Challenges of Handling Bulk Materials: Food Conveyors

Demand for food is higher than it has ever been, and it will continue to rise in the foreseeable future. Keeping up with this rising demand will be a difficult challenge for food processing facilities. Whether washing and trimming vegetables, baking bread, or assembling a candy bar, specialized bulk food conveyors and processing equipment is needed to keep food moving from the farm to the processing plant to the consumer.

Though companies face many challenges when transporting and storing bulk food products throughout their facilities, the proper equipment can help reduce the risks of potential problems. By using uniquely designed machinery, the industry is capable of delivering food to millions of people each day in a cost effective way.

Challenges for Bulk Food Processing

A grain of wheat begins on a farm somewhere in the world. After harvest and separation from the chaff, the wheat grains will often be taken to a grain storage silo. From there they'll go to a mill to be ground into flour, which is then taken to a bakery or other facility to be used to make all sorts of food. Finally it goes to the supermarket where it can be bought by the final consumer. There are a lot of steps involved in bulk food processing and this presents many challenges. We'll just talk about high volume, sanitation, and climate control.

High Volume

Americans alone consume hundreds of millions of tons of food every year. And the vast majority of it goes through a process similar to that described above. The challenge of just moving all these food products from one place to another along this journey is staggering. It requires lots of ships, trucks, trains, and belt conveyors running all the time. On a food processing plant level it requires hundreds of machines and people working in harmony everyday. Product quality must always be consistent. Efficiency in accomplishing all this is a matter of survival. And that's just the beginning. All this food must be handled with consideration to sanitation and climate control.


Keeping food processing facilities and equipment clean is of the utmost importance. Cross contamination and the possibility of food poisoning are why there are such stringent standards for cleanliness in food processing. Food conveyor belts and other equipment must be cleaned and sanitized vigilantly to prevent food-borne illness in consumers. This can be a daunting task with the kind of volume most food processing plants see on a daily basis. Intelligent systems for equipment cleaning and maintenance as well as good equipment design must be employed for proper food sanitation.

Climate Control

Climate control is key to preventing contamination and preserving the quality of the food at the end of the road. This means carefully regulating the environment in which food is moved and processed. Temperature, moisture, exposure to light or air can affect different products in different ways. So it's important that everyone involved in handling bulk food knows the requirements of what he or she is working with and for bulk handling equipment to be compatible with those requirements. Failure at any point along the way can cause contamination, spoilage, oxidation, etc., effectively ruining the food product.

Cambelt's Food Conveyors

With all the challenges involved in bulk food handling, it's important to use equipment that is well designed for the task. Cambelt manufactures conveyor systems ideal for food processing including portable loaders and unloaders and stationary systems for use in the factory or storage facility. We build food conveyors with sanitary stainless steel bodies. We can provide belts that are oil resistant and white colored to aid in cleaning and reduce the possibility of build up. Our heat resistant belts allow for better climate control, as do our air and dust tight enclosured conveyors.

Specially designed food processing conveyors are capable of moving bulk material as efficiently and cost effectively. Additionally, they help minimize loss of product, and act as another line of defense against food-borne illness. Cambelt can custom build a food grade conveyor system for any food processing challenge. Contact us to learn how we can meet your requirements.

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