Shinko Eliminates Spiral Headaches by Choosing Intralox DirectDrive System

Case Study





Fruit and Vegetable, Snack Foods

Tubular packets of jelly sorbet on DirectDrive freezer spiral conveyor belting

Customer Objectives

At its factory in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan, Shinko Co., Ltd. manufactures pouch jelly, baked, and confectionary products such as rice crackers and doughnuts. For freezing jelly sorbet products, the plant relied on friction-driven spirals with metal mesh belting. But these systems were problematic. 

Product orientation issues were constant. Though Shinko runs several SKUs of their pouched jelly products on different filling lines, all items are frozen alongside each other on the same belt. Due to irregular belt movement on the inside edge of the friction-driven spirals, plus the opening and collapsing of the metal belt, product misalignment often occurred. The movement caused two parallel lines of different SKUs to sometimes get mixed up. This required extra time and effort from labor to manually pick products off the belt for packing into the correct box, leading to delays and slowdowns.

The OEM was regularly called in to lubricate the metal belt and had to stand ready to respond to any similar, urgent issues. The belt’s high tension caused flip-ups that resulted in product loss, reduced throughput, and unscheduled downtime. When metal belt sections needed to be replaced, the OEM had to be called in to cut, grind, and weld for repairs, which added more unplanned downtime.

Intralox Execution

Shinko wanted a new line in the plant to run a frozen sorbet jelly product and needed a reliable solution. To avoid the issues Shinko was facing with their existing, friction-driven spirals, Sankyo Reinetsu—their spiral freezer OEM—recommended the Intralox DirectDrive System equipped with Intralox modular plastic belting (MPB).

The Intralox DirectDrive spiral system built and installed by Sankyo Reinetsu helped us to avoid issues commonly observed with conventional friction-driven spirals, like belt flip-ups, unplanned downtime, product alignment, and excessive planned maintenance. We will definitely consider using Intralox DirectDrive technology for any cooling or freezing projects in the future.

Takashi Kiyohara
General Manager, Production Division (Food Safe Team, Sub Leader) at Shinko Co., Ltd.

With confidence in their OEM’s recommendation that the DirectDrive System would solve the spiral issues in their existing line, Shinko adopted the solution for their new expansion line. Intralox’s technical and spiral specialists worked closely with the OEM to help specify the right solution for the plant and smoothly implement the project.


All the expected benefits of installing the new DirectDrive System spiral with MPB have been realized. There’s no product misalignment or mixing of different SKUs during the freezing process. This makes picking and packing after outfeed much less labor intensive. Since installation in January 2023, there have been no belt flip-ups, no product loss or waste during freezing, and no unplanned downtime related to the DirectDrive System.

Intralox’s low-tension MPB requires no lubrication, and there’s no need for maintenance to constantly monitor the DirectDrive spiral. Intralox continues to support the customer and their OEM with regular spiral health checks to ensure the system is running reliably. Shinko is so satisfied with Intralox that discussions have begun about a possible additional DirectDrive opportunity for the facility.

belt flip-ups
unscheduled downtime