Baking & Snack - July 2018 - 95
Cooling and Freezing
NIPPING it in the bud
Proactive sanitation and preventive maintenance keep coolers and freezers from crashing to a halt.
by Dan Malovany
Bakers are running their freezers harder and longer to
maximize throughput and keep up with growth. It's not
unusual for continuous production runs to last 10 to 12
days - and in some cases longer - between routine
cleaning and regular checkups due to enhanced sanitary
design and advances in technology.
In recent years, one game changer that allows for a
longer, ongoing operation involves new, more energyefficient technology for sequential defrosting coils in
spiral freezers. "We're doing defrosting in a very unique
way with technology that is engineered to mechanically
isolate individual coils," noted Peter White, president,
IJ White Systems.
"We use coil isolation technology to segregate individual coils that are in defrost," he continued. "Older,
traditional designs required extensive horizontal decking requiring multiple access doors and ladders. This
additional internal structure proves to be problematic
especially for cleaning and maintenance. Our system is
completely open, and we're isolating our coils sequentially. As one coil needs to be defrosted, it will shut
down, and we go through a defrost cycle."
However, pushing run times to the limit can result
in costly failure. "Some of the biggest causes for unanticipated or unplanned downtime in the freezer is just
the nature of the beast itself. It is a freezer and harsh
environment," observed Bryan Hobbs, sales and service
manager, Ashworth Bros., Inc.
Because many blast freezers are enclosed, with temperatures dipping down to -40˚F or lower, potential problems
are often out of sight and out of mind until it's too late. "If
something should go wrong, the plant may not see it until
it becomes catastrophic," Mr. Hobbs explained.
Still, he added, there are telltale signs when something
may be amiss. With a spiral system, a spike in the drive's
power consumption should be investigated immediately.
Meanwhile in coolers, where temperatures are not
as brutally cold as in freezers, bakers and snack producers need to keep a close eye on the condition of the
belt, noted Craig Bartsch, general manager, belts, IPCO
North America. "The belt surface on both the product
and backside is actually a map or a report about how
well the belt is performing," he said. "If there's wear
on the bottom of the belt, something is scraping on it.
Maybe the unit is out of alignment or the belt tracker is
not working accurately."
Anthony Salsone, sales engineer, G&F Systems, suggested that a good preventive maintenance checklist includes inspecting all components for wear, ensuring the
spiral belt is free from obstructions, verifying all safety
sensors are operable and looking at all bearings and rollers for proper alignment and lubrication.
Before ramping up an operation for the day, Erik
Fihlman, program manager, bakery and prepared foods
for Linde LLC, recommended taking a few extra minutes to double check that everything is running properly.
Today's belting handles
a wider variety and
greater volume of baked
goods and prepared
foods in spiral freezers.
www.bakingandsnack.com / July 2018 Baking & Snack 95