Chain-Vey’s rotating discharge tube is designed around the needs of our customers. The unit can open and close while the conveyor is running—no stopping and starting required. It won’t break any product either as its rotating tube gently glides around the chain and pucks that pass through. For potentially sticky applications, a compressed air nozzle inside the unit sprays the chain and pucks to ensure complete product removal.
MPE’s Rotating Discharge Tube is Clean-In-Place-ready for all system types; from hybrid to full-CIP. Models range for all Chain-Vey diameters from 3″ to 6″.
Caribou Coffee, the well known Minnesota-based coffee chain, installed cable tube conveyors in their roastery several years ago. Their first cable system transported green coffee from an unloading point to their classification equipment. The cable conveyor manufacturer had promised longevity. However roastery managers became largely dissatisfied upon experiencing a much higher cost of ownership and maintenance than promised over time.
Green coffee is typically abrasive and for this reason wears conveyors more quickly than other applications. Roastery managers were replacing cable and pucks on a 18 to 24 month basis due to cable stretching. Cable fraying also meant having to splice sections of cable periodically. Plus, if the cable broke in the middle of production, managers did not want to splice cable with orders unfulfilled. They wanted to try a Chain-Vey system and see if it truly meant less maintenance and greater reliability.
MPE engineers offered a cost effective Cable-to-Chain-Vey retrofit for their green coffee cable conveyor. It would capture nearly all of the benefits of Chain-Vey without needing to replace the entire conveyor. It could also be done in half the time it takes to install a new conveyor.
The retrofit installation was a breeze and completed in half a day. Roastery managers were impressed on the first production run by reduced noise coming from the conveyor. As time went on though, the most important benefit has been the peace of mind in the system’s reliability. The chain will never fray and never break.
“Never have to worry about it. It’s quieter than the cable system. Pretty much a set it and go piece of equipment.”
Chain-Vey’s Clean-In-Place System is a flexible solution for stress-free, automated cleaning of your Chain-Vey. The system begins with a Chain-Vey tubular conveyor built to water-tight specifications with CIP-integrated drive and turnaround boxes at each end of the system. The drive and turnaround boxes are where high pressure water or foaming agents are sprayed onto the chain and pucks and/or flood the system (depending on your selected cleaning cycle).
The cart is a detachable unit providing plant managers any selection/sequence of high pressure water, foam, or flooded-system cleanings. Then using warm, dry air pumped throughout the system, the cart can dry the entire Chain-Vey for quick resumption of operation. The cart can then be quickly detached and wheeled to other Chain-Veys for staggered cleanings as part of routine operations. Virtually all cleaning agents can be used and the cart needs only water and electrical (230/460 V or 380 V) sources.
With foam cleaning, a cleaning that might otherwise consume hundreds of gallons of heated water for a fully flooded cycle can be done with a fraction of water and energy—while meeting or exceeding all sanitation specifications.
Flavorings, allergens, sanitation-sensitive products, pharmaceutical, and high purity applications are well answered by the Chain-Vey’s robust CIP system.
We are very happy when the work of our customer Green Mountain Coffee is featured on a TV show as fun and exciting as Unwrapped 2.0; but we’re especially proud when the work of our engineering, sales, and manufacturing teams is featured so prominently as well. And in case you were wondering, those are 5″ Chain-Veys (featured at 0:45 and 1:15) and IMD-999 grinders (at 2:25) inside Green Mountain’s roastery.
Their rapid expansion meant moving to new facilities on a short time frame and upgrading output bottlenecks where needed until finally the conveyance system needed upgrading.
“The pace that we have expanded has been our biggest challenge. We didn’t even own this building two and a half years ago,” says Brandon.
Additionally, total output wasn’t the only thing increasing but the number of varieties being brewed as well. This meant Bill and Brandon needed a tubular conveyor nimble enough to adjust for different recipes quickly.
“It can be hard for brewers who need to switch between malts with other traditional conveyor systems,” says John Eiting, MPE’s Director of Chain-Vey Sales. “Moving from an imperial stout to a delicate Kölsch requires a system that can transport precise amounts of malt for recipes and not leave residual grains in the system.” The worst case scenario being costly off-batches which don’t meet quality control standards.
By design the Chain-Vey’s durable wiper discs ensure virtually every grain of malt and flower of hops leaves the intended discharge points without chaff or residue left behind.
In addition to the cleanliness and reliability of the system, the Ballast Point project needed to meet exceptional engineering specifications.
