From its headquarters in Stokmarknes, Norway, Nordlaks Produkter AS processes 70,000 tons (63,500 metric tons) of high-quality, whole Atlantic salmon for distribution worldwide each year. Plant officials had concerns about their chilling tank outfeed conveyor, which used a conveyor belt that was especially difficult to clean. Once a week, workers had to disassemble the belt in order to fully disinfect it and thoroughly clean the equipment. Nordlaks officials sought a solution that would reduce cleaning time and water consumption, simplify sanitation procedures, improve swab results, and enhance overall production.
Intralox officials worked closely with Nordlaks to reimagine their salmon-processing line and retrofit the chilling tank outfeed conveyor with an Intralox® ThermoDrive® Series 8050 conveyor belt. ThermoDrive technology combines flat, homogeneous thermoplastic material and the positive drive feature of modular plastic belting with a unique, patented drive engagement solution. This combination creates a one-of-a-kind tensionless belt system that allows for more effective and efficient sanitation. For Nordlaks, the removal of belt tension was critical, as it would ensure reliable performance and simplify cleaning procedures.
Since it was installed in March 2017, the ThermoDrive salmon processing solution has delivered dramatic improvements for Nordlaks. Cleaning time has been reduced by 50%, which has in turn reduced consumption of water and cleaning chemicals. Swab results have improved drastically, and the threat of listeria contamination has been significantly reduced. Workers no longer need to remove or disassemble the belt during cleaning, which has helped reduce labor costs, belt damage, and contamination risks.