In cooperation with the project service provider dwsquare and the Technical University of Central Hesse (THM), an innovative concept for the mechanical cleaning of conveyor belts in food production was developed by J. Redenius as part of a bachelor thesis, and the concept has already been validated.
The objective of this development project was to create an in-line conveyor belt cleaning system without the use of classical cleaning agents with a final microbiological proof of the cleaning.
After the concept development, the construction of a prototype and the development of an evaluation method for the cleaning success were in the focus.
The cleaning is carried out in three stages, which can also be used independently of each other. Thus a flexible application in different areas of the food industry is conceivable.
The prototype was adapted to a commercially available conveyor belt and successfully tested in different contamination scenarios. The different cleaning tests have been positive. In a small test series the cleaning system was also tested for its germ reducing effect. This hygiene test was carried out in cooperation with the microbiologist, Dr. Emöke Cserti from dwsquare, who was available to answer any questions regarding the success of the cleaning process, including suitable detection methods.
The automated in-line cleaning of conveyor belts could revolutionise the current cleaning routine in the food industry and significantly reduce both cleaning time and set-up times, thus increasing Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE).
Outlook: Another group of THM students is already working on further development of the assembly options and improvement of the modularity in order to be able to adapt the cleaning system optimally to the existing conditions.
Contact us: Dirk Wenzel