Building to Strengths

Dorner Cake Mix Solution

Partnership between JEM International and Dorner leads to successful cake mix filling line for multinational customer.

Forming partnerships is key for many successful integrators in the packaging industry. JEM International Inc., knows that first hand.

JEM, which recently designed a new cake mix packaging line for a multinational company, turned to Dorner to add two sanitary conveyors to the project. This move helped save time and brought the high level of sanitary standards to the packaging line that JEM and its customer were looking for.

Located in suburban Kansas City, Kansas, JEM International is a manufacturer of packaging equipment for a variety of industries. The company specializes in bagging scales, bag-filling systems, robotic palletizing systems and other related equipment. JEM has been in business for more than 40 years, and its packaging lines are operating in more than 60 countries. Their longevity in the industry is a credit to their level of collaboration as they work closely with more than 400 distributors and OEM partners worldwide.

JEM’s latest project replaced an antiquated filling line, as the customer wanted to step up their standards through improved production speeds and fill-rate accuracy. The application was unique in that it called for cake mix to travel up an inclined conveyor at a 45° angle, 16 and a half feet to a hopper. Normally, JEM builds their own conveyors, but the design that was needed of this Z-shaped conveyor would have taken extra engineering time and resources. This was an ideal time to reach out to one of their partners.

“The Z-shape was definitely a specialized conveyor, and not your typical straight conveyor,” said Brett Mattson, vice president of sales at JEM. “Dorner offers a great design in keeping the belt flat in a Z-shape orientation. No reason to reinvent the wheel on something they know how to do. We trusted them and they did a great job.”

The line starts with mix loaded into a hopper on a 10-foot high mezzanine. Mix flows down into an Eriez vibratory pan feeder, which provides controlled movement of product as it’s transferred onto the first Dorner conveyor, a straight, 20-foot long AquaGard 7360 Series with an 18-inch wide belt.

This horizontal conveyor feeds (waterfalls) the mix onto the infeed of the AquaGard LPZ (Z shaped) conveyor. The LPZ uses a cleated belt to hold mix as it travels up to the hopper. Additionally, a clear, removable Lexan shield covers the conveyor to protect the mix from the environment. Mix moves swiftly on the two conveyors, traveling at speeds of about 215 feet per minute.

From the hopper, mix is filled into 44-pound bags, passing through metal detection and palletized in preparation for shipping.

Dorner’s AquaGard and AquaPruf sanitary conveyor platforms are designed for the food and medical industries, and meet various BISSC, NSF, USDA and FDA regulations for safe and effective operation. The platforms provide the highest level of sanitation and fast cleaning times as the conveyor can be completely disassembled by one person, without tools, in less than 90 seconds.

“We have very easy-to-clean sanitary conveyor platforms that save customers time,” said Chris Elley, Dorner regional sales manager who worked with JEM on the project. “If they run a different batch of cake mix, the conveyors can be cleaned and sanitized in just a few minutes.”

“The ease of cleaning between production runs was huge for our customer,” Mattson said. “The sanitary aspects of being able to get to all areas of the conveyor for cleaning was important. We’re not experts in FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) standards. Dorner is well versed in that area, that’s why we went with them.”

The project took about nine months to complete and was installed in 2017.

Elley said this project was a good example of each company flexing strengths in their areas of expertise to create a packaging line that exceeded the customer’s expectations.

“Our core product line is conveyors. We have the engineering and application know-how to design and manage that portion of the project,” he said. “The hoppers and bagging scales are JEM’s core products and what they do best. They saved valuable engineering time by allowing us to come in and handle the sanitary conveyors. It worked out well for everyone.”

“We build many components in house, but we can’t build everything,” Mattson said. “It’s good to form partnerships with other companies in the industry. For this project it made a lot of sense to work together. The background and philosophies of Dorner and JEM mirror each other. It was a nice fit and we’d definitely go with them again on another sanitary conveyor project.”

Learn more about Dorner’s Sanitary Conveyor Platforms

JEM International Inc.  
6873 Martindale
Shawnee, Kansas, 66218
(913) 441-4788