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Belt Press Shopping: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now, this 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?

Pressing rollers
Pressing rollers for fruit juice processing equipment

What are belt presses?

Belt presses are one of the most efficient methods of fruit juice 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 member of our staff still spends time operating the equipment to ensure everyone has intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the fruit processing Kreuzmayr machinery. This has allowed us 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 should be a solution for your operation is the reduction in labor. If you have ever pressed using a rack and cloth, squeezebox, or bladder 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 offer a continuous process 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 three or more laborers on a rack and cloth press working six to eight hours a shift during the season.

To put this into perspective, imagine you are pressing 40,000 liters with a 22″ rack and cloth. The output per day on this pressing method would be 2000 liters. To achieve 40,000L, you would need an input of 480 hours of labor. These 480 hours could be described as working 20 days, 24 man-hours a day (3 laborers, 8 hours each). With the cost of labor currently at approximately 15$ per hour, that would incur a labor cost of (480*15) $7200. This can also be described as 83.3 liters per labor hour (40,000/480).

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 target of pressing 40,000 liters, the output from the KEB 400 would be 4000 liters per day, double that of the rack and cloth in half the time. In liter per labor hours, this equals 500 compared to the 83.3 with the rack and cloth. For the same expense of labor, you can receive either 83.3 liters or 500 liters. We know what we would choose!

To accomplish this, only ten days with a shift of eight hours each is required. This labor total equals 80 hours at a rate of 15$ costing the operation $1200 with a single operator.  Compared to the rack and cloth labor expense, this is a stark difference of $6000.

 

Where do I find a belt press?

KEB750 fruit juice processing equipment
KEB 750 Single Belt Press

Next up, the question of where. Where do I get a belt press?  Well, you came to the right place, we are the only certified North American retailer for Kreuzmayr equipment.

Additionally, determining the size of the belt press is derived from the outputs and inputs you have in terms of produce. If you are processing 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. With the 400 and 500, wheels are available for flexibility of space arrangements. The team at Juicing.Systems can ensure we find the right solution for your operation.

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.

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 sales@juicingsystems.com

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