Belt press shopping is not like your typical shopping, it’s a little more hands-on. However, that’s to be expected when you’re juicing, right?

With the help of this blog post, it will lend some light on what to look for, how to get answers, and source out solutions for your commercial fruit processing operation.

To break it down, we are going to dive into the five elements of researching, sourcing, and purchasing a belt press. These are the what, why, where, when, and how. To start, what do we even mean when we talk about a belt press?

Belt Press KEB1250
Belt Press KEB1250 with pumped infeed.

What are belt presses?

Belt presses are one of the most efficient models of fruit processing. A typical apple pressing line includes a brush cleaner to sort the fruit from leaves, wash away dirt and debris and transport it to a wash bin. The wash bin is connected to an elevator that takes the fruit up to a grinder. This grinder turns whole apples into pomace or mash that is dense with moisture. A dosing box is part of the press which is set up at the bottom of this grinder so it can take the mash and deposit onto the belt press in a continuous fashion.

This is where the first question of ‘what’ is a belt press is addressed. Our Kreuzmayr Belt Presses are constructed out of stainless steel while the belts are made of food-grade synthetic material. The pomace is deposited onto this synthetic belt to be pressed by the rollers on the press. These woven mesh filter belts allow the pomace to have a large surface area to be pressed under incredible tension and pressure. This type of pressing ensures up to a 75% yield so you are getting the most out of your fruit. Now that you’ve read about the ‘what’ of belt presses, we’ll dive into the importance of why you should choose a belt press for your operation.

 

Why should I choose a belt press over other press methods?

BX Press using their new Kreuzmayr fruit processing equipment
Working with Kreuzmayr equipment

Answering the why is our favorite part of discussing Kreuzmayr Belt Presses. We started out operating this equipment ourselves on our Mobile Juicing trailer. To this day, each of our staff still spends time operating the equipment to ensure everyone has intimate knowledge of the inner workings of Kreuzmayr machinery. This has allowed us allowed to gain vital expertise to understand where you’re coming from, what your challenges are, and how we can help you overcome them.

The first aspect of why a Kreuzmayr Belt Press can be a solution for your operation is the reduction in labor. If you have ever pressed using a rack and cloth or screw press, you know the amount of labor exerted is excessive, mash flying everywhere am I right? Not to mention, it is time-consuming and often requires multiple laborers to get the job done.

Mobile juicing trailer
Working on the Mobile Juicing Trailer

Kreuzmayr Belt Presses are continuously automatic which requires minimal supervision from a single operator. The savings start with reduced labor. Due to the belt presses automatic function, it also allows the process to be quicker and less draining on the staff. A standard operation could have been up to five laborers on a rack and cloth press working six to eight hours shift during the season.

To put this into perspective, imagine you are pressing 40,000 liters with a rack and cloth. The output per day on this pressing method would be 2000 liters. To achieve 40,000L, you would need an input level of 480 hours of labor. These 480 hours could be described as working 20 days 24 hours a day. With the cost of labor currently at approximately 15$ per hour, that would incur a labor cost of (480*15) $7200.

Now, if a Kreuzmayr Single Belt Press had been used, there would have been some different outcomes. For this example, we are going to use a Kreuzmayr KEB 400 which is the smallest belt press we offer. With the same input of pressing 40,000 liters, the output from the KEB 400 would be 4000 liters, double that of the rack and cloth in half the time.

To accomplish this, only ten days with a shift of seven hours each is required. This labor total equals 70 hours at a rate of 15$ costing the operation $1050. Compared to the rack and cloth labor expense, this is a stark difference of $6150.

Thinking in terms of ROI, these cost savings could go towards the capital investment of the machine and have the equipment paid off in no time. If in the above example, you saved $6150, that would mean in a year you would save that amount of $6150 36.5 times equaling $224,475.00, now we’re talking! Now that capital expenditure doesn’t seem so intimidating!

 

Where do I find a belt press?

Kreuzmayr KEB 750 Single Belt Press
Kreuzmayr KEB 750 Single Belt Press

Next up, the question of where. Where do I get a belt press? Where do I store one? Where does it go for the off-season? The first question is easy, we are the only certified North American retailer for Kreuzmayr equipment so you’ve come to the right place!

The second question of where to store one depends on the size of your belt press. Determining the size of the belt press is derived from the outputs and inputs you have in terms of produce. If you have produced in the range of up to 1750 lbs per hour, then you would be looking at the KEB 400 Single Belt Press while if you have inputs of up to 27,500 lbs per hour then a K2B 1500 Double Belt Press would be the solution for you.

Now that you have an idea of which belt press would be best for your operation, checking the dimensions of that machine will aid in determining the space requirements. If you plan on adding additional machines to integrate, that will also be another point of interest to keep in mind. More of a visual thinker? Give us a call and our team of experts will create a floor plan specific to your operations space.

Lastly, belt presses may have started as a strictly outdoor activity but thanks to the addition of wheels on the press, your pressing season doesn’t have to end when the weather stops cooperating! Now you can press all year, no restrictions!

 

When will I need a belt press?

Next up is the question of when. When are you ready to start pressing more? A good way to start is to look at what your capacity is right now, what needs to change? Are you feeling like you don’t have enough time to press more produce? Maybe the yields you are getting now make you feel like it’s not worth the effort? With a Kreuzmayr Belt Press, reducing labor and increasing yields are

Training on a Kreuzmayr Belt Press
Operating a KEB Single Belt Press

the two top benefits. This allows you to adopt a growth mindset, opportunities await! This could be in the form of taking in more fruit to process, third party pressing to add to your revenue stream, or experimenting with a variety of fruits to add to your product line.

 

How does my operation change with a belt press?

The last question addressed in this blog is how. How does your operation change with a belt press? We’ve decided that turning to our clients would be the best way to answer this question. One of our clients with a craft cidery operation knew they had to keep up with customer demand when their cider started flying off the shelf. Their method was using a rack and cloth and this wasn’t a solution that could be scaled so they decided to invest in a single belt press.

“This system allows for a lot of efficiencies, the mash is totally dry when it comes out. We are super pleased with the yield that we get out of it. It has really been a game-changer for us. It’s allowed us to grow out production and use more of our crop for our cider without totally exhausting ourselves and our staff. It has allowed us to double our production while decreasing the amount of work by a significant amount during the pressing season.”

Still have a question on belt presses? We’d love to help! Chat with a member of the Juicing.Systems team at 1-877-395-3534 or start the conversation by emailing [email protected]