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A ‘Spiroflow’ Aero-Mechanical Conveyor ‘herring’ on the side of caution!

Posted on 6th January 2009 by

A ‘Spiroflow’ Aero-Mechanical Conveyor was the conveyor of choice for The Orkney Herring Company Ltd when, back in June 2005, their Managing Director, Mr Ken Sutherland, came to choose a conveyor for the upgrade and expansion of their ingredients handling system. As Ken Sutherland, confirms, “We saw the Spiroflow advertisement, concluded that an Aero-Mechanical Conveyor was a match for what we wanted and were very impressed by the technical support we received from the outset. We have been very satisfied with the performance of the equipment since”.

The Orkney Herring Company, which today employs 21 people, was founded in 1987 by Ken & Mary Sutherland and is based in the ancient fishing port of Stromness on the Isle of Orkney, just to the north east of the British Isles. Stromness was formerly one of the main herring stations of Orkney. Over the years the company has developed into the UK’s largest producer of Sweet Cured Herring and has recently added Orkney Salmon, North Atlantic Prawns and Crayfish to the range. All of their products are ready to eat and come in a delicious variety of sauces and marinades. They are supplied to all major supermarkets and specialty delicatessen shops across the UK. About 25% of their production is exported around the globe, much to the USA.

The 13 feet long ‘Spiroflow’ Aero-Mechanical Conveyor operates vertically and has an integral sack tip feed hopper. It is used to transfer sacks of sugar into the holding hopper that feeds the mixer in which the various sauces and marinades are produced. The Aero-Mechanical Conveyor and the holding bin were installed as part of a systems upgrade to automate the loading of the ingredients into the mixer. In total, Orkney Herring manufacture 10 different sauces and the new, automatic system has both improved quality and increased productivity.

The bags of sugar are manually emptied into the Aero-Mechanical Conveyor’s feed hopper. Typically, 2 tons of sugar are loaded into the holding hopper via the conveyor every second day. According to Ken Sutherland, “It takes no time at all”. Given that the Aero-Mechanical Conveyor is rated at 22,000 lb/hr, this is no surprise!

The ‘Spiroflow’ Aero-Mechanical Conveyor supplied to Orkney Herring is of 316 grade stainless steel construction. The integral feed hopper has a mesh grill to enable bags of material to be opened and tipped with ease. There is a lid to prevent the ingress of tramp items which the conveyor is not in use.