Intralox, an American company with headquarters in New Orleans and regional headquarters in Amsterdam and Shanghai, is the world’s leading producer and inventor of modular plastic conveyor belts. One of its technology platforms is the Activated Roller BeltTM (ARB), an innovative material- and package-handling technology used widely in food and beverage applications. For the ARB platform, Intralox supplies a range of automation equipment, assembled in four Intralox facilities around the world in order to locally support Intralox’s global customers.
In the past, the four Intralox equipment assembly centers produced equipment with locally sourced components. As part of a global standardization program for its equipment product line, Intralox sought suppliers that could provide quality products and consistent service to all four regions.
With its global reach and full line of Dodge mechanical power transmission products, ABB is well positioned to serve Intralox in all its locations. Léon Benne, ABB’s Dodge product manager based in the Netherlands, reacted quickly when he learned of the Intralox standardization plans.
“As soon as I had a clear picture of their requirements, I proposed Dodge E-Z Kleen mounted ball bearings,” Benne says. “This is the only bearing in the industry that offers a patented sealing system that keeps contaminants out of the bearing and food-grade lubricants in. Since this product is specifically designed for washdown applications, I believed it was the ideal choice for Intralox.”
It was the beginning of a fruitful relationship between the two companies, according to Ruud Zwetsloot, an equipment engineer at Intralox Europe.
“For our lean manufacturing assembly operations, a dependable supply chain is crucial,” he says. “Now we can count on a quick and easy supply of the same type of bearings here in the Netherlands, as well in the USA, China and Brazil. This, and ABB’s smooth service network, makes it really easy for us to do business and provide more value to our customers.”
Besides solving a major logistics issue, E-Z Kleen bearings more than meet the strict requirements of Intralox. “The food and beverage industry is a particularly harsh environment for bearings,” Zwetsloot explains. “To withstand the continuous washdowns, Dodge bearings have a coated insert and are also fitted with special protective seals, which make them last longer. These bearings have a proven track record in the United States.”
By providing innovative conveyor solutions that also include industry-leading ball bearings, Intralox is well positioned to meet increasingly stringent food safety and sanitation requirements around the world.