Baking & Snack - July 2018 - 96
COOLING AND FREEZING
Designing a freezer for future demand
A positive-driven spiral
system is designed
for heavy loads,
high-tension and greasyproduct applications.
"If you start with conditions that optimize the freezer
from the start, you'll have a much better day at production," he pointed out. "If you start at suboptimal conditions and begin running product, you're playing catchup all day long."
Linde offers an automatic sequence for startup to
monitor belts, blowers and exhaust to ensure they are
working as planned before dropping the temperature.
"As a result, when they're ready for the first products
to hit the freezer belt, the freezer is already at optimum
condition," Mr. Fihlman said. "It improves not only performance but also longevity of the machine."
Watching around the clock
Although bakers often cannot see what's going on inside a freezer, a variety of monitoring systems continuously check on a variety of factors to ensure everything
is in good order. The Intralox Intelligence system, for
instance, keeps an eye on the freezer 24/7 to ensure
there are no variances in performance that would lead
to downtime, noted David Bogle, global R&D director,
spiral platform, Intralox. Specifically, remote monitoring
tracks belt tension, motors, amperages and other variables to predict issues before the freezer breaks down or
damages the belt.
Ashworth offers its SmartSpiral system to monitor key
performance indicators and signal to engineers when
the freezer might be out of kilter. "It gives you close to
real-time data to predictively plan to make certain repairs," Mr. Hobbs said.
Linde's monitoring system relies on a green light to
indicate that a spiral or tunnel freezer is operating as expected. The light starts flashing if potential trouble pops
up, which allows maintenance to make adjustments
without shutting down. "If you do have an issue that
96 Baking & Snack July 2018 / www.bakingandsnack.com
Bakers should allocate extra space for
adding on to modular tunnel freezers
or calculate the extra ceiling height to
accommodate longer belts that require
more space. "We often design our spiral
blast freezers that have 20 to 25% greater
production expansion capacity, so they
have room to grow," said Peter White,
president, IJ White Systems.
Bryan Hobbs, sales and service manager, Ashworth Bros., noted a larger
freezer allows bakers to transition from
a 30-in. to a 40-in. belt without major
construction down the line. "They'll have
the opportunity to grow into it later by
simply changing out infeed and outfeed
equipment," he said. "It's obviously a
larger initial investment, but they may be
able to amortize it over a longer period."
David Bogle, global R&D director, spiral platform, Intralox, noted that some
positive-driven belts can cover a greater
range and higher volumes of products.
"The drive motors and refrigeration
units must also be capable of increases
in capacity," he pointed out. "It is only a
minimal cost to implement larger motors and more refrigeration capability
on new equipment versus trying to do it
Additionally, Anthony Salsone,
sales engineer, G&F Systems, said
its spiral blast freezers are designed
with variable-frequency drives that
provide greater flexibility, throughput
and range of dwell times, which many
food manufacturers are looking for in
Another option involves installing a
small cryogenic freezer before the infeed
of the spiral system to drop the products'
temperature prior to entering it, suggested Erik Fihlman, program manager,
bakery and prepared foods, Linde.
When it comes to a new freezer, keep
one thing in mind. "I never ran into a
baker or any other food producer who
has complained about excess capacity in
the freezer," Mr. Hobbs said. "It's always
a complaint of not enough capacity."