Slicers safely slashing costly downtime
Slicer manufacturers take steps to ensure safety
BakingBusiness.com, Aug. 1, 2012
by Dan Malovany

POWER Engineers

Ensuring employee safety can be a tricky proposition when cleaning or changing slicer blades. Hansaloy’s safety box allows operators to remove slicer blades safely and without damaging or dirtying them, noted Allen Wright, vice-president of sales for the Davenport, IA, company.

Hansaloy’s BladeAway disposal system also gets rid of used blades safely, although there’s always a bit of danger when getting anywhere near something that sharp, Mr. Wright cautioned.

LeMatic traditionally has offered its slicers with the option of two slicing heads. In the two-slicing-head configuration, one slicing head is actively slicing while the second slicing head is ready to be lowered into position if a problem occurs with the first slicing head. Typically, it takes 10 to 20 seconds to lift one slicer head and lower its replacement. Operators can hold back product for such a small interruption when the safety circuit is broken, according to Ray Anater, senior sales executive for the Jackson, MI, company. Although this two-slicing-head configuration gives a degree of redundancy, it traditionally did not allow the non-operating slicing head to be maintained while the slicer was running.

LeMatic added safety features to its flatbread slicers to allow operators to more quickly maintain slicer heads on the line during production operations; whereas, previously, cleaning and replacing blades had to be done offline. This online maintenance capability is accomplished by adding a safety shield — a stainless steel cover that slides under the unused head with the appropriate safety circuit interlocks allowing operators to conduct maintenance as production continues. In addition to ensuring workers’ safety, Mr. Anater said, the shield protects products from potential contamination from above.

This story is sponsored by POWER Engineers, which has one of the most comprehensive teams of engineers and specialists serving the baking and snack industry. As an extension of its clients' engineering teams, the company provides program management, integrated solutions and full facility design for the baking and snack industry. Learn more at www.powereng.com/food.