May 19, 2020 – Furmano Foods started 99 years ago with just 360 jars of tomatoes and has grown to become a nationally recognized name. Their tomatoes, green beans, legumes and ancient grains, which are packed either in cans or pouches, go to market under the Furmano Foods brand and private labels. Over the last 20 years, Furmano has turned to Key Technology time and time again for the most reliable vibratory conveyors with superior sanitation. They run Key’s Iso-Flo® shakers on processing lines throughout their facility and added a lengthy Marathon® shaker in 2019 to distribute green beans to cutters.
“Our operation is difficult in a few ways. First, we have limited space, so our systems need to be compact. Also, our processing plant is wet, steamy and hot, which can challenge equipment. The ongoing labor shortage presents another problem,” said Jeff Bradigan, Facilities and Maintenance at Furmano Foods. “Our Key shakers help us overcome all these obstacles. They fit into our tight facility and hold up very well in the harsh environment with no issues. We depend on them to have great uptime and be easy to use, so we can quickly bring new operators up to speed.”
“We have been buying equipment from Key for decades. There’s a reason we keep going to them – they make the best vibratory conveyors out there,” explained Bradigan. “We have a few older shakers from other suppliers, and we’re slowly replacing them with Key to improve our efficiency. For example, our old green bean distribution shaker didn’t work well. The chutes would plug up and operators constantly needed to adjust them. We wanted a new system they didn’t need to fight with, so we went to Key because they really know what they’re doing.”
Available in lengths from 30 to 100 feet (9 to 30 meters) or more on a single unit, the Marathon at Furmano is 52 feet (16 meters) long. It conveys and distributes green beans from the snippers to 13 downstream cutters. Furmano’s Iso-Flo systems are installed on their tomato, green bean and legume processing lines and include options for dewatering, de-juicing, scalping, grading, fines removal and more.
“Dependability and uptime are two of the biggest reasons why we go with Key,” said Bradigan. “The older shakers we still have from other suppliers beat themselves to death over time, and we’re constantly welding the beds back together. Key designs perfectly tuned vibratory conveyors featuring relatively non-violent motion, so their beds and frames don’t need to be as beefy as those from others. Our Marathon and Iso-Flo systems are lightweight and extremely durable.”
Marathon and Iso-Flo have always been recognized for reliability and sanitation, and Key is continuously improving their designs to exceed rising food safety standards. In addition to stainless steel construction, smooth beds and durable StrongArm™ spring arms that have helped define Key’s vibratory conveyors over the years, new Key shakers also feature no-pinch slide gates, stainless steel motors, self-draining surfaces and the elimination of laminations, as well as an option for 100-percent continuous welds, depending on the finish. Every element of every Key system is designed for performance and sanitation.
Featuring independent frame-mounted drives and spring arm assemblies, Marathon and Iso-Flo distribute energy equally to all parts of the bed in a controlled natural-frequency operation. This operating principle minimizes the vibration that is transferred to structural supports and the floor, which improves installation flexibility, cuts the cost of installation, reduces energy use and quiets operation. Key’s contoured StrongArm spring arms, made with propriety composite material, offer an operational life that is up to twice the life of traditional, straight spring arms.
“Gentle handling is very important to us with certain products. Diced tomatoes, for example, are easy to damage. Our Iso-Flo systems do an excellent job of de-juicing and keeping the product flowing without degrading the dice, which protects both our product quality and yield,” noted Bradigan. “Yield is one of the key performance indicators that we track on all our lines, and our Key shakers help by minimizing product spillage. Less product on the floor means more packaged product to sell, plus it creates a safe work environment, since tomatoes in particular can be slippery.”
“There are many things that make Marathon and Iso-Flo vibratory conveyors stand out – longevity, sanitation, simple maintenance, gentle handling and more,” concluded Bradigan. “We only have good things to say about our many years collaborating with Key. They’re the experts and we trust them completely. We plan to go back to Key for more shakers in the future.”
About Key Technology, Inc.
Key Technology is a global leader in the design and manufacture of 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 as well as 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, Duravant is a global engineered equipment company with manufacturing, sales and service facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Through their portfolio of operating companies, 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. Duravant’s market-leading brands are synonymous with innovation, durability and reliability. Visit www.duravant.com.