and dirtier).

Today, however, manufacturing sites have changed, with conveyors becoming critical components for complex material handling applications, both for packaging and assembly. And engineers have developed a wide variety of belt and conveyor options, each designed for moving, inspecting, and processing specific products.

Recent trends in conveyor design and belting have increased throughput and productivity as systems are being tasked with performing much more diverse functions that their early predecessors.
Backlit conveyors shine light up through translucent belts to give machine vision sensors and inspectors more contrast between the belt and product. Common applications involve parts being stopped directly over the lighted section or continuing through uninterrupted for inspection. The backlit devices are also are well-suited for applications where extra light is needed.

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18 May 15

Evolve: From Preventative to Predictive Conveyor Maintenance

Featured in Plant Services Magazine.

It’s always the last thing you’re thinking about, isn't it? Those multi-million dollar machines get all the attention when it comes to preventative maintenance, tune ups and performance checks—rightly so. Yet it’s your conveyor framework that moves parts from one expensive machine to the next. No matter how great your really expensive equipment is performing, it won’t matter one bit if you have a conveyor out of commission.

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22 Dec 14

SmartPace: Next Generation Dynamic Spacing Conveyor

Protecting product while delivering precision, speed, and flexibility.

Spacing product for case packaging, robotics work, or other product spacing needs requires a conveyor system that is responsive, accurate, and agile. No system achieves this while delivering the performance capabilities of Dorner Mfg. Corp’s new SmartPace™ conveyor. This paper will explore the structure of the SmartPace and examine the design innovations that make SmartPace truly unique.

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19 Dec 14

Preventative Maintenance for Sanitary Conveyors

By Tim Hanson
Sanitary Group Production Manager - Dorner Mfg.

Conveyors generally have a good reputation of performance, i.e. plugging them in and letting them run. But this perception can lull plant operators into a false sense of security. While most sanitary conveyors today are extremely well built and don't require much attention, they still need to be maintained for optimal performance.

Take a look at your food processing or packaging lines, and consider how production would be affected if one or more of the supporting conveyors went down for maintenance. Downtime can lead to product spoilage, delays in production and cost a company thousands of dollars.

Fortunately, that scenario can largely be avoided by performing routine preventative maintenance on your conveyor system. A proper preventative maintenance program for sanitary conveyors will keep them running well, extend their life span and reduce costs. The key to success is to first create one.

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01 Oct 14

Maximize Your Conveyor Design, Operation

Quick – name the manufacturers of the conveyors out in your plant. How about the specific series, or types of styles – can you name those as well? Most people can’t.

Often, conveyors are an afterthought to finishing a project. After all, they just move things from Point A to Point B, right? That depends on what engineering has in mind for them. While some conveyors simply move product from one point to the next, other conveyors are outfitted to handle much more complex processing.

Getting the most from your conveyor system is one way to help improve your company’s bottom line. A few things to consider in maximizing conveyor output are selecting the proper conveyors for the application, and making sure they are properly maintained to avoid downtime.

Selecting your conveyors

Although your new piece of equipment or machinery may still only exist on the drawing board, you should consider early on in the designing phase the performance specifications of all supporting conveyors, as well as any features and benefits the conveyor system ought to have.

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25 Apr 13

Miniature Conveyors - Efficient Pharmaceutical and Medical Product Handling

The handling of pharmaceutical / medical products and medical product assembly has unique requirements. They are generally very small. They are often made of plastic, very light and can be fragile. Parts and assemblies of this type include vials, RV's, syringes and catheters as can be seen in Figure 1.

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08 Apr 13

New Ways of Handling Small Parts

Advances in miniature conveyor design holds promise for more effective and efficient handling of small medical and pharmaceutical parts

By Mike Hosch, P.E.

Director of Product Development – Dorner Mfg. Corp.

How do you move something that’s minuscule? It's a question medical and pharmaceutical device manufacturers have been wrestling with for years. Making a miniature component, such as catheters, stents or literally anything else used in the industry isn’t the problem. Rather, it’s properly moving it from one process to the next that’s been challenging.

But those headaches may soon be a thing in the past for designers and engineers as new advances in conveying systems are better addressing the handling of small parts, and eliminating those problematic issues that have plagued companies in their manufacturing processes.

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