From Weekly Foreign Material Incidents to None Thanks to Intralox's FMC Conveyor Program
Since working with Intralox, I’ve seen a turnaround across Maintenance, Sanitation, and Production. Everyone has their eyes wide open, and they’re noticing when something doesn’t look right on a conveyor. People are being more careful, and as a result, we don’t find near as many damaged belts.Maintenance Manager
North American Poultry Processor
A North American Poultry Processor was experiencing weekly foreign material incidents due to broken plastic belt modules found in the product. This resulted in frequent, voluntary product holds with up to 5 million lb (2.27 million kg) of product on hold. Its customer, a major national quick-service food chain, planned a series of facility inspections to better understand how the Processor planned to resolve the issue. The Processor knew it needed to move quickly to identify and address the root causes of its foreign material incidents, assure its customer of its plant and product safety, and safeguard its reputation and relationships.
The Processor participated in an Intralox® FMC Conveyor Program—including both assessment and training—and implemented Intralox’s recommendations. First, an Intralox FoodSafe™ Sales Engineer and a Commercial Food Sanitation (CFS) Food Safety Specialist partnered to assess the facility and identify the root causes of its frequent foreign material incidents. After a detailed review of the Processor’s conveyor systems and sanitation process, the Intralox/CFS team made critical recommendations around improving conveyor setup and belt handling. They also led a workshop to train the facility’s team members on how to manage its conveyor systems for optimized food safety and performance. The Processor then upgraded its belting to Intralox Series 800 Open Hinge Flat Top belting with Heavy-Duty Edge in PK material, addressed conveyor setup issues, and modified belt handling practices to reduce the risk of foreign material.
Neither the Processor nor its customer could be more pleased with the results. Since implementing the FMC Conveyor Program’s recommended changes, the facility has not had a single belt-related foreign material incident, resulting in zero conveyor-related product holds, downtime, and throughput loss. Yield and uptime have improved to the tune of $1.4 million in annual savings. The improvements were so substantial and impressive that upon the first inspection visit after working with Intralox, the Processor’s customer canceled its second, planned inspection.