Bernatello’s is a U.S. leader in creating premium frozen pizzas, as well as other breads and snacks. Headquartered in Maple Lake, Minnesota, the company’s production facility runs four shifts five days a week, employing over 100 workers.
In the Maple Lake plant, Bernatello’s suffered from serious operational problems of its two spiral freezers. The metal spiral belts, which conveyed frozen, wrapped pizzas, were a poor fit for the application. Since the slats were too wide on the spirals at the infeed, pizzas would often get damaged by becoming wedged under the belts. Thirty minutes per week of downtime were spent to clean up the mess of product damage on each spiral, costing the plant $45,000 per year. Approximately ten pizzas were lost per week on each spiral due to damage.
The spirals also required frequent maintenance to contend with a host of problems the metal technology presented: cracked welds of metal belt links, stretched belts, belt flipping from high tension, and damaged cage bar caps, edge guides, and wearstrips. At least three hours of maintenance per week were spent on the two spirals.
Intralox presented Bernatello’s with a complete solution to its spiral freezer problems: Spiralox Optimization Solutions. With Spiralox Optimization, Intralox takes 100% ownership of the complete spiral retrofit project to reduce customer risk and ensure success. The program was ideal for Bernatello’s, which could not devote its small maintenance staff to the two spiral retrofits. Intralox promised results of minimal maintenance, better sanitation, and much less frequent belt and component replacement.
After replacing the two metal belts with Intralox’s modular plastic spiral belt technology, Bernatello’s realized the promised results and more. In sum, Bernatello’s achieved a yearly savings of $76,550 per year by installing Spiralox technology on the two spirals. The total savings resulted from the following: elimination of weekly downtime and regularly scheduled weekly maintenance; energy savings; less product damage; longer service life of belt, cage bar caps, and wearstrips; and elimination of lubrication requirements.