CUSTOMER: Commercial Pizza Bakery Producing Frozen Pies

BACKGROUND: This customer is one of the largest food manufacturers in the country. This frozen food division specializes in frozen pizza, bread sticks and other frozen dough based items. They are a prime supplier to the school lunch program. This is high volume pizza; they bake two shifts per day, with a third shift for cleaning, seven days a week.

APPLICATION: To keep up with this production, the bakery uses two continuous belt-type baking ovens. A typical operating temperature is 525°F., one temperature zone from front to back. The steel belts in the ovens are 145 feet long, 4 feet wide and travel at 55 FPM. pizza oven

PROBLEM: The problem was keeping the belt tracking straight as it rolled inside this long oven. On several occasions, expensive belts and oven sections were damaged when the belt veered off track. The two ovens use different types of belts, but both needed some guides to stay on line. Their in-house maintenance department devised a system of roller guides using cam followers to keep the belt on track. There were three or four cam followers mounted on a bracket. This bracket was adjustable, with slotted holes in the base, so the rollers were always kept in contact with the belt. Another advantage of mounting the cam followers on a bracket was that they could change them as a unit. Because the belt had room to float, cam followers could bear no load to a couple of hundred pounds and from 0 to 150 RPM as the chain moves on and off track. Conventional oil lubricated cam followers only lasted one week in such a high temperature environment. They replaced 16 to 20 burned out cam followers every week for a year.

SOLUTION: The e-mail started with "If your bearings are as good as you say they are...". This was a great fit for our 1217-24-120.3 cam followers. I always like to remind the customer of this e-mail because the first group of these 1-1/2" cam followers has been working for sixteen weeks with no sign of wear. Both of their ovens are now equipped with GRAPHALLOY.