“We used a tubular cable system for a while and we reached the limit of that,” says Bill Sherwood.
Chain-Vey engineers visited Ballast Point’s brewery to see the building up close and the existing facility layout. They designed and delivered a 4” Chain-Vey system running 360 ft in length and delivering 650 ft3/hr in conveyance capacity. The result was just as hoped for.
“All in all, we are really pleased,” says Brandon. “Chain-Vey has really allowed us to set it and forget it,” he added.
For smaller brewers, there is even a special 3″ diameter tubular drag conveyor called the Mega 3, which may be an ideal fit for smaller scale craft production.
The Chain-Vey is inherently efficient and powerful by design, and as such, these properties make it well suited for large brewery operations. However, for a lot of craft brewers who rely on the cleanliness and precision of our tubular conveyor systems, even the smallest 4″ diameter tube conveyor can be overkill in terms of capacity. And for up-and-coming brewers with limited capital, affordability can never be too overstated a consideration.
For those who need something on a little smaller scale and budget, we’ve got something we think fits the bill (pun intended) perfectly. Introducing the littlest 3″ sibling of the Chain-Vey® family—the Mega 3—which packs a major punch with its ultra-strong chain and efficient design, but at about 25% less the cost. Its smaller 8,000 lbs/hr conveyance capacity is perfect for many craft brewers. And it uses 80% less energy than a comparable pneumatic system with unparalleled reliability, so the day-to-day cost of operating means your accountant will hardly know it’s running. Frankly, that’s how it should be; a great tubular conveyor system should work so well that it’s the smallest thing on anybody’s mind (or electricity bill).
Let’s talk oxygen. Oxygen’s penchant for stealing electrons gives it a sort of criminal reputation among chemists and MPE engineers. Coffee like any chemically organic matter is inherently delicate and an easy target for oxygen bandits which will chip away at your freshly roasted coffee’s delicate chemical beauty, leaving your coffee stale and with less aromatics. From the roaster to the grinding to the packaging, MPE can implement oxygen free conveyance systems, grinders, and degassing bins. This is achieved by pumping nitrogen, a relatively inert gas, into the system to prevent oxygen from stealing electrons from your coffee (oxidation). Additionally, this can be done in a cost effective way because Chain-Vey is already a significantly more efficient system by design than a comparable pneumatic tube system. An entire post-roaster oxygen free system will improve your coffee’s freshness and aroma making your customers happier. And happier customers lead to more business. Take our word for it.
The Chain-Vey Motorized Chain & Puck Cleaner is a non-Rube Goldberg designed, surprisingly simple, fully enclosed unit for superior chain and puck cleaning capabilities. The advantage of motorized cleaning is increased surface agitation—desirable in some sticky or oily particle applications. Inside the unit are two cylindrical brushes composed of durable food grade bristles. Each brush is powered by its own variable-speed, variable-direction motor. The brushes themselves can easily be taken out when processing materials or for cleaning with the easy-release levers on the side of the unit. A removable tray at the bottom makes periodic disposal of accumulated fines hassle free. And contrary to popular belief, not all great things are designed by Apple in California; our Motorized Chain & Puck Cleaner is designed and manufactured by MPE in Chicago.
Ever since MPE introduced its Cable to Chain(-Vey) Retrofit program it has been as much a hit as Baha Men’s 2000 single Who Let the Dogs Out ever was—except Chain-Vey’s calming Quiet Puck design may actually be more pleasant to listen to. One pet food company had recently been experiencing a multitude of maintenance and productivity issues related to their cable conveying system, which frequently needed to replace broken cables and worn out pucks, creating down time and high maintenance costs. The original manufacturer of the cable system had attempted multiple design improvements for the pet food company, but were unable to produce a long-term successful solution.
MPE’s Chain-Vey engineers assessed the situation and recommended a cost-effective Chain-Vey® Retrofit System, which easily adapted the current cable conveying application to fully enclosed, FDA-approved food grade chain materials guaranteed to never break. The client experienced a complete turnaround in conveyor reliability. Their Chain-Vey has required zero maintenance, as well as having reduced energy consumption, and increased facility operations to allow for 24-hour production without the need for additional staff.
The client was so impressed with the retrofitted application that they decided to standardize their operations and utilize Chain-Vey for all of their production facilities.
“Retrofitting our system with Chain-Vey is the best investment we ever made” – Client Production Engineer