The lettuce must move

June 7, 2006
Hollandia Produce, a California company that grows crops hydroponically, relies on a AquaPruf 7400 Sanitary Conveyor system from Dorner Manufacturing to move discolored and damaged leaves picked off healthy heads of lettuce.

Hollandia Produce, a California company that grows crops hydroponically, relies on a AquaPruf 7400 Sanitary Conveyor system from Dorner Manufacturing to move discolored and damaged leaves picked off healthy heads of lettuce. The leaves can't simply be left on the ground because Hollandia's special growing troughs must stay clean.

The system consists of a 24-ft-long, 10-in.-wide conveyor at knee height. Workers drop leaves on this lower conveyor, which takes them to a 15-ft-long, 18-in.-wide cleated conveyor that dumps debris in a bin. The system works nonstop, 9 hr a day during picking and must endure daily wash downs. The conveyor frame is TIG-welded stainless steel so there are no flat surfaces or fasteners, favorite spots for debris and bacteria to collect. Bearings are 400 stainless steel and are filled with H1 FDA lubricant. An operator can break down the entire system using no tools in as little as 3 min.

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