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Wash-down conveyor system

Don’t Let Wash-Down Conveyor Leave You Feeling Drowned

Wes Bryant | 10 January 2018

It's not as complicated as it seems. Here are some guidelines to get started with wash-down conveyor.

Quite often our team is asked about wash-down conveyor, and our answer of course is, “yes we do that.”  However, when people think about them, the first thing that comes to mind is stainless steel.  This is correct but is just one of many thoughts to consider with wash-down conveyor. Sanitary construction, continuous welds, sealed motors and gear boxes, electrical components with IP ratings, and NEMA 4X enclosures, are all key considerations and can make the project seem daunting.  It really shouldn’t be.  In fact, in my opinion wash-down conveyors are some of the easiest to design, build, and implement.

Required Standards

Before the design process, it is important to note where in the facility the conveyor is being used. Many times the conveyor will be on the warehouse side of the facility and not in actual production.  This can allow the conveyor to have some looser standards such as non-continuous welds, and the term “wash-down” is just generically applied. End users help drive the proper design and equipment selection by providing all necessary details in regards to SKUs, operational processes, and system objectives.

Trusted Manufacturers

As mentioned above, there are several key differences in wash-down conveyor to ensure sanitary handling. Below are three of the most important items to note when working with your systems integrator and OEM. Carbon Transfer: The first thing to do is ensure your system integration partner is working with an experienced and trusted manufacturer of stainless steel equipment.  Remember, just because a shop does work with stainless does not mean it can build wash down equipment.  One little known fact is that if a shop handles stainless steel on the same equipment or tools as carbon steel, there will be carbon transfer. This means when the piece is washed, it will risk showing rust where the carbon transfer came in contact. Sanitary Welds: The manufacturer should also be skilled at sanitary welding. This is a continuous weld of both sides of a piece of material with no pinholes or open cracks that will be harborage points. Electrical Components: The proper electrical components will also be needed to ensure they withstand wash down procedures. Other electrical components will need to be “bagged,” or protected from the wash down water and chemicals. It is also important to determine the proper electrical enclosure to keep all the hardware protected. To summarize, the design of wash-down conveyor is no different than any other conveyor.  The first step remains the same: determine product specs, the environment, and the end goal of the project. The key difference is partnering with a system integrator who has experience with wash-down conveyor and one who partners with trusted wash-down conveyor manufacturers. It is also important to note that by working with a systems integrator, you add a breadth of industry expertise, project management and local support that oftentimes OEMs cannot provide. If you have questions or need help with a wash-down conveyor project, please contact us.

Author: Wes Bryant


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