Water savings in agro industry: what alternatives?

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 Cleaning and water savings in the food industry

 

I bounced on this article taken from the Agromédia french website talking about the different methods of cleaning and speaks in particular about the problem of hot water savings during cleaning.
There are at least 2 sources of consumption :
– the cleaning operators with each 1 outlet
– automated / autonomous cleaning systems

  • Operators :
    Today, more and more sites are equipped with so-called Medium Pressure (MP) and very often the pressure delivered by these networks is around 20-25 bars. This pressure makes it possible to carry out the most common cleaning operations. This pressure generally preserves the material. We had more High Pressure (+ 100 bar) more than 20 years ago but this pressure caused breakdowns by introducing water into the electrical boxes, shaft seals, motors, … and thus Instantaneous breakdowns and subsequent failures.
    Nominal water flow rates are generally 30L / min to 40L / min, depending on the size of the network pumps and the type of soil encountered. A jet calibrated to 40L / min will have more impact than a 30L / min and may also, in some cases, allow to perform a similar task faster in general. On average, an operator consumes (on a 30L / min basis) 2m3 / h, which gives an average of 5h effective hours, about ten m3
  • Cleaning systems:
    We have systems called “CIP” (Cleaning In Place) for pipes (dairies, …), continuous cooking ovens, … are systems operating with an initial water volume on which one does not Can vary little without changing the results. These are known as closed circuit cleanups.
    There are open circuit CIP systems such as automated cleaners on freezers, for example. In many cases, this is the case of a automotion + MP pump that manages the various phases of cleaning the inside of the freezer. On the cleaning part of the tower (example of a spiral freezer) one can hardly modify without altering the quality. On the other hand, on the cleaning of the belt conveyor, one can modify: why? First of all we are with multi-nozzle ramps that consume a lot of water. Then we have the problem of the type of soiling and therefore the efficiency of the ramp in the water / impact / time volume mix on the conveyor. Water is money, time is money. By adopting a well-calibrated mono-nozzle cleaning system (flow-angle-height / belt) and at the right speed, a very efficient cleaning is achieved in a single pass without the intervention of a cleaning operator ( cleaning and rinsing phase ), and therefore to water savings.

As treated in the article of Agromedia, we have alternatives to clean otherwise and especially with less water, energy … Nevertheless some processes are more complicated or impossible to clean with steam, cryogenics,. ..For having tried the cryogenics, this process is not fast : m2 / hour, and applies for special and often occasional processes. Steam cleaning (for existing equipment, but in full development) also applies to particular conveyors, smooth conveyor, and where dirt remains contained on the contact surface of the belt. On many processes, dirt does not just stay on the conveyor belt itself ! . On conveyors type Intralox very soiled on freezers, ovens, … this seems to be impossible at the moment. It would also be necessary to clean the other side simultaneously. The advantage of steam for smooth belts is that it can easily be applied during continuous production because there is very little water and not chemical.

It is necessary to put everything in context : the main position in cleaning, is the ManPower. Any cleaning equipment must therefore reduce the MP to be amortized quickly. If one decreases the equivalent of 1 hour of volume of water (40L / min = 2.4m3 / h) but one increases of 1h of MP, it is loser. Water savings are also to be put into perspective of the total actual cost of treated water.

The ArmCleaner provides a solution in various forms for water savings

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