Oerlemans Foods, a producer of freshly frozen fruit and vegetable products, had been experiencing frequent breakage and engagement issues on the horizontal steam blancher at its plant in Waalwijk, The Netherlands. These challenges led to the purchase of an Intralox blancher belt in 2007. The Intralox solution greatly improved the application’s product drainage and minimized contamination and breakdown risks. Unfortunately, within its expected, guaranteed technical life, the belt failed due to composite belt material incompatibility with this particular application.
In order to minimize downtime at the Waalwijk plant, Intralox provided ongoing blancher belt support until a new, permanent solution was ready. This included monitoring the belt’s performance with routine technical audits, supplying replacement material as needed, and routine maintenance and assistance by Intralox engineers.
In December 2012, Intralox installed its newly developed Series 888 Large Slot SSL belt at the Oerlemans plant. The S888 belt is made from Intralox’s proprietary Enduralox™ material and features 304-grade stainless steel links and wear-resistant rods to ensure longer belt life and increased belt strength. Its robust modules minimize breakage and contamination risks, and a “barn door” style rod-retention system simplifies installation and maintenance. Molded-in sideguards ensure maximum utilization of the belt’s surface, simplify cleaning, increase throughput, and reduce maintenance.
More than one year after installing the S888 belt, Oerlemans’ blancher is running smoothly. It has eliminated contamination risks from errant pieces, resulting in zero unexpected downtime and maintenance costs during the production season. Intralox’s unwavering support proved that its relationships with customers last long after orders are placed.
Yves Huijbregts, Head of Oerlemans Technical Department, trusts Intralox more than ever after this endeavor. “We chose to stay with Intralox due to the service provided over the last five years and the first belt’s guarantees. Even when the first belt didn’t work as it should have, Intralox kept us running [on their belts] for the entire season without any unscheduled stops. We now have a blancher solution that has been a proven success for more than one year,” says Huijbregts.
After the first two performance reviews, Intralox has concluded from the belt’s current technical condition that it will perform for many years to come.