Food Engineering

Conveyors speed up pretzel production

March 28, 2003


East Shore Specialty Foods' new conveyor has accelerated production of specialty pretzels.
Moving pretzels is usually a hand-to-mouth exercise, but not for Hartland, Wis.-based East Shore Specialty Foods, a pretzel processor whose annual "diet" exceeds half a million pounds.

East Shore's annual rate of production has doubled since 1996, when the ex-panding company installed an elevated low-profile cleated conveyor from Dorner Mfg. Corp. The 3100 Series conveyor is equipped with a cleated belt to accommodate both a steep 60-degree incline, as well as the slippery nature of East Shore's specialty.

The conveyor replaced a lengthy, laborious manual transfer process and has increased production volume while freeing up employees for other processing duties in East Shore's 15,000-sq.-ft. plant.

East Shore's package assortments and specialty pretzels are carried by gourmet stores and catalog merchants throughout the U.S. All told, the number of outlets carrying the company's gift cannisters and packages is between 6,000 and 8,000.

The addition of the conveyor at the Hartland facility is part of a continual plant up-grading process engineered by East Shore owner Jeri Mesching.

The conveyor assists in the packaging effort by transporting pretzels from the hopper to a large scale, which is used to catch pretzels by hand and place the finished product in specialty packaging. The conveyor's belt adjustments and seated pulley bearings keep maintenance levels low and production levels high. The cleated conveyor can carry up to 150 lbs. of pretzels.

Dorner Mfg., 580 Industrial Dr., Hartland, WI 53029-0020. (414) 367-7600