Within the “zero-loss” culture at General Mills, plant personnel identify and optimize major energy users in each facility. Common opportunities include: the optimization of dryers, ovens and freezers; compressed air optimization projects; improvements to building heating and cooling system; and lighting replacement innovations. In addition, engineers at General Mills have started to explore new energy-saving opportunities within the vacuum and blower systems at their production facilities. To better understand how any production system is addressed at General Mills, an examination of the company’s energy management methodology is required.
The right vacuum solution not only ensures product quality in meat processing operations; it also helps companies achieve important sustainability goals. Such is the case at two leading meat processing companies in Germany, both of whom added Busch Vacuum Pumps and Systems solutions to their operations and saved energy and more as a result.
"The most impressive feature of this year’s PROCESS EXPO was the tremendous quality of customers in attendance," said Gil Williams, Chairman of the Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA) and President of Poly-clip System USA and Canada. “During the show we were able to meet with a number of important customers and sit down with prospects that we are confident will lead to new sales in the short to medium term, helping us close out 2015 on a strong note and jump start our sales efforts in 2016.”
Formaldehyde is an organic compound that can adopt several different forms. It can be used in solution form as formalin, as a free gas, or in a solid form as paraformaldehyde prills. Formaldehyde is highly toxic to humans, regardless of the method of intake. At room temperature it is a colorless gas characterized by a pungent odor. Even with very short-term exposure, formaldehyde will cause irritation to the eyes including pain, redness, blurred vision followed by sneezing, soreness, coughing, shortness of breath, headaches and nausea. Exposure to elevated levels can lead to accumulation of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema).
It’s one thing to move materials during the production process, but when it’s a finished product on the packaging line, choosing the right material handling system is essential. Getting it wrong results in squandered production time when product loss occurs, and wasted raw materials.
Nutriom sets the bar high when it comes to producing its premium quality natural powdered egg products Ova Easy® and Egg Crystals®, that are sold at outdoor retailers such as REI, and online merchants such as Amazon.com; so, when the screw conveyor in their FSIS USDA facility required regular unexpected attention, Leonardo Etcheto, Plant Manager at the Lacey, WA facility knew it was time to look for a better solution.
This food & beverage plant is a large (500,000 sq ft) meat processing plant with twenty packaging lines and nine palletizers. The compressed air system is supplied from three separate rooms with seven individual lubricant-cooled, single and two-stage rotary screw compressors. The plant has four blower purge desiccant dryers designed to deliver a - 40°F pressure dewpoint.
This brewery is a relatively large operation with nine production lines plus a keg line. There are five bottle lines and four can lines. Operations in the plant include palletizing de-palletizing, filling, packaging operations, and brewing.
Annual plant electric costs for compressed air production, as operating today, are $693,161 per year. If the electric costs of $43,016 per year associated with operating ancillary equipment such as the blower purge dryers are included, the total electric costs for operating the air system are $736,177 per year. These estimates are based upon a blended electric rate of $0.06 /kWh.
This food industry factory, located in California, was spending $386,533 annually on energy to operate their compressed air system. This system assessment detailed eleven (11) project areas where yearly energy savings totaling $154,372 could be found with a investment of $289,540. A local utility energy incentive, paying 9 cents/kWh, provided the factory with an incentive award of $159,778. This reduced the investment to $129,762 and provided a simple ROI of ten months on the project.
CVP System, Inc.’s MasterPACKer Eco+™ Breaks Down Barriers to Cost and Energy Savings Through Improved Modified Atmosphere Packaging Technology
Worldwide, Tesco, a global grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Cheshunt, U.K., initiated the demand for modified atmosphere packaging technology in the early 70s. It became one of the first grocers to move away from employing an onsite butcher to using a central processing/distribution system.
Recently, The Kroger Company’s Indianapolis bakery identified the use of compressed air in a blow-off and conveyor gap transfer as a major source of energy loss and cost waste. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “inappropriate use” of compressed air like blow-off produces high pressure atmosphere bleed leading to significant energy loss and unnecessary operational costs. Carrying a 10-15% efficiency return (according to the Department of Energy), compressed air applications can often be achieved more effectively, efficiently and less expensively with alternative solutions using a high flow rate and moderate pressure.