Suntory Coffee uses food-grade compressed air at new facility in NZ

Kaeser Compressors Australia

Friday, 04 December, 2020

Suntory Coffee uses food-grade compressed air at new facility in NZ

Suntory Coffee recently completed the build of its fresh coffee roasting operation in New Zealand. The company selected a Kaeser Aircenter all-in-one compressed air station, complete with filtration and a DHS 4.0 air-mains charging system, to meet the facilities requirement for a reliable and dependable supply of food-grade compressed air.

From a long black to a flat white and everything in between, whatever your coffee preference may be, the majority of us will enjoy a coffee or two every day.

Since 1952, Suntory Coffee has been producing some of New Zealand’s most well-known coffee brands, such as Robert Harris, Orb Espresso & Bruno Rossi Coffee.

At the head office in Auckland, Suntory Coffee’s new purpose-built coffee roasting and warehousing operation is where many of the brands are processed ready for despatch to cafes, restaurants and supermarkets across New Zealand.

When Cameron Russell, Project Engineer at Suntory Coffee, began planning the facility, the selection of equipment was an important detail. From coffee bean roasting to powering control valves that select the required coffee bean silo, right through to grinding, blending, processing and packaging — compressed air is an essential utility that would be required for many purposes within the new facility.

After considering a number of options, Suntory Coffee opted for an all-in-one Kaeser Aircenter SK25 compressed air station along with filtration and a DHS 4.0 air-mains charging system to meet these requirements.

Manufactured in Germany, the user-friendly turnkey system incorporates a Kaeser rotary screw compressor, complete with the Sigma Profile screw compressor block — an energy-efficient refrigeration dryer and an air receiver all-in-one space-saving compact package.

At the heart of the Aircenter’s rotary screw compressor lies a screw compressor block featuring the Kaeser Sigma profile rotors. Efficiency is assured with these flow-optimised rotors that are claimed to be able to achieve power savings of up to 15% compared with conventional screw compressor block rotor profiles. In addition, maximum energy savings and good system performance are assured thanks to the inclusion of an IE3 motor which complies with and exceeds prevailing Australian GEMS regulations for three-phase electric motors.

The Aircenter is user- and maintenance-friendly, and with the internal Sigma Control 2 controller, compressor performance can be easily controlled and monitored for efficiency. All maintenance and service points are easy to access, which reduces the downtime associated with service and maintenance tasks and helps to increase compressed air availability and minimise operating costs.

Food-grade standard compressed air

As the coffee can come into contact with the compressed air at certain stages of production, it was essential that the compressed air system produced food-grade standard compressed air. To meet the air purity level required for food manufacture, the Aircenter at Suntory Coffee therefore operates with a food-grade lubricant and filtration. In addition, a Kaeser DHS 4.0 air-main charging system was installed.

The DHS 4.0 series electronic air-main charging system not only provides protection for the compressed air treatment components, but it also helps ensure reliable compressed air quality — even following a complete shutdown of the compressed air supply system, for example at weekends.

Such a surge can lead to filter element damage and to a raised pressure dewpoint in the refrigeration dryer. As a result, contaminants such as oil, particulate matter and humidity are introduced into the pipe distribution network and the process air. The DHS 4.0 eliminates these risks by guaranteeing necessary minimum pressure, which consequently ensures smooth network start-up and safe operation of the compressed air station.

During system operation, it also helps to ensure consistently high compressed air quality. If a fault were to occur with a dryer or a filter, for example, the DHS 4.0 is able to shut down and isolate the affected treatment line. This not only assures consistent air quality, but also safeguards the pipe distribution network and the air consumers in the production facility. By minimising the burden on compressed air treatment components, air receivers and pipe networks, and preventing surge loads caused by large changes in pressure from occurring, it consequently enables long service life, which in turn leads to considerably reduced costs.

The new facility has now been in operation for over 18 months.

The all-in-one Aircenter compressed air systems from Kaeser Compressors are available with drive powers of 2.2 to 15 kW and produce flow rates from 0.26 to 2.55 m3/min, designed for pressures up to 15 bar.

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