‘Industry first dry steam conveyor belts’
Paul Fieldhouse, strategic marketing director, Sharp Systems, told FoodProductionDaily, it was working with Campden BRI on the technology and will officially launch the machines at Foodex 2014 at the Birmingham NEC from March 24-26.
“Food manufacturers want it, we have come together, done the research with our respective clients and we believe it’s an industry first,” he said.
“Sharp Systems, which designs and manufactures stainless steel food processing equipment is currently in discussions with two major food manufacturers who want to trial the product, but we are not at liberty to say who, until the New Year.
“We will launch it in the UK to begin with, but both companies have global clients, so it’s in the pipeline to launch it overseas.”
Fieldhouse said it was looking to initially launch two types of conveyor belt; one with a flat belt with intralux for different applications and environment, where a dry steam cleaning edge will be incorporated into the design, and a product and ingredient handling conveyorised system.
Hygiene and 'bug' removal
“The main aim is to create hygienic conveyors. We’ve identified the opportunity and it is around two areas; hygiene and removal of deposits to keep the ‘bug’ count down,” he said.
“The two channels involved in this are technical people whose principle aim is food and safety and quality and an engineering team who streamline the design and hygiene combined.
“We have not come up with a name for the products as yet. We are currently sharing intellectual property, the reason being that all the machinery will be bespoke, dealing with the challenge of different environments including frozen, ambient or chilled.”
He added factory trials are now being sought with potential new customers and it is in discussions with Campden BRI about the technology.
“Campden BRI collaborates with companies on good manufacturing practice and we are keen to speak to their scientists about food research and technology,” added Fieldhouse.
“Microbiology and dry steam is key to what we are trying to do as well as the importance of food safety. We are keen to offer the clear benefit that hygienic conveyors can bring to the industry.
“The technology behind the dry steam means we are aiming to have a conveyor belt that’s being cleaned at regular intervals. We are also talking about improving downtime and not relying on external teams to clean the machinery.”
FoodProductionDaily contacted Campden BRI but it did not want to comment on the joint venture.