Case Studies & Field Reports

Time to give the old boilers a rest

On-demand steam generators quench energy-efficiency needs for Nestlé beverage manufacturer.

Vitality Foods Production Manager Ryan Jennings (left) and Vitality Foods General Manager Bruce Burlington (right) start up their new Clayton SigmaFire Steam Generator SFG-125M to produce 99.5 percent dry steam for their beverage manufacturing processes. Source: Clayton Industries.

Vitality Foodservice, Inc. supplies beverage products and dispensing equipment worldwide with companies in the US, the Caribbean, Europe and Canada. Nestlé Corporation recently purchased Vitality’s North American arm, Vitality Foods, which designs its own line of beverages, including juices, teas, coffees, smoothies and specialty drinks, as well as the dispensing and packaging systems that contain them. The company also processes product bases from six liters to 220 liters for a number of copack customers.

To stay competitive in a demanding industry, Vitality Foods must look for ways to increase efficiency, cost-effectiveness and product quality. That is what plant management hoped to accomplish when it came time to upgrade the company’s system for pasteurization and clean-in-place (CIP) operations.

Since its earliest days, Vitality relied on two conventional gas-fired boilers. Long periods of non-operating boilers, however, were leading to a serious loss of productivity.

“We were experiencing too much downtime, and in our business, every minute of productivity counts. Reliability and continuous operations are extremely important in staying ahead of our competition,” says Vitality Canada’s General Manager Bruce Burlington.

In 2007, Vitality turned to its boiler supplier and servicer, Pacific Boiler Ltd., for some advice. According to Neville Smith, sales representative for Pacific Boiler, the best solution for Vitality was to upgrade to a Clayton Industries high-efficiency SigmaFire steam generator.

“After many years of exceptional service, we eagerly accepted the recommendation and made our move away from a traditional boiler. After two-and-a-half years, I can confidently say we have absolutely no regrets,” Burlington says.

Burlington says the switch from a traditional boiler to the versatile Clayton steam generator has yielded wonderful results. The steam generator guarantees high fuel-to-steam efficiency and, because of its compact size, meets the minimal space requirements of the company’s boiler room.

These units heat up faster, provide rapid response to load changes and can be turned on and off when needed without the risk of damage to the system. The explosion-proof generator’s design creates less heat loss and chemical loss than standard boilers.

After the first year in service, Vitality plant personnel noted a significant drop in natural gas costs relating to running this unit. “We also have enough steam power to run anticipated future needs for some time. We have idled our back-up boiler, rarely using it,” Burlington says.

The makeover also means Vitality Foods can grow the part of its business that requires heat treatments. In addition, the steam generator has increased the capacity of the plant’s CIP system.

“The downtime we were experiencing with the old-fashioned boilers has been eliminated. We are enjoying an adequate supply and reduced energy costs,” Burlington says. “We’ve also seen a 50 percent reduction in the chemicals we use to treat the facilities. Add to that, the cooler, quieter operation and increased space in the boiler room, and we’ve found a complete success story that will take us into the future.”

For more information:
Glenn A. Adgey, 905-791-3322,

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo 2015

Images from Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo in Clearwater Beach, Florida, April 12-15, 2015. The event brought food and beverage processors and suppliers together to gain valuable information on the latest trends and technologies in manufacturing, automation, sustainability and food safety.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering May 2015 Cover

2015 May

The May 2015 issue of Food Engineering explores effective tools for hitting manufacturing targets. Also, read how processors are looking for faster ways to detect harmful pathogens in food and beverages without sacrificing accuracy or reliability.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.