Sebastian Miles Industry Segment Manager
The world needs food, so food must move. Knowing this, Sebastian Miles, an Industry Segment Manager at Habasit, poses an important question: “Belts make the world go around. How else do you feed over 7 billion hungry people, over half of which live in urban areas?”
Whether transferring meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, fruit or dairy products, there are few fields which require as much precision and rigorous attention as the wet food industry. The slightest slip in hygiene can mean mass contamination for consumers.
In America alone, approximately 48 million people become sick every year and 3,000 die from foodborne illnesses. Globalization has only multiplied the risks as the food chain is sometimes stretching across countries and oceans before a product even reaches a processing plant. Recall is no longer a simple procedure, and often only comes after serious consequences.
The risks of the wet food industry, with its unique variety of juices and germs, goes beyond the individual cases of food poisoning that we are all familiar with and can affect the economic livelihood of entire communities which depend on food production as a basis for social development.
Hygiene innovation at its best
Employees at Habasit have dedicated themselves for many years in order to develop and supply risk-free solutions to these problems. Their hard work has been rewarded with recent product breakthroughs which have the potential to make a global impact on manufacturers as well as food processing equipment.
One of the most exciting products to emerge is Habasit Cleandrive™. With the incredibly varied requirements of the wet food industry, these monolithic belts target the most hygiene sensitive applications. Manufacturers will notice a significant difference in the ease of guaranteed hygiene maintenance. Habasit has smoothed out the slightest sink marks from the surface so that any residue on the belt can be simply scraped away. The homogenous thermoplastic polyurethane belts will soon be available in 1.8m / 72” seamless width (See “Habasit goes wide” page 10). The material of Habasit Cleandrive™ is not only more resistant to microbiological attack than other TPU grades, but also withstands some of the strongest chemicals commonly used as disinfectant. Reinforced with aramid cords, the belt guarantees long-lasting reliability in one of the world’s most demanding industries.
The second area of innovation has been the expansion of Habasit’s coated fabric belts. After extensive research and experimentation in the laboratory, the company has now produced a second generation of Cleanline® thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) coating which not only increases the lifetime and resilience of the belt, but also features a nearly stick-free surface. The coating withstands even under the frequent use of harsh cleaning chemicals and prevents warping or delamination caused by humidity. All of these factors ensure a hygienic transport of foodstuff.