KWS Manufacturing

Flex-Wall Belt Wall Conveyor to Remove Food Waste for Hanover Foods Hanover, PA

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End User or Owner

Hanover Foods
Hanover, PA

Consulting Engineer

Harrisburg, PA


Conewago Enterprises
Hanover, PA

Plant Name and Location

Hanover Foods WWTP
Hanover, PA

General Description

Hanover Foods Corporation is the largest fully-integrated and independent food processor in the United States. The company grows, processes, packages, markets and distributes a variety of food products under several different brand names. Various fresh vegetable products are the main focus of the company. The corporate office and production facilities are located in Hanover, PA. Since 1924, Hanover Foods has been an industry leader in the food industry, specializing in producing and distributing exceptional food products.

The Hanover, PA facility produces various vegetable products for consumer use. Food waste and wastewater are byproducts of the process. Due to the large amount of food waste and waste water, Hanover Foods operates its own water treatment facility. Hanover Foods is an environmentally friendly company that repurposes appropriate waste food as animal feed for use by local businesses.

As part of the food waste and water treatment process, Hanover Foods prescreened the solids from the waste water. The solids were then discharged to an existing belt conveyor and conveyed to trucks for disposal. The existing belt conveyor was installed nearly 30 years ago and was in definite need of replacement due to heavy corrosion and ice damage. KWS Environmental worked with Hanover Foods and their contractor, Conewago Enterprises to provide a replacement belt conveyor with many upgraded features that would improve productivity and reduce down time.

Design Parameters

  1. Product Type: Dewatered Food Waste
  2. Material Density: 40 to 65 Lbs. per Cubic Foot
  3. Capacity: 150 Cubic Feet per Hour
  4. Duty: Intermittent, 8 Hours per Day

KWS Advantages

Flex-Wall Belt Wall Conveyor to Remove Food Waste for Hanover Foods in Hanover, PA - KWS

The solids screening building receives raw waste water from the plant at below ground level. The solids are screened using single-deck vibrating screens and discharged to the belt conveyor. The belt conveyor conveys and elevates the solids at a 60-degree incline and discharges into a 4.4-cubic yard storage hopper. The storage hopper allows for continual operation of the system even when a dump truck is unavailable. The new arrangement enclosed the inclined portion of the belt conveyor and the loadout structure to protect the conveying system from harsh winter weather.

KWS Environmental worked with Hanover Foods and Conewago Enterprises to design a system that would effectively convey material even in worst case conditions. KWS engineers made site visits to understand the process and problems with the existing system. Two main concerns were expressed by Hanover Foods: problems conveying the wide variety of food waste and the harsh winter conditions.

The food waste can be very sticky and of odd sizes, making it difficult to convey. For example, turnips and potatoes quickly bounce from the screens onto the belt conveyor, often leading to material spillage. Starchy materials tend to stick to the belt over time and build up. The starchy fines also tend to invade any exposed bearing element, leading to premature failure and annual replacement of the idlers and rollers.

Another challenge was designing for the harsh winter weather. The existing design did not adequately protect the belt conveyor from ice buildup. Water vapor escaping from the warm food waste caused ice buildup around the conveyor that eventually led to devastating damage. Ice buildup would cause the return and carrying idlers to freeze and bind up, completely shutting down the system.

Special Features

Flex-Wall Belt Wall Conveyor to Remove Food Waste for Hanover Foods in Hanover, PA - KWS

KWS Environmental designed the new flex-wall belt conveyor to handle a wide range of food waste from beans and potatoes to everything in between. A belt with flexible walls and cleats was used to contain the material and prevent fall back on the inclined section. KWS chose the proper belt for the application to ensure maximum life and efficient conveying. The belt conveyor design also included the use of a belt tracking trainer to reduce operator adjustments. To reduce starchy fines from adhering to the belt, a low friction belt beater was used to remove stubborn material without putting unnecessary wear on the belt. Stainless deflection plates were used to contain material that had a tendency to spill from the conveyor.

KWS Environmental worked with the consulting engineer and Conewago to reduce the likelihood of roller contamination by raising the level of the conveyor, without adversely affecting the installation of the screeners. KWS also addressed any corrosion issues caused by the wet and humid environment by utilizing stainless steel construction for most product contact areas. KWS had the ability to model the equipment in 3D to make sure the equipment layout was optimized and there were no interferences with other equipment or the building. The 3D modeling was invaluable to integration into the plant and coordination with other process equipment.


"The conveyor was pretty easy to assemble and install. We didn’t have any issues worth mentioning."

Rick Kress, Project Manager – Conewago Enterprises

Flex-Wall Belt Wall Conveyor to Remove Food Waste for Hanover Foods in Hanover, PA - KWSFlex-Wall Belt Wall Conveyor to Remove Food Waste for Hanover Foods in Hanover, PA - KWS
Flex-Wall Belt Wall Conveyor to Remove Food Waste for Hanover Foods in Hanover, PA - KWSFlex-Wall Belt Wall Conveyor to Remove Food Waste for Hanover Foods in Hanover, PA - KWS

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