Van der Lee Seafish Chooses Intralox DirectDrive Stacker, Achieves Expansion Goal
Knowing we needed a stacking solution because of our small available footprint, we considered metal stacking belts. After realizing the maintenance and cleaning issues these systems have, we decided that Intralox was the perfect solution.Willem Van der Lee, Van der Lee Seafish Owner
Van der Lee Seafish, a leading supplier of fish in Europe with more than 250 SKUs, wanted to double production and add a second spiral freezer in its facility to prepare for future demand and expansion. The current spiral freezer’s cabinet was 20 years old with little insulation and experienced regular breakages. This resulted in the freezer running at 50% capacity with increased unnecessary preventive maintenance on weekends, new metal belting costs, and total metal belting maintenance in the original spiral freezer.
Van der Lee Seafish has worked with Intralox for over 20 years and believes in introducing new technologies to its processes as a way of staying ahead in its market. Working with Intralox-licensed OEM ICS, Van der Lee chose the Intralox® DirectDrive™ Stacker over metal belt spiral options. The choice was simple, as metal belt freezing solutions had higher maintenance costs and lacked customizable sizing, making them unable to fit in the existing space. In addition, DirectDrive Stacker technology uses horizontal airflow, allowing the entire spiral to be loaded without compromising freezing power in its low tiers. This provides more freezing capacity on all tiers and maximizes belt surface use.
Intralox outfitted its stacker with Series 2950 modular plastic belting. Designed for DirectDrive Stackers, this lightweight and strong belt can withstand temperatures from -50°F to 200°F (-46°C to 93°C). The belting fits within the requirements of the application, while the DirectDrive Stacker allows each spiral to maximize the number of tiers inside the freezer. This ensures efficient utilization of the available vertical space. The Intralox customer team was in continuous communication with Van der Lee Seafish to ensure the solution met all established requirements and goals.
The DirectDrive Stacker has been operational at the Van der Lee Seafish facility since 2019. Since then, Van der Lee has not had any maintenance on the belt, with no regular inspections needed. With two effective spiral lines, production capacity is up 160%. The solution, along with the OEM’s clean-in-place system, reduced sanitation efforts and lowered contamination risks between SKUs, which is critical for line flexibility. The freezer cabinet is cleaned weekly due to temperatures reaching -4°F (-20°C) and this cleaning only takes one hour. Intralox’s solution helped Van der Lee meet expansion goals and increase production capacity while minimizing maintenance costs and sanitation time.