Key Technology introduces next-generation horizontal-motion conveyor

Zephyr conveyor offers high throughput & requires less maintenance

Key Technology
Zephyr horizontal-motion conveyor from Key Technology

US-based Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, introduces Zephyr, the next-generation horizontal-motion conveyor. Featuring a patented direct drive with a counterbalance system, Zephyr’s motion profile gently moves product with no segregation or stratification and at higher capacities than can be achieved with other horizontal motion conveyors. According to Key Technology, Zephyr minimizes bounce, which reduces product damage, noise, and loss of seasoning and other coatings to maintain product quality.

 “Designed for food processors who want gentle handling, our field-proven Zephyr conveyor offers higher throughput, reduced maintenance and a modular design that’s more readily customized than other horizontal-motion shakers on the market,” said Jim Ruff, vice president of Process Systems and Integrated Solutions at Key Technology. “We are excited to add this product to Key’s portfolio – it enables us to provide the widest range of conveyor types and available options on the market. We’re able to supply each customer with the best system for their application and integrate multiple systems into seamless solutions.”

Key Technology’s new Zephyr conveyor

 Zephyr can be seen in-action at Key’s Pack Expo Connects virtual showroom on Monday, 9 November 2020, at 11 am Central Time (GMT-6). To join the live 15-minute demo and Q&A session, register in advance here.

Key said Zephyr is suitable for frozen bulk foods like potato products, fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, and dry products like nuts and cereals. Powered by a counterbalanced direct drive, this high-capacity conveyor utilizes horizontal movement to slide and convey the product without bouncing gently. With virtually no vertical loft, Zephyr reduces product breakage and the loss of coatings such as seasoning, batter, and certain oil types while limiting system noise to 75 decibels or less. Its self-cleaning horizontal motion reduces the chance of product build-up, and the counterweight drive minimizes floor vibration.

Offering up to twice the throughput of other horizontal motion conveyors, Zephyr moves product at rates of up to 12.2 meters (40 feet) in a minute, said the company.

Zephyr features robust construction with a stainless steel conveying bed and drives housing, sanitary grounding arms, long-life bearings, and scalloped flat bars, which maximize sanitation, ease cleaning, and reduce maintenance. Every aspect of the system utilizes sanitary design and manufacturing principles. Carbon fiber springs with food-safe coating further improve lifespan and sanitation. Zephyr’s simple drive system is powered by an electric motor with few parts to ease maintenance – no timing set up is required. This horizontal-motion conveyor is available in four finishing standards, offering rotary polished beds, ground and polished welds, and more to meet a variety of different sanitation requirements.

Tailored for each customer application, Zephyr’s bed can be up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) wide and, depending on width, up to 7 meters (23 feet) long with a product depth of up to 254 mm (10 inches). The drive can be located in any position below the bed to support seamless integration with other line equipment. Key can equip Zephyr with various bed options, including slide gates for scale feed distribution, a discharge to enhance multi-head weighing, or a bias to spread the product when feeding a downstream system. It can also be configured with a stop-start mode for scale feeding or product distribution. Zephyr can accommodate varying product flow rates with ease, maximizing the system’s flexibility to meet a broad array of customer requirements.

Suitable for integration with Iso-Flo, Impulse, and other vibratory conveyors from Key, Zephyr rounds out the Smart Shaker conveying suite, providing customers with the complete range of conveyor technologies from one manufacturer. Key’s industry-leading, five-year warranty back Zephyr’s bed and structural components.

Key manufactures their conveying systems in both the US and Europe and supports customers worldwide via Duravant’s SupportPro service organization. This dedicated team of service specialists provides technical support such as installation, start-up, training, preventative maintenance, 24/7 emergency assistance, remote monitoring, protection plans, upgrades, parts sales, and more to help customers operate peak performance.

Key Technology designs and manufactures automation systems, including digital sorters, conveyors, and other processing equipment. Applying processing knowledge and application expertise, Key helps customers in the food processing and other industries improve quality, increase yield, and reduce cost. Key manufactures its products at its headquarters in Walla Walla, Washington, USA; Beusichem, the Netherlands; Hasselt, Belgium; and Redmond, Oregon, USA. Key’s domestic facilities are certified to the ISO 9001:2015 standard. Key offers customer demonstration and testing services at five locations, including Walla Walla, Beusichem, and Hasselt and Sacramento, California, USA and Melbourne, Australia; and maintains a sales and service office in Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico.

Key is a Duravant Company (headquartered in Downers Grove, IL), a global engineered equipment company with manufacturing, sales, and service facilities throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Through their operating companies’ portfolio, Duravant delivers trusted end-to-end process solutions for customers and partners through engineering and integration expertise, project management, and operational excellence. With worldwide sales distribution and service networks, they provide immediate and lifetime aftermarket support to all the markets they serve in the food processing, packaging, and material handling sectors.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here