The screw conveyor is a component in the Tetra Tebel Alfomatic, which is an automated system used in the production of cheddar cheese.
Van Beek’s stainless steel booster conveyor is used in the system to transport salted curds. It does so with a capacity of 8500 kilogram per hour.
The company said the advantage of the screw conveyor, which is 6.5 metres long, is that unlike a conveyor belt, it mixes the curds and salt during the transport phase.
This occurs towards the end of the production process after salt has been added to the curds and before they are treated for the last time and formed into cheese blocks by the Tetra Tebel Block former.
The other important point about the screw conveyor is its hygiene credentials, which are based around the Van Beek Hypreme concept.
Van Beek said the chances of micro-bacterial growth is reduced significantly by grinding the stainless steel plate work and the welds very finely (to Ra< 0.8) and then water jetting it to give a very smooth surface.
In addition, the company said the conveyor is easy to deep clean in place (CIP) because of a unique labyrinth seal construction between the cover and the screw housing.
During deep CIP cleaning the water remains in the housing, avoiding the use of traditional gaskets that increase the chance of bacterial growth. The critical product zones are readily accessible for inspection, according to Van Beek.