Green machines delivering sustainability and growth

Heat and Control, a maker of equipment for processing, product handling, packaging and inspection, helps food businesses achieve sustainability through innovative manufacturing.

Global population growth combined with demand for a more diverse range of products has seen an increase in the levels of pollution and waste levels resulting from food manufacturing. This provides food makers with a number of challenges, including the need to adopt more efficient and sustainable production methods to meet legislative changes around climate change, or to suit company culture and ethics.

Reducing carbon emissions is driving Heat and Control’s commitment to green manufacturing. The company’s R&D teams are constantly looking at ways to create innovative solutions around water and energy reduction technology, waste treatment/reductions and reclaiming or reusing material. The challenge in green manufacturing is being able to reduce waste and pollution while finding ways to improve equipment design to see higher production efficiencies both in equipment and processes.

“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.”

Energy savings and pollution reduction

Heat and Control offers complete snack systems for producers of natural potato chips, corn and tortilla chips, and other snacks, plus taco shells, corn tortillas, and tostadas.

Many of these now feature energy saving and pollution control systems, with the company 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. Heat and Control’s latest graduated density oil heating tube bundle provides 10 per cent 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 and save energy, 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 by up to 11 – 15 per cent 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 are always welcome. 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, Heat and Control has sought solutions to increase oil life.

Using the Oil Sweep System (pictured above), manufacturing operations can recover oil used in French fry production through a bank of cyclones and return it to the fryer oil recovery system. In addition, they can remove solid fines and transfer reusable oil by pump back into the frying system.

Heat exchangers can help 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 fryers to respond more quickly to changes in product load, and protects oil quality by maintaining a low oil film temperature.

Water conservation

Heat and Control has increased its use of recycled water for product and equipment cleaning. High levels of water usage can be costly for food manufacturers, so the company has developed a Water Cleanup System (WCS) for its slice washing system, which reduces fresh water usage up to 50 per cent, compared to conventional slice washing systems. WCS cleans and reuses wash water, 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 the need for 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.

The company offers four standard sizes of Stack Heat Recovery Units (SHRS), and can also tailor design applications to individual needs.  Absorption chiller technology is becoming more common in hotter areas for building air conditioning and the company’s SHRS acts as an ideal heat source.

Blanching potatoes before cooking is a necessary but costly part of the potato production process. The Heat and Control E-FLO system uses Pulse Electric Field Processing (PEF) technology to perforate the cell walls of the potatoes, creating micro holes that allow asparagine and reducing sugars to be removed in a cold water wash. The tissue of the potatoes becomes more permeable, which can eliminate or reduce the need to blanch them before cooking. E-FLO can also increase yield which, in turn, reduces energy use.

All these innovations are intended to help Heat and Control’s customers 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.

The E-FLO system reduces the need to blanch potatoes before cooking them.
The E-FLO system reduces the need to blanch potatoes before cooking them.

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