A tight corner

by MM&D Staff
Photo: Interroll
Photo: Interroll

With facilities all over Chile, San Clemente processes apples, grapes, cherries, tangerines and avocados for sale in Canada, the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

In 2010, a processing line for apples at its Renaico facility was installed, with the help of system integrator Aweta US. An Interroll Portec Belt Curve was selected to meet the challenge of moving apples from the belt where they enter the system for sorting, to the area where they are washed.

The space available to turn the apples was tight, making conventional conveyor equipment an unattractive option.

“By installing this extremely adaptable and space-efficient belt curve we were able to avoid modifying previously installed systems and equipment,” said Francisco Amezaga, manager cold storage for San Clemente.

This, in turn, reduced costs and time of installation, as well as facility downtime.

The belt curve delivers the fruit through a 90-degree corner and spared San Clemente the expense and labour of integrating multiple conveyor lines to perform the desired function. Large amounts of products can now be safely and quickly transferred in a small space.

According to Amezaga, the whole project was very successful in part because of the willingness of Interroll’s engineers to stay involved through the installation process; for example, in determining the optimal position of the gear motor that drives the belt. This required some work to make the system work perfectly.