Table of contents
- Spray Nozzles in the Food & Beverage Industry | Where Can They Be Used?
- Frozen Food Factory | Moisture Conditioning of Dumpling Dough
- Cheese Factory | Humidifying a Cheese Aging Room
- Beverage Factory | Spraying Lubricant on a Bottle Conveyor Belt
- Plastic Bottle Manufacturing | Preventing Static Electricity
- Summary | Spray Nozzles for Food & Beverage Processing | 10 Case Studies (Part 3)
1. Spray Nozzles in the Food & Beverage Industry | Where Can They Be Used?
The effective use of spray nozzles in food & beverage processing lead to process automation, cost reduction, improvement in productivity and quality. This series of articles provides 10 carefully selected case studies on spray nozzle applications, such as cleaning, coating, moisture conditioning, disinfection, humidification, and air blowing.
The first article of this series introduced three case studies in baking factories, and the second one covered three cases in confectionery manufacturing factories.
This final article will discuss four cases dealing with moisture conditioning, humidification and spraying in manufacturing factories of frozen food, cheese, beverages, and plastic bottles.
2. Frozen Food Factory | Moisture Conditioning of Dumpling Dough
A frozen food factory had problems with dumpling dough drying out during steaming, making them lose their texture.
They contacted IKEUCHI for help with adding enough moisture to the outside of the dumplings to maintain their texture during the steaming process.
The first step was to determine the right amount of water needed. Then a pneumatic nozzle was selected that would deliver an even and consistent spray. Multiple nozzles were mounted on a header, making a spray unit, which fit across the conveyor and was connected to a control box for easy adjustment of the spray amount.
Using these nozzles that create a very fine fog has made it possible to moisture condition all the dumplings on the conveyor evenly and automatically without getting the dough wet. With the control box it is possible to fine-tune the spray volume and create the same high quality dumplings every day.
Spray nozzle used for this process:
3. Cheese Factory | Humidifying a Cheese Aging Room
A cheese factory was looking for a way to maintain a temperature of 15 degrees C at a RH of 85% in their cheese aging room. They were considering a steam humidifier in the HVAC system, but were hesitant due to these common issues with steam humidifiers:
- Condensation at the air outlet causing water to drip and wet the floor.
- Using steam raises the temperature inside the room causing the air conditioner to work harder to lower its temperature, resulting in increased energy cost.
- This creates a vicious cycle of needing to cool more, causing the air to dry out which results in needing more steam for humidification.
IKEUCHI proposed a humidification system using the dry fog humidifier AKIMist® “E”, which is widely used for humidification in facilities for food storage and is also well-reputed for use in cold storage warehouses.
This “Dry Fog” is made up of ultra-fine water droplets which have a mean droplet diameter of 10 μm or less and does not wet the equipment or product, even if it comes in contact with it. That means there is no water accumulation or dripping, it evaporates instantly after spraying and disperses evenly in the room for humidification. Operation with an automated on-off controller is possible and when used in combination with an RO water purifier offers worry-free and hygienic operation.
Despite the large size of the cheese aging room, the system is able to maintain a stable low temperature and high-humidity environment 24/7 and contributes to the aging of delicious cheese. In addition, the cooling effect of the evaporating water already lowers the room temperature, thereby supporting the cooling system and helping to reduce cooling costs.
Product used for this process:
4. Beverage Factory | Spraying Lubricant on a Bottle Conveyor Belt
A beverage manufacturing plant had problems with the nozzles that were spraying lubricant on a conveyor belt. Spraying lubricant on the conveyor belt surface helps the bottled product slide on easier.
However, in order to avoid excessive use of lubricants, the spray pressure was lowered and now the lubricant didn’t sufficiently spread over the belt. This led to stoppages to remove stuck bottles from the conveyor belt.
IKEUCHI has spray nozzles with low flow rates even at low operating pressure. The KB Series produces the finest spray among hydraulic spray nozzles at low flow rates. Saving lubricant while still able to sufficiently cover the conveyor belt.
After replacing their nozzles with the KB series, the spray amount was reduced drastically. Spraying the lubricant at a 60 degree angle, even at a low pressure of 0.2 MPa, covers a wider area. As a result, the amount of lubricant used per month was cut by 50%.
Spray nozzle used for this process:
5. Plastic Bottle Manufacturing | Preventing Static Electricity
A plastic bottle manufacturing plant was dealing with static electricity in the shipping department.
Plastic bottles are transferred in multiple rows from the conveyor belt to a pallet for shipping. In a dry environment the bottles stuck together due to static electricity and would get knocked over. This would cause a stoppage so a worker could rearrange and transfer the bottles manually one by one to the pallet.
They wanted to suppress the static electricity by raising the humidity but were concerned about water droplets on the product. The customer came to IKEUCHI for advice.
IKEUCHI suggested a portable spray unit with the Dry Fog Humidifer AKIMist®”E”.
The portable AKIMistⓇ”E” produces ultra-fine water droplets or “Dry Fog” with a mean droplet diameter of 10 μm or less. This Dry Fog can increase the humidity without wetting equipment or product. The portable unit makes it easy to move around and humidify specific areas without requiring any installation. Allowing spot humidification in facilities with needs changing depending on product and weather.
Higher humidification eliminated the sticking and falling over of bottles, thus raising the production efficiency. In addition, the higher humidity helped suppress dust and lower the temperature in the work area. Three birds with one stone made the customer happy.
Product used for this process:
6. Summary | Spray Nozzles for Food & Beverage Processing | 10 Case Studies
Spray nozzles have a wide range of applications in the food & beverage industries, such as cleaning, coating, moisture conditioning, disinfection, humidification, and air blowing. In order to help customers use the right nozzle to automate production, reduce costs, improve productivity and quality, the 10 sample cases were carefully selected from our many satisfied customers and compiled as “10 Case Studies on Spray Nozzle Applications”. Hopefully they have given an insight into the wide range of possible solutions.
Thank you for your interest and stay tuned for more information.