Drives Potato Chip Processing Case Study

A Solution for the Food & Beverage Industry
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The Challenge

A snack food manufacturer was seeking a solution for quality issues on their potato chip frying application. The operation required double-pitch chain with extended pins, matched in pairs, to precisely form the shape of the chips.

The competitor’s chain had sharp edges and inconsistencies with plate heights, causing the chain to rub against the machine guides. This resulted in the risk of metal shavings contaminating the oil in which the chips were fried. If metal shavings were detected in the oil, the snack food manufacturer had to recall the entire batch of chips. There was another case where the competitor’s chain failed completely and led to unscheduled downtime. Both scenarios were unacceptable to the snack food manufacturer.

The Solution

To solve this issue, Drives experts recommended switching to Drives® Double-Pitch chain with extended pins and Class 2 matching. Drives offers two levels of length matching – Class 1 and 2. Class 2 ensures the longest and shortest chains in a set do not vary in length by more than 0.002” per foot. With consistent plate heights, this eliminates metal shavings in the chip oil.

When the chain needs to be replaced due to natural wear progression, the snack food manufacturer has a strict repair and downtime plan to follow. This will help avoid chain failures and unscheduled downtime.

The Result

The snack foods manufacturer has a three-year contract with Drives. The quality of Drives chain has exceeded the quality of the competitor’s chain. There has not been any report of metal shavings in the chip oil, nor any unscheduled downtime.