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By the Numbers: Proof That This Spiral Conveyor Is the Most Hygienic and Economical Available

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Our edge-driven spiral conveyor design is the most hygienic and economical solution available on the market today. We can demonstrate this by calculating the cost it takes to clean and sanitize the system, and comparing our data against a typical drum-cage style or other spiral solution.

Spraying Spiral CircleWhen evaluating a spiral conveyor solution for your operation, the total cost of ownership (TCO) has to factor in the time and resources it takes to maintain a sanitary production line. While the cost of a food recall varies, an average estimate puts the financial impact at over $10 million! Reducing the risk of a recall starts with a hygienic design that limits the costs associated with cleaning the spiral daily.

Below, we dive into the exact numbers to demonstrate the savings you get from a SideDrive Conveyor Co. spiral conveyor, compared to a typical drum or side-frame spiral design.



A Typical Spiral Conveyor: The Basis of Our Calculation

From our experience, the typical design of a spiral uses a 24-inch wide belt that runs for about 400 feet.

SD Calc SS1


Using this as the basis of our calculation, we can assume the following:

  • The time taken to clean the spiral for one foot of the belt equals 1.4 minutes
  • Water used per one foot of belt equals 5.3 gallons
  • Hourly rate for cleaning and maintenance equals $54 (burdened cost - labor + benefits)
  • The average price for 1,000 gallons of water equals $1.50. Check your State’s average price here. 
  • Water disposal costs are slightly higher averaging about $2 per 1,000 gallons

Next, we assume the line runs for 7 days a week and 50 weeks per year. 

SS Assumptions


Based on these numbers, we can calculate the water usage, disposal, and labor costs for cleaning a typical spiral over a year:

  • Washing down the conveyor will require 742,000 gallons of water
  • The water costs will be $1,113 and disposal will come to $1,484
  • The cleaning and sanitation labor costs will reach $176,400

Using this basis, we calculate that cleaning a typical spiral conveyor will cost $178,997 per year. Now let’s compare these numbers against a SideDrive Conveyor Co. spiral design.

SD Calc SS3



The Most Hygienic and Economical Spiral Conveyor Solution

Our design reduces both the surface area you have to clean and eliminates potential harborage sites from the spiral system. We use edge-driven plastic belting with an open and accessible frame, reducing the time and resources required to sanitize the system.

Reduce the surface areas needed to clean with a SideDrive Spiral conveyor by: 

  • 50% compared to the the drum-driven spiral 
  • 32% compared to the other spiral conveyor systems 

Limit the potential harborage sites needed to clean with a SideDrive Spiral conveyor by: 

  • 99% less harborage areas compared to a drum-driven spiral 
  • 97% less harborage areas compared to the most other non-drum driven spiral conveyor systems

We can now calculate the total dollar amount in savings using a 45% average cleaning time as it relates to surface area with a SideDrive Conveyor Co. spiral:

  • The water costs will be $501
  • The water disposal costs are $668
  • Energy saved from reducing the amount of heated water required is $7,640
  • Savings on the sanitation labor will be $79,380

SD water calc ss


In total, you will save 333,900 gallons of water and reduce operating costs by $88,188 per year. There will be additional savings from the reduced use of cleaning agents and chemicals, although these will be specific to the type of food products you manufacture.

SD Calc SS5


Protect Your Profitability with the Most Hygienic and Economical Spiral Conveyor Design


The current cost pressures faced by food manufacturers require brands to optimize every facet of their operation if they want to remain profitable. With rising costs, choosing a spiral conveyor design that is easier to clean will immediately save thousands of dollars per year. Additional benefits include increased throughput, reduced product liability, and greater flexibility for future expansion.

SideDrive Conveyor Co. has a flexible and hygienic design, making our system a sustainable investment into your brand’s future.

Let’s talk if you want to put hard numbers to your potential savings from a SideDrive Conveyor Co. spiral conveyor.


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