Kaishan USA | October 04, 2018 | Uncategorized
Compressed air is often known as “the fourth utility” because of its broad application across a variety of industries. Air compressors are extremely valuable in the food and beverage industry, as they provide a clean and efficient tool for packaging and processing. From peeling vegetables to consistently filling pastries, air compressors can streamline food and beverage production to increase productivity and reduce waste.
Air compressors are machines transforming power into potential energy by using a diesel, electric, gas, or other engine to reduce the volume of air. This potential energy is stored as compressed air that can then be used for a variety of applications. Rotary screw air compressors use two interlocking helical screws, called rotors, to pressurize air inside the compressor.
Several screw air compressors use oil to run the motor, which turns the male rotor blade. The male rotor then drives the female rotor. An oil film is formed between the two rotors and works as a sealant and coolant in the compression chamber. This means that some oil will be present in the compressed air. To remove any oil particles, the compressed air passes through the sump, or separator tank, which reduces the oil in the air to around 3 parts per million (ppm) or less. The purified compressed air then passes through a cooler before it is ready for use.
Screw air compressors are favored in industrial applications because they are very efficient and able to run non-stop. Rotary screws run in a sweeping motion, so they provide a steady flow of air with little pulsation or surging. They are quieter than many other types of air compressors and generate lower temperatures. These air compressors also allow you to access a large volume of compressed air in a smaller space.
Compressed air has a wide variety of applications across industries. In the food and beverage industry, air compressors are used in production chains, packaging, and cleaning. Generally, three different types of compressed air systems are used in the food and beverage industry:
Rotary screw air compressors have a variety of uses in food processing. Food grade compressed air can be used for cutting and preparing products or creating clean and consistent packaging.
Below are a few common applications of air compressors in the food industry:
On the production side of the beverage industry, air compressors are used in many of the same ways as in the food industry. Air compressors assist in packaging and filling to increase efficiency and create consistent products. Air compressors also have several uses at the service end of the beverage industry, as they help power liquid through machines and dispense it evenly. Here are some common applications of air compressors in the beverage industry:
Air compressors can be extremely beneficial tools in the food and beverage industry. However, they are not without their challenges. As several compressed air systems involve compressed air coming into direct contact with food, the compressed air must maintain purity and cleanliness standards to prevent contamination. These standards include purifying compressed air, removing oil from ambient air, and drying the air to prevent microbial growth. Food contamination is a major problem in the U.S., so the cleanliness of compressed air used in the food and beverage industry must be taken seriously.
Below are some challenges faced while using compressed air in the food and beverage industry, as well as best practices to ensure safe and healthy use:
1. Moisture Removal
Moisture in compressed air is the number one safety concern while using compressed air in food and beverage production. Food- and beverage-grade compressed air must be properly dried to remove moisture that could lead to fungus or microbial growth. Microbial growth can occur inside the piping of air compressors if the air is not properly dried. These contaminants will then be blown onto the food products or containers when the compressed air is used. Compressed air containing excess moisture can also cause microbial growth directly on food products. When using compressed air in food or beverage production, it must always be dried to the proper pressure dewpoint. Direct contact compressed air or non-contact high-risk compressed air should always be maintained at a pressure dewpoint of -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Non-contact low-risk compressed air systems should be maintained at 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Oil Removal
Air compressors must use filters to ensure that oil particles are removed from the air. In a production facility, oil vapor in the air is a common concern, as it can be produced from other machines on the production floor and can be present in the ambient air. Oil vapor should be removed to the highest degree possible. In case of direct contact compressed air, the amount of permissible oil vapor is 0.01 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) of oil or less, and for non-contact low-risk compressed air systems, it is 0.1 mg/m3 of oil or less.
3. Elimination Of Contaminants
Compressed air may also contain solid particulates that can cause contamination if transferred to food or beverage products. Solid particulates sometimes form when compressed air is dried and microorganisms or fungi turn into spores. Other contaminants come from coatings on the rotors, the air compressor, or other internal mechanisms. Dust and other particles found in the air will also naturally enter the air compressor and need to be removed. These solid particulates can be filtered out using an air filter inside of the air compressor.
4. Keeping Air Compressors Self-Contained
As contaminants may be naturally present in production areas as dust or debris from processing, air compressors must be self-contained. Food particles must not be able to enter the air compressor and any lubricants inside the air compressor must not be able to escape into the food processing area.
To ensure the safe use of compressed air in food and beverage production, companies should establish Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans that include best practices for the use of air compressors. Compressed air standards for the food industry should always be met to avoid food product contamination. Testing should be performed periodically to verify that pressure dewpoints are maintained and compressed air is contaminant-free. It is also essential that air compressors be properly maintained and filters changed on schedule to keep up with purity standards. Finding a reliable screw air compressor for your food or beverage company is essential to safe production.
Kaishan is a global manufacturer, producing high-performance air compressors with a great track record, for a variety of industries. Backed by over sixty years of research, our screw air compressors are reliable, efficient, and affordable. Here are some of the benefits you can expect when you purchase a Kaishan screw air compressor:
Kaishan offers a line of rotary screw compressors to suit a variety of applications in the food and beverage industry. Each of these models offers distinct benefits and features to suit your needs:
Air compressors have become an essential feature of food and beverage processing. Companies rely on compressed air to keep their production line moving quickly and efficiently, day after day. Kaishan’s line of screw air compressors provides affordable solutions for any food or beverage company. Whether you are looking for an air compressor for cleaning, processing, packaging, or powering a pneumatic system, Kaishan has the right product to suit your needs. Contact us to learn more about how Kaishan screw air compressors can work for you.
Compressed air is often known as “the fourth utility” because of its broad application across
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