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Chicago, IL 60623 U.S.A.
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Chain-Vey Has Fragile Pasta Covered

Roma Foods Co. is a large food processor in Ashton, Illinois specializing in high quality pastas as well as fragile dehydrated potatoes.

The operation is a private label co-packing facility occupying about 170,000 ft2. Inside the facility is off limits for photography. However the system drawings below illustrate the system dimensions and specs. With a facility as large as Roma's, plant mangers knew the conveyance systems would have to be able to go far, but also protect against cross contamination through different room environments.

Roma Foods had historically used open drag and bucket elevators or pneumatic conveyors to convey. Bucket elevators were out, as they didn't protect the product from the different plant environments, and vice versa. While pneumatic systems were out as they could not meet the less than 0.5% breakage spec. The facility was entirely brand new, and therefore considered new conveyors other than the bucket and belt conveyors they were familiar with.

"We looked at using an array of bucket and conveyor belt systems. But the lack of truly enclosed designs and the need to move great distances made those not worthwhile," says Todd Scottsman, director of plant operations. "We were drawn to the enclosed design because when you're moving between walls and near the ceiling, we don't have eyes in those places. We don't want to have to worry about places we can't see. Especially since we deal with so many different allergens," he adds.

Scottsman contacted sales engineer Chris Smyth, who did product testing in the Chain-Vey lab to confirm Roma's application could be moved with less than 0.5% breakage at over 10,000 lb/hr. The lab results were video recorded.

"We ran several tests in the Chain-Vey testing lab. The pasta, especially fragile varieties like jumbo shells and spaghetti, came out perfectly; and sent to Todd for his evaluation," added Smyth. The Chain-Vey met all the layout and rate criteria for project success, so confirming the breakage the plant would see in the real world operation was really important to make sure the conveyor worked up to everyone's expectations 100%.

Roma's Conveyance Needs
Pasta Max Transport (lb/hr) Bulk Density (lb/ft3)
Spaghetti 4,400 18.3
Fettuccine 4,700 38
Rotini 3,700 23
Potato Shred 3,600 25
Elbow 3,300 25
Dumpling 3,400 14.6
Small Penne 3,000 27.2
Ribbon 3,300 17.9
Jumbo Shell 2,700 19
Potato 2,200 9.5
Dense Ribbon 2,600 17

System 1 Highlights
  • Product being conveyed is pasta
  • Bulk density of 0.15 to 0.60 g/cm3 = 150 to 600 kg/m3 or ≈ 9.4 to 37.5 lb/ft3
  • Target flow rate up to 237 ft3/hr
  • 5" diameter conveyor with stainless steel chain, split pucks, and X-ray detectable wiper discs
  • Circuit length of 280 ft

Tubular drag conveyor for pasta


System 2 Highlights
  • Product being conveyed is pasta
  • Bulk density of 0.15 to 0.60 g/cm3 = 150 to 600 kg/m3 or ≈ 9.4 to 37.5 lb/ft3
  • Target flow rate up to 237 ft3/hr
  • 5" diameter conveyor with stainless steel chain, split pucks, and X-ray detectable wiper discs
  • Circuit length of 285 ft
Conveyor for pasta

System 3 Highlights
  • Product being conveyed is pasta
  • Bulk density of 0.15 to 0.60 g/cm3 = 150 to 600 kg/m3 or ≈ 9.4 to 37.5 lb/ft3
  • Target flow rate up to 237 ft3/hr
  • 5" diameter conveyor with stainless steel chain, split pucks, and X-ray detectable wiper discs
  • Circuit length of 385 ft

Conveyor for pasta

One Year Later

Roma's system was installed in early 2017, and with over a year of the conveyor running ultra reliably they are very satisfied. Roma is currently in pre-planning stages for adding more Chain-Vey's elsewhere in the plant for new products. 

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