Dust-free manufacturing in beverage facility

Supplier: Donaldson Australasia By: Val Pavlovic
15 April, 2010

Donaldson Australasia has shown that it can quickly engineer and install OH&S solutions for beverage manufacturing facilities of all types.

Because many beverage manufacturing processors use rehydrating powder-form base ingredients, Donaldson has been successfully installing a filtration system to eliminate any opportunity for these powders to spill onto floors or be released in the breathable atmosphere.

Batching and mixing processes are high volume and normally demand high capacity equipment to perform around the clock.

In one recent installation, Donaldson’s solution demanded processing up to 1,000,000 litres per week of beverages and at various stages of processing there was a potential for powdered product to escape into the working environment.

Fine powders are often created when handling and batching cereals, powders such as fruits or soy, and various minerals important to recipes which arrive in powder and granule forms.

Donaldson has a commitment that its solutions keep all plants spotless at all stages - batching, mixing, sterilisation, filling and homogenising – to maintain breathable air for employees at a very high standard and to ensure the site is extremely clean.

In this recent solution, Donaldson engineers fitted a Dalamatic DU 452-K7 dust extraction system with 3kW fan and 55 litre dust collection bin.

The dust collection point inside a mixing station is connected by food grade stainless steel ducting to the dust collector, while anti static oleophobic polyester bags make sure moisture in the humid process does not coagulate and block the dust bag. As a further safeguard, a rear explosion relief has been fitted to the dust collector.

The production line sees product move through a system of batch tanks, mixing tanks, sterilisation, filling stations and homogenisation.

Much of the bulk input takes place at the mixing station, where 150-180 tonnes of raw material is fed into it daily.

In this liquefier section, an existing system was upgraded by Donaldson Torit-DCE to work more efficiently and logically.

Here, 20kg bags of product are deposited into mixing bins for the final process. The previous system was less efficient as extraction could only occur when the bin lids were open and dust had to travel around the open lids to reach the extraction hood, which was positioned above the mixer.

Donaldson Australasia changed the configuration so that extraction occurs as the recipe is mixed when the bin lids are closed. Now, negative pressure, created by the dust collector fan, captures any air borne food dusts in the mixer, which are then taken through the ducting back to the Dalamatic dust collector.

To facilitate continuous 24-hour production from Mondays to Thursdays (a constant for the last six years), a change-over collector bag system is operated.

Out of the million litres being processed each week by this particular beverage plant, about 75% of this is handled by the lines on which Donaldson set up its dust extraction system.

The system keeps the working environment clean for food production and safe for employees.

A regular shutdown every Friday is factored in when the client cleans out the food processing system, thus ensuring the business is clinical in all areas.