Today’s food manufacturers are looking for ways to boost production runs, simplify cleanup and sanitation, control ingredient costs, reduce changeover times between runs and increase the ability to produce a variety of product types and sizes, all with an emphasis on cutting cost but improving overall food safety. Automation of the complete process is a key trend in food manufacture from raw ingredient receipt and transfer, including various pneumatic transfer options, batch weighing techniques, and continuous feeding methods, all the way to the extrusion, and packaging steps downstream.
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Food Processing Equipment Trends
Western Food Processor
Manufacture of aquafeed - Future challenges and solutions
International Aquafeed Directory 2014/2015
Nowadays, commercial aquafeed is predominantly manufactured using extrusion. This continuous process allows huge quantities to be produced. Single screw extruders reach their capacity limits at a throughput rate of around 15 t/h, whereas even higher throughput rates can be achieved with twin screw extruders. Coperion GmbH, based in Stuttgart, Germany, is a pioneer in the development of co-rotating and closely intermeshing twin screw extruders and has already designed numerous large scale plants with screw diameters up to 420 mm and throughput rates of up to 100 t/h in different areas of application.
Reactive extrusion: Opportunity for improved performance products and manufacturing productivity
The co-rotating twin-screw extruder is cost-effective to operate and has process flexibility. As such, it has become most widely used piece of compounding equipment in the polymer industry. These characteristics have also enabled the twin-screw extruder to be successful in many other markets. These include, but are not limited to, such diverse processes as food, pharmaceuticals, bio-materials, energetics and chemicals.
The Paradox of Proportioning
Plastics Technology Magazine, 10/2015
Continuous proportioning typically involves a group of gravimetric feeders operating under some form of higher level coordinating control. One would think the result should be a perfectly formulated composite stream. But the devil is in the details.
Making Mixing Transparent
Kunststoffe International, 7/2014
Variations on the kneading elements of co-rotating twin-screw extruder were produced by an additive manufacturing process with the aim of increasing the processing engineering efficiency. A transparent barrel permits computer-aided quantification of the flow processes, allowing element-specific properties to be analyzed.
Saratoga Food Specialties - Automated Feeding & Material Transfer for Efficiency & Improved Product Quality
Saratoga Food Specialties, Bolingbrook, IL, has been developing and producing unique and quality dry seasoning blends for over 60 years. With a product array of over 500 different blends, a growing customer base, and a goal to deliver consistent output through facilities optimization, Saratoga quickly realized the need to automate their dry seasoning blend operation. When a significant client required increased capacity for their seasoning blend, Saratoga turned to the Systems Design Group at Coperion K-Tron for help.
Turnkey Compounding Plants from a Single Source
Kunststoffe International, 09/2013
The journey from order placement to hand over of a finished compounding plant presents complex challenges for equipment providers. Aside from design, to delivery through to commissioning, there is a great deal more to consider than simply the technology itself.
Co-Rotating Fully Intermeshing Twin-Screw Compounding: Advancements for Improved Performance and Productivity
The co-rotating fully intermeshing twin-screw extruder is the primary production unit for compounding of polymer based materials. It also has had a long term presence in processing material in the chemical and food industry and more recently in pharmaceuticals. While this equipment celebrated its 50th anniversary several years ago and might be considered a “mature” technology, it has not experienced a decline in new developments as might be expected, but rather a significant number of advancements continue to evolve. This paper will highlight several significant developments of the past 10 to 15 years. These are the implementation of high torque (power) designs, the use of increased rpm in conjunction with high torque for improved operating flexibility and productivity, and finally a technology breakthrough for feeding difficult to handle low bulk density materials.
Nano Direct Process for Compounding of Nanocomposites
Numerous varieties of polymer nano-composites have been developed on the laboratory scale and characterized regarding their properties. These include, nanofiller based on exfoliated clay, nanosilver, carbon nanotubes (both single and multiple wall geometry), zinc oxide, silica, and graphene among others. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are of particular interest as they play a pecial role when it comes to improving or creating electrical conductivity in a polymer matrix.
Conveying and feeding of calcium carbonate in plastics compounding
Calcium carbonate (CaCO₃) is one of the most popular mineral fillers used in the plastics industry. It is widely available around the world, easy to grind or reduce to a specific particle size, and compatible with a wide range of polymer resins. Plus it’s economical. As an additive in plastic compounds, CaCO₃ helps to decrease the surface energy and provide opacity and surface gloss, which improves the surface finish of the finished product. In addition, when the particle size is carefully controlled, CaCO₃ helps to increase both the impact strength and flexural modulus (stiffness) of the end product.