Compressed air for smoked meats

Thursday, 17 January, 2019 | Supplied by: Kaeser Compressors Australia

New Zealand smoked meats producer Texas BBQ Foods recently installed a Kaeser Aircenter 6 at its Inglewood facility to meet its requirement for a reliable supply of clean compressed air.

The family-owned and -operated company produces a range of Texas-inspired smoked beef brisket, pork belly, cheeses and butter along with rubs and sauces, and follows the traditional Texas BBQ style of preparing meat. Firstly, a rub is applied to the NZ-grown beef and pork, before it is smoked in one of the plant’s four big meat smokers using mesquite-chips. Once the meat is cooked it goes straight into a blast chiller, before it is sliced, vacuum packed and chilled, ready to be dispatched. The vacuum-packing process ensures the products retain their integrity for longer.

Director of Texas BBQ Foods Ash Peters explained: “A critical factor in selecting a compressed air solution for us was to find one that would deliver a reliable supply of clean air. We also wanted it to be easy and low maintenance, quiet in operation and a nice tidy unit that would be simple to install.”

Compressed air would be required across the facility for various purposes, including powering the thermoformer packing machine. This automated machine places the finished meats into trays before a vacuum seals the packets.

Kaeser partner Pace Power & Air installed a Kaeser Aircenter 6 that would operate with a food-grade lubricant, along with two Kaeser F6 filters — one KE and one KA. Within one compact package, the Aircenter includes a Kaeser rotary screw compressor, an energy-efficient refrigeration dryer and an air receiver.

It was designed to be user- and maintenance-friendly, has excellent accessibility to all service points, and includes a Sigma Control 2 controller for ease of system control and monitoring. With this internal controller, compressor performance can be precisely adjusted to match respective compressed air consumption for optimum efficiency.

At the heart of the Aircenter’s rotary screw compressor lies a premium quality screw compressor block featuring the Kaeser Sigma profile rotors. These flow-optimised rotors are able to achieve power savings of up to 15% compared with conventional screw compressor block rotor profiles. It also features sound levels as low as 62 dB(a).

To meet the air purity level required for food manufacture, two Kaeser filters were also installed. The range uses modern deep-pleated filter media to remove particles and aerosols, while a carbon fibre mat traps oil vapours. Together with innovative flow dynamics, they deliver filtration efficiency with minimal pressure loss.

Peters concluded, “We are finding it to be reliable, nice and quiet in operation, and user-friendly, requiring only minimal checks.”

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