Digital In-Line Blending Continuously Standardizes Non-dairy Products

March 27, 2003
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
The H.P. Hood plant at Oneida, NY, shifted from a batch to a continuous process for standardizing non-dairy creamer production with a skid-mounted Digital In-Line Blending system designed and installed by JCS Controls, Inc. (Rochester, NY). The new system boosts production by 30% in only 43% of the original batch-process time, reduces non-dairy production labor by 60%, reduces energy consumption by 20%, and eliminates rework.

Non-dairy creamer demand formerly exceeded the plant's ability to batch and process. Although the plant was producing non-dairy creamers seven days per week, production fell behind whenever maintenance was required on process equipment. JCS Controls conducted an engineering study to determine how the plant could change its batching process to increase production, and/or accommodate the large family of H.P. Hood products (including heavy cream, light cream, whipping cream, half-and-half and at least 20 products co-packed for others.) JCS then proposed a three-phase retrofit project which would ultimately resolve all processing and product conflicts for both dairy and non-dairy products. The first phase, completed this year, removed non-dairy production from the batch process and applied continuous Digital In-Line Blending to non-dairy products.

In the former process, product components were batched in either of two tanks, then the batch was heated, homogenized, cooled and stored prior to UHT processing. The homogenizer and plate heat exchanger were the factors limiting production. JCS recognized that the existing equipment could be better used in conjunction with a Digital In-Line Blending skid. After presenting the proposed system to Hood and one of its major customers, JCS conducted a successful pilot run, then built and commissioned the new system in a five-week fast-track project.

Pre-blends of concentrated solids are batched in two pre-blend tanks and used for extended production runs, reducing the load on batch-room operators. The pre-blend stream is then blended in-line with water, soybean oil, corn, sucrose and/or HFCS to make that portion of the product which requires homogenizing. This blend is heated to desired homogenizing temperature, homogenized, and additional water for the finished product added downstream of the homogenizer.

Because the sugars, syrup and oil in the unhomogenized blend are hot, the small plate heat exchanger preceding the homogenizer is retained, maintaining an economical level of added heat. Because the water added downstream of the homogenizer is maintained at cool temperatures, product cooling requirements are reduced.

Production rates increased from 356 gpm to between 456 and 1,000 gpm (averaging 656 gpm, depending on product). Overall energy consumption was reduced, since production is now completed in three days rather than seven, and product quality is maintained to Hood specifications.

Digital In-Line Blending is defined by JCS Controls President Philip R. Frechette as a mathmatical algorithm-based control scheme which integrates the demand and measured values of components and sub-components within an ingredient stream, and manipulates component flows which have the greatest effect on each other.

Digital In-Line Blending utilizes currently available instrumentation technology, such as flow meters, to accurately measure process parameters. The system then couples these measurements with the floating-point math capabilities of PLCs executing advanced algorithms refined by JCS Controls to produce the desired tight-quality results.

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

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

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.

Podcasts

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

TYSON FOODS

Tyson Foods made headlines announcing the company intends to acquire Hillshire Brands