Intralox Helps Citrus Juice Squeeze Out Money and Time
“Everybody worked together to achieve the best solution for our plant. I want this belt in every target application in our plants.”Wagner Gonçalves, Citrus Juice Owner
Orange and lemon processor Citrus Juice in Itajobí, São Paulo, Brazil, had a flat belt running on their feedline conveyor. The flat belt was tensioned and tilted so it often mis-tracked, which eventually caused the belt to break. Also, the friction between the belt and conveyor components often produced debris that had to be cleaned off.
Outsourcing a repair service to fix the belt would result in about six hours of downtime, plus additional service costs. Because the feed belt failed twice a year, Citrus Juice plant managers were on standby 24/7 and were often called in the middle of the night.
The Intralox account manager saw an opportunity to help the plant improve operations, but the solution required an entirely new technology in this critical application. An Intralox engineer recommended Series 4500 Flat Top modular plastic belting (MPB) in acetal—to be used for the first time in a food application. The basis for the recommendation was MPB’s durability and absence of stainless rods, which can wear away the metal carryway quickly. Intralox guaranteed the solution and Citrus Juice chose to install Intralox® Series 4500 Flat Top belting.
Since the original installation in December 2017, Citrus Juice has purchased two additional Intralox belts for use in other critical applications. Due to its strength and durability, the S4500 Flat Top belt lasts two years at a time, eliminating unscheduled downtime and the need for costly rollers. And because they no longer need a third-party company to splice the flat belt, Citrus Juice is independent and more productive.
Citrus Juice now experiences the following annual cost savings:
- $37,179 in lost production
- $9,238 in components (rollers, flat belts, shafts)
- $2,660 in downtime labor*
*Based on Brazil's labor rate