Stauffer Biscuit of York, PA had several good reasons for ordering 66 FastBacks to replace their old product conveyors. But it wasn't until a truck delivering eight conveyors crashed during the Christmas holiday installation that the company realized the value of Heat and Control's resources and commitment to react quickly to customer problems.
Jeff Patzer, Director of Engineering and Maintenance at Stauffer, recalls the project's history. "Our old equipment had many shortcomings. We needed a new system that was easier to clean, required less maintenance, and had minimal support structure to make access easier for our personnel. We also wanted a gentle-handling system that wouldn't break our cookies and crackers or knock off the sugar and seasonings. In addition, we needed a flexible system that could get product from all our oven lines to any of our bagging lines."
After narrowing the field to three suppliers, visiting installation sites, and listening to what those end-users had to say, Patzer concluded that "the FastBack system proposed by Heat and Control met all of our needs at a reasonable cost." The order was placed, system designed, and conveyors built and shipped.
"Then the unthinkable happened," says Patzer. "The second to last truck delivering the equipment was involved in an accident, destroying its whole load of eight conveyors." It was decided that new equipment would need to be built, so Heat and Control rushed into production to meet Stauffer's fast-approaching and firm start-up schedule.
"In the end, Heat and Control came through," reports Patzer. "Everyone jumped right in and helped us out of this bind, and the equipment was ready to ship within a very short time."
Regarding the installation, Patzer says "The people we worked with through the whole process were wonderful and assisted us every step of the way. Installation went very well. Drawings, instructions, and signage on the equipment were all very well done. And on January 4th when we started running, the conveyors and drives started right up. Some adjustments needed to be made to the newly designed mid-gates, but production began on schedule."
Patzer has not been disappointed with the performance of the FastBack system. "The conveyors have fewer moving parts which has lowered our maintenance and overall operating costs. The flexibility of the system's design allows us to produce any product on any line and go to any bagger, and changeovers that used to take an entire production shift to complete now are done in less than 2 hours."
"Our maintenance department is enjoying the decrease in maintenance," he continues, "and the production department likes the fact they can observe what is happening on the user-friendly operator interface. We have no breakage of the product, and they're easy to clean. We are very happy with the conveyors."