Drake Patents

May 2022

Drake Continues to be THE Leader in Food Loading

Ever since our founding, Drake has been on the cutting edge of technological leadership in the loading of hot dogs and sausages. Many of you know Drake for our 30-plus years of designing and manufacturing hot dog and sausage loading equipment, but do you know our technological origin story?

The Drake Company got its start in 1979 by Fred Drake in central Virginia. Fred was a creative engineer who had been contracted to improve food loading technology. When a company he worked for folded, Fred purchased their designs with the belief he could improve them based on his many years working in the food industry. He set out to make these designs even more effective and prevent them from damaging the hot dogs they were loading.

After many years of engineering design work, Fred completed the development of a new automatic hot dog and sausage collator loader in 1984. This collator-style machine loaded 25 percent faster and required up to 50 percent less floor space than other machines currently on the market. It also used “first-in, first-out” handling to reduce bacteria and improve shelf life. This highly improved product led to Drake eventually capturing over 80 percent of all new frankfurter loader sales in the Western Hemisphere.

Although Fred stepped down as President in 1990, his technological leadership yielded many patents throughout his career and set a culture of innovation that continues through today. More than thirty years after he retired, Drake continues to be the leader in the loading of hot dogs and sausages, in large part due to our extensive research and development in food-loading technology. To date, Drake has been awarded over 50 US and International patents.

Some of our notable advancements in the science of hot dog and sausage loading include:

  • Wave Collator – allows for the loading of foot-long franks
  • Multilayer Frankfurter Loading – high speed loading of bulk packages
  • CLXI & CLXII Loading Heads – enables smoother and faster frank loading
  • LS-600-R – provides a loading option for lower volume customers
  • SR-400 – enables the loading of natural casing sausages

From non-uniform product size to demanding sanitation needs, the food industry can pose unique obstacles to automation. However, Drake continues to look for new ways to advance food loading and to push the limits of what automation can do. If you have a product loading or processing situation that you have been told cannot be automated, send us a video of your process. We just may be able to help you.

Drake – Your Partner in Automating the Food Industry.

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