Green machines — sustainability through innovative manufacturing
The challenge in green manufacturing is reducing waste and pollution while finding ways to improve equipment design to see higher production efficiencies both in the equipment and the manufacturing process.
With the world’s population projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, the demand for food products has never been higher. Growing population levels and consumer demand for a more diverse range of products has also seen pollution and waste levels increase during the food manufacturing process. This provides a number of challenges for food manufacturers, including the adoption of more efficient and sustainable production methods to meet legislative changes around climate change, or to suit company culture/ethics.
Reducing carbon emissions is driving Heat and Control’s commitment to green manufacturing, with our R&D teams constantly looking at ways to create innovative solutions around water and energy reduction technology, waste treatment/reductions and reclaiming or reusing material to be environmentally friendly.
“This investment into green manufacturing technologies is something we have long prided ourselves on, and we are continuously looking for ways to develop new processes and enhance the existing methods of use,” said Jim Strang, CEO – Heat and Control Asia Pacific and Europe.
“When we design our equipment, sustainability is front of mind. We not only ask ourselves how we can increase yield and efficiencies through automation for our customers, but also how we can reduce emissions and waste,” said Mr Strang.
Energy savings and pollution reduction
Many of our snack systems are now complemented with energy saving and pollution control systems, with Heat and Control developing a number of heat exchangers that combine the incineration of fryer exhaust pollutants with high-efficiency oil heating to help processors meet emission control regulations.
The KleenHeat® pollution control heat exchanger incinerates and removes virtually all odours, oil and other particulates from fryer stack exhaust that would normally pollute the air and area around your plant. Our latest graduated density oil heating tube bundle provides 10% greater thermal efficiency than existing models, and is fully compliant with US, EC, and Australian regulations.
Designing innovative ways to reuse previously exhausted waste gases can increase production efficiency, save energy costs while reducing carbon emissions. The Heat and Control heat exchanger with combustion air pre-heater (and Booster Heater) can preheat cooking oil to boost fryer production up to 11–15% with no extra fuel consumption.
Managing oil use
Frying oil can be an expensive part of food processing and any steps the processor can use to reduce loss or wastage of oil can only result in greater business profitability. Oil recovery during production not only reduces energy usage, but also sees higher yields through cost savings. Where cooking oil is used during production of the finished food product, we have sought solutions to increase the oil life.
The Oil Sweep System, is where fryer oil used during French Fry production is recovered through a bank of cyclones and returned to the fryer oil recovery system. Solid fines are removed and the reusable oil is transferred by a pump back into the frying system.
Using a heat exchanger can manage the use of oil, with low oil volume promoting fast oil turnover and inhibiting the formation of free fatty acids. Rapid, uniform heat transfer allows your fryer to respond quicker to changes in product load, and protects oil quality by maintaining a low oil film temperature.
Where water is used for product or equipment cleaning purposes, we have increased the use of recycled water. High levels of water usage can be costly for food manufacturers, so Heat and Control has developed a Water Cleanup System (WCS) for the slice washing system, which reduces fresh water usage up to 50% over conventional slice washing systems. Water Cleanup System cleans and reuses wash water, and concentrates starch and fines for more efficient removal and reduces sewer loading and the burden on a starch recovery system.
Heat and Control has also developed an oil mist eliminator that removes oil mist from fryer exhaust without water or high-horsepower fans and a heat recovery system which recovers normally lost heat from the fryer exhaust stack. This system condenses otherwise wasted steam to make hot water for blanching, sanitation, or even building heat.
Heat and Control offers four standard sizes of Stack Heat Recovery Units, and can also tailor design an application to your needs. Absorption chiller technology is becoming more common in hotter areas for building air conditioning and our SHRS acts as an ideal heat source.
In potato production, a necessary but costly part of the process is the need to blanch potatoes before cooking. The Heat and Control E-FLO™ system uses Pulse Electric Field Processing (PEF) technology to perforate the cell walls of the potato creating micro holes that allow asparagine and reducing sugars to be washed out of the potato in a cold water wash. The tissue of the potato becomes more permeable, which can eliminate or reduce the need to blanch the product before cooking. E-FLO can also increase yield which reduces energy used to produce a pound of finished product.
All these innovations allow our customers to reduce their pollution and waste levels while increasing operational cost savings through improved manufacturing design. Reducing the environmental impacts of processing can lower energy use and overall costs, while providing food manufacturers with innovative technology that will provide a significant return on investment in the years to come.
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