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Fruit conveyor is space efficient

Fruit conveyor is space efficient

Agricola San Clemente, producer of high-quality Chilean fresh fruit and juices, recently upgraded its production facility in Renaico, Chile, with an Interroll Portec Belt Curve. With facilities all over Chile, San Clemente processes apples, grapes, cherries, tangerines and avocados - including five varieties special to San Clemente - for sale in the United States, Europe, Asia, Canada and Latin America. To meet the increasing demand for high-quality products, the company seeks state-of-the-art technologies for its production.

In 2010, a processing line for apples at the Renaico facility was installed, with the help of system integrator Aweta US. In the process of enhancing production, 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.

Francisco Amezaga, manager for cold storage at San Clemente explained: "This function is uncommon in our process and we had to take into consideration that the space between the two areas was limited, 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." This, in turn, reduced costs and time of installation, as well as facility downtime.

The belt curve delivers the fruit through a 90 degree angle 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 while using a minimal amount of 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.

Marco Oropeza, vice president of Interroll pointed to the versatility of the Interroll Portec Belt Curve: "This installation shows that our products can be successfully used in many applications besides the postal and parcels and airport industries. They have been installed more than 80,000 times worldwide.

"This successful installation also demonstrates the technical expertise of our engineers, who are always eager to find the best possible solution to meet the individual challenges of our customers and end users."

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