Sandwich production systems are an invaluable resource employed in the manufacturing of ready-made sandwiches. The pandemic has accelerated the need for new packaging and processing systems. Optimizing productivity while improving performance, Raque Food Systems has eclipsed expectations with their custom-built Sandwich Production Systems.
Types of Sandwich Production Systems
BBQ Sandwich Systems
Pulled pork is an example of a product that most equipment manufacturers will avoid, yet the Raque BBQ Sandwich Production System makes it look easy. Though pulled pork may not be considered pumpable, Raque engineers this system with large and gentle flow paths that ensures product integrity for the consumer. Producing at a rate of 7000 sandwiches per hour, the automated system requires little attention other than loading buns and loading product.
The Raque BBQ Sandwich System is comprised of three separate but integrated machines, the transfer pump, the piston filler, and the traveling carriage. The Transfer Pump has a large hopper where the crew loads the product. This pump is a large diameter piston pump that will gently transfer BBQ to the auger hoppers on the piston filler when the level sensors indicate more is needed.
The Piston Filler has two auger hoppers, each hopper feeds two servo controlled product cylinders. The auger is a proprietary Raque design which minimizes shear during cycling. During each cycle, the four servo controlled product cylinders gently pull the product from the hoppers and pump it towards the dispensing valves on the traveling carriage, each step occurring on an easy 135 degree flow path. The servo driven weight adjustment is accessed through the touchscreen.
The Traveling Carriage is designed to straddle the infeed conveyor of a flow wrapper. Four dispensing valves are continually in motion tracking the position of the hand loaded buns on the infeed conveyor. The piston filler cycles once the dispensing valves are synchronized with the buns depositing the perfect amount of BBQ to four buns. The dispensing valves also move vertically for a clean cutoff.
The entire Raque BBQ Sandwich System is designed for the rigors of the modern day USDA production plant while ensuring crew safety. All enclosures and components are rated for washdown and a category III, performance level D safety circuit is included as standard.
Burger Sandwich Line Systems
Used in the production of hamburgers and cheeseburgers, the Burger Sandwich Line encompasses four production systems with a line speed of 20,000 burgers per hour. All equipment is washdown, uses FDA materials, and is USDA compliant, with enclosure ratings of NEMA 4x.
The Bun Loading and Bottom Bun Transfer system consists of a number of indexing conveyors, transfer devices, and a bun slicer. First, multiple bun packs are manually loaded onto a servo driven conveyor. The plastic belt delivers the buns to a station where the bun rows are separated. Each row is then sliced by a band slicer. The bun tops are swept away for use later in the system. The bun bottoms are then inverted and then placed on top of the burger patties travelling down the Grill Conveyor.
The Grill Conveyor consists of cast aluminum grill plates, is over 50 foot long, and is servo driven. The burger patties are deposited from meat slicers and registered single file on each grill plate. The plates are heated underneath with multiple gas elements. Infrared elements heat the tops of the burger patties. After the bottom bun is placed on top the patty, a flipper transfer removes the burger and bun from the grill plate, inverts it, and places it on a takeaway conveyor. Here, other ingredients such as spices can be added. During the return path of the aluminum grill plates, brushes take care of cleaning them.
The Top Bun Conveyor and Transfer runs parallel to the Grill Conveyor taking the top buns for the long ride from where slicing occurred to a station over the Cooling Conveyor where the top buns are indexed onto the meat patties below.
The Cooling Conveyor is over 60 feet long and has two sections. The first section takes the bottom bun with meat patty from the Grill Conveyor and indexes it through the cheese slicers. Pneumatic finger style registering devices ensure that patty and cheese are aligned. The top buns are placed onto the patty and cheese on this section, once again, with registering devices. The second section of conveyor moves continuously by cooling fans on their way to the flow wrappers for packaging.
Crimped PB&J Sandwich System
The Crimped PB&J Sandwich System is a four-lane, intermittent motion sandwich conveyor that is over 50 feet long. Accommodating all operational stations for Bread Dispensing, PB Depositing, Jelly Depositing, and Crimping, an integrated control system automates the assembly process. By adding additional filler capacity, production rates in excess of 200 sandwiches per minute are possible. This system is designed to the same washdown and operator safety standards as ALL Raque equipment.
The crew loads pre-sliced bread loaves into the Bread Dispensers. Each dispenser includes four chutes for loading and individual slices are vacuum picked and placed onto a single lane conveyor. This conveyor moves the slices to a station where four slices at a time are transferred and registered onto the four lane sandwich conveyor.
PB Depositing is performed by a model PF2.5-4 piston filler. Product is pumped into the piston filler hoppers controlled by level sensors. During each cycle, the four product cylinders gently pull the product from the hoppers and pump it towards the dispensing valves over the sandwich conveyor. Each product cylinder has individual weight adjustment. The dispensing valves are mounted to the oscillating carriages built into the sandwich conveyor providing a clean cutoff at the completion of the deposit.
The Jelly Depositing is handled by a similar PF2.5-4 piston filler
After PB&J depositing, another Bread Dispenser registers the top slice.
Now, the Crimping Station crimps, cuts, and seals the sandwiches. Bread scraps are removed by a conveyor to a collection bin. A pick-and-place transfer then discharges the completed sandwiches to a take-away conveyor.
The Reason for Raque
Operating with the same dedication that they started with over 40 years ago, Raque Food Systems is committed to developing quality products that satisfy each of our clients’ unique needs. Our commitment to our clients is to build accurate, dependable, and efficient machines that deliver value to your organization.
With many businesses adjusting their manufacturing processes to meet consumer needs, Raque’s custom-built Sandwich Production Systems give them the advantage they need to succeed.
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