If the images in this newsletter don't appear, make sure you are connected to the Internet and click here.
To ensure future delivery of our newsletter, add newsletter@albamfgnews.com to your address book or safe senders list.
Alba Manufacturing Newsletter
Alba Manufacturing Newsletter

Do "A-Whey" with the High Costs of Washdown?

You’ve heard of separating the curds and whey in the cheese making business. Well, this month’s Albagram highlights what sets Alba’s solution apart from the high cost of Stainless. It’s a New Bulk Cheese Curd Processing Line utilizing a combination of galvanizing and zinc plating of Alba’s structural steel components to provide a solution with substantial cost savings and structural integrity over stainless steel constructed conveyors.

Cleanability is among the highest priorities that food processors have for conveyors. There are, of course, a wide variety of conveyors and many different ways of keeping and maintaining cleanliness. Any Alba partner regularly working in food processing facilities keenly understands the need for effective washdown equipment, but stainless steel isn’t the one-size-fits-all answer to washdown applications as many assume. For our application, we will focus on galvanized steel and zinc plating.

At Alba, we commonly encounter the misconception that all washdown conveyor must be stainless steel, when in fact it doesn’t. Choosing the right conveyor finish to prevent corrosion is driven by three primary factors:

Alba Newsletter
1. Does the conveyor come in direct contact with the food itself?
2. Is the conveyor required to be sanitary?
3. What are the environmental conditions?

There are five factors that influence metal corrosion: moisture, salt, acidity, temperature and metal-to-metal contact. Among other methods, conveyors can be painted, powder coated, galvanized or constructed from stainless steel. Paint, although suitable for most applications, has its drawbacks. With a bond strength of roughly 600 psi (pounds per square inch), paint is vulnerable to chipping and scratching.

Hot-Dipped Galvanizing involves taking Alba’s standard structural steel components and "dipping" them into a pool of molten zinc. Galvanized steel is superior to paint and powder coating in that its bond strength is much higher at 3600 psi, so it’s less likely to scratch or chip.

An even superior finish to hot-dipped galvanizing is Zinc Plating. A zinc (plated) coating is created by electro-dipping, a process in which the steel is dipped in an electrolyte solution containing zinc and makes use of electrolysis to create the coating. The resulting finish is a bright almost mirror-like finish producing a hard scratch resistant surface. Zinc plating is typically reserved for use on Alba’s conveyor rollers for its ability to take the constant abuse of conveying pallets and other heavy items without the cost or brittleness of stainless steel.

Alba Newsletter   Alba Newsletter

For this month’s Albagram, we are handling 40” X 48” plastic totes filled with cheese curds having maximum weight of 1,500 lbs. Our partner’s customer, a creamery located in Wisconsin, is starting up a Bulk Cheese Curd Processing Line.

The Challenge:

Customer needed to simplify their labor-intensive process
Previously, a fork truck operator would have needed to constantly exchange totes into and out of fill position taking up valuable time and floor space.
Although food wouldn’t have direct contact with the equipment, all equipment in this vicinity required frequent washdown.
From a safety perspective, the likelihood of injury from an accident was high due to the human interface with fork truck operators.

Alba's Solution:

The material handling process was automated using Alba equipment.
The new U-shaped production lines allowed four empty totes to be staged prior to the fill position and two full totes queued after.
Throughput was improved dramatically allowing a product susceptible to spoilage to be accelerated through the supply chain.
Fewer direct operator interactions mean less chance for an accident, injury, or flaws due to human error. Also, the elimination of redundant tasks leads to greater operator utilization.
Since the conveyors wouldn’t directly contact the food, the customer was able to avoid the high stainless-steel costs by using Alba’s washdown solution.

Conveyor/Product Specifications


Various components of various lengths


2-1/2" diameter x 11 gauge wall zinc plated, 11/16" hex axles zinc plated, spring retained, two (2) #40A21 sprockets zinc plated, ABEC-1 sealed bearings on 4" roller centers, and RC-40 Aqua series chain roll to roll

Drag/Transfer Chains:

Two Strands of RC-60 Aqua series drive chains - 36" Centers of Transfer chains and 44" Centers of Drag Chain Conveyor

Effective Width:

44" effective conveying surface


1/2 HP, Baldor Super "E" washdown duty C-frame motor and Dodge Tigear II EZ Kleen reducer, 230/460/3/60, RC-40 Aqua series drive chain.


18" top of roller and 18-3/4" top of chain


Hot dipped galvanized frames, guards, and supports with zinc plated rollers and sprockets

Standard Items:

Two washdown rated proximity switches per transfer

Value-Added Features

End stops with fork cutouts
Transfer and drag chains interlaced for smoother transitions between conveyors

Not sure what to do? Call Alba. We will guide you in the right direction. Our primary responsibility – to share our expertise, to educate, to improve your operations, and to help you succeed. Call Alba Manufacturing at 866.252.2634 or visit our website at www.albamfg.com.

Alba Newsletter

Follow Us on Social Media!

Alba Manufacturing on Twitter! Alba Manufacturing on Facebook! Alba Manufacturing on LinkedIn! Alba Manufacturing on YouTube!
Alba Manufacturing Newsletter
You are currently subscribed as: *|EMAIL|*
If you no longer wish to receive email from Alba Manufacturing, please reply to this message with "Remove"
in the Subject Line or simply click on the following link: One-Click Unsubscribe.
This message was sent by Alba Manufacturing using Buckaroo eMail.
Copyright ©2019 Alba Manufacturing. All Rights Reserved.
Alba Manufacturing on Twitter! Alba Manufacturing on Facebook! Alba Manufacturing on LinkedIn! Alba Manufacturing on YouTube! Alba Manufacturing Website Alba Manufacturing Website About Us Products Find a Partner Subscribe Our Website View Online Contact Us