KWS Manufacturing

Food Grade Screw Conveyor System for Cookie Toppings

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Plant Name and Location

Keebler Company, a Division of Kellogg’s
Louisville, KY

General Description

The Keebler Company produces snack foods in their Louisville, KY facility. Keebler is a division of Kellogg’s and is one of the world’s most recognized brands for cereal, breakfast foods, and snacks. The plant needed a reliable screw conveyor system to deliver flaked coconut to a topping depositor machine and an easily movable screw conveyor to recirculate reclaimed topping. The engineers at Keebler and KWS developed an excellent solution for their snack production process.

Design Parameters

  1. Product Type: Coconut Flakes
  2. Material Density: 31 Lbs. per Cubic Foot
  3. Capacity: 775 Cubic Feet per Hour
  4. Duty: 24 Hours per Day, 7 Days per Week

KWS Advantages

Keebler was not happy with their existing belt conveyor system and wanted a solution that was reliable and easy to clean. They also wanted a system that improved revenue by reclaiming unused product from their cookie topping system. Improving this system as quickly as possible would produce an immediate return on investment for Keebler. Thus, this project was given the highest priority and unfolded over the span of a few short months. The expedited schedule presented a project management and manufacturing challenge. KWS was up to the task. Several members of the KWS staff visited the plant, had many customer teleconference and videoconference calls and worked directly with Keebler engineering personnel to create the perfect solution. KWS hired additional staff and worked overtime, weekends, and nights to get this solution expedited, engineered, built and delivered. KWS engineers utilized the latest in 3D design technology to model the complete system including any interfacing existing equipment.

Special Features

KWS engineers designed a system of food grade screw conveyors made of highly polished 304 stainless steel. No pits or crevices were allowed on any of the internal or external surfaces. Each conveyor was polished to 180-grit finish both inside and out. The screws utilized seal welded shafts to ensure completely crevice-free product contact surfaces. Split tubular construction was used due to the incline angle, and due to the conveyor length sanitary Nyoil food grade hanger bearings were selected. Each screw conveyor was designed with food-grade gaskets, air-purged shaft seals, and Dodge Ultra-Kleen bearings with sanitary seals and lubricants. It was critically important to keep the food material from leaking out of the conveyor along with not contaminating the coconut flakes. Each conveyor cover was outfitted with sanitary quick-release hand clamps for easy cover removal for cleaning and product inspection. Additionally, each conveyor was fitted with Sensaguard safety switches to ensure operator protection. Since Keebler wanted the recirculation system to be easily moved, KWS engineers designed the conveyors on supports with caster wheels making the complete system mobile. The conveyors could be easily rolled out of the way and taken apart for cleaning. Additionally, the conveyor and hopper connections were designed with stainless steel hand knobs so the movable conveyors could be attached and removed without use of tools.


"This system now gives us the smooth flow of material that we need. Thanks!"

Martin Hofmeister, Technical Manager – The Keebler Company


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