Conveyor belt manufacturer Ammeraal Beltech, has been working with Hovis on techno-logical developments for the bread baking industry, which have led to the development of Ultrasync - a new conveyor belt.

Hovis had been working with Ammeraal Beltech to provide improved belt performance on a major project to upgrade the dough handling system. The company challenged Ammeraal to come up with a belt design that combined the best qualities of modular belts (positive drive, ease of fitting and cleaning) with the best qualities of plastic- coated continuous belts (good intrinsic hygiene of plastic coatings and good release). Hovis also asked it to provide the option of detecting metals.

Hovis then tested the pre-production model at two key points on the dough handling system for a total of six months, and has said that they performed very well.

The new Ultrasync belting aims to improve reliability, give better tracking, less slippage and improved hygiene.

"We believe that good belt performance is key to optimising dough handling. This helps to enhance the quality and consistency of our product. We have plans to roll out this belt onto other plants," commented Chris James, a process improvement manager at Hovis supplier Premier Foods.