Key Technology introduces Zephyr next-gen horizontal-motion conveyor

Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, has introduced Zephyr, the next-generation horizontal-motion conveyor. Featuring a direct drive with a counterbalance system, Zephyr’s motion profile gently moves product with no segregation or stratification, and at higher capacities than can be achieved with other horizontal motion conveyors, the company claimed. Zephyr minimises bounce, which reduces product damage, noise and loss of seasoning and other coatings to maintain product quality.

Jim Ruff, vice-president of process systems and integrated solutions at Key Technology, explained: “Designed for food processors who want gentle handling, our Zephyr conveyor offers higher throughput, reduced maintenance and a modular design that’s more readily customised than other horizontal-motion shakers on the market. We are excited to add this product to Key’s portfolio – it enables us to provide the widest range of conveyor types and available options on the market. We’re able to supply each customer with the best system for their application and integrate multiple systems into seamless solutions.”

Zephyr can be employed for frozen bulk foods like potato products, fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry as well as dry products like nuts and cereals. Powered by a counterbalance direct drive, this high-capacity conveyor utilises horizontal movement to gently side and convey product without bouncing. With virtually no vertical loft, Zephyr reduces product breakage and the loss of coatings such as seasonings, batter and certain types of oil while limiting system noise to 75db or less. Its self-cleaning horizontal motion reduces the chance of product build-up and the counterweight drive minimises floor vibration.

Offering up to twice the throughput of other horizontal motion conveyors, Zephyr moves product at rates of up to 12.2m per minute.

Zephyr features robust construction with a stainless-steel conveying bed and drive housing, sanitary ground arms, long-life bearings and scalloped flat bars, which together maximise sanitation, ease cleaning and reduce maintenance. Every aspect of the system utilises sanitary design and manufacturing principles. Carbon fibre springs is powered by an electric motor with few parts to ease maintenance. This horizontal-motion conveyor is available in four finishing standards, offering rotary polished beds, ground and polished welds and more to meet a variety of different sanitation requirements.

Customised for each customer application, Zephyr’s bed can be up to 1m wide and, depending on width, up to 7m long with a product depth of up to 254mm. The drive can be located at any position below the bed to support integration with other equipment in the line. Key can equip Zephyr with a variety of bed options including slide gates for scale feed distribution, a discharge to enhance multi-head weighing or a bias to spread the product when feeding a downstream system. It can also be configured with a stop-start mode for scale feeding or product distribution. Zephyr can accommodate varying product flow rates with ease, maximising the flexibility of the system to meet a broad array of customer requirements.

Suitable for integration with Iso-Flo, Impulse and other vibratory conveyors from Key, Zephyr rounds out the Smart Shakers conveying suite, providing operators with a range of conveyor technologies from Key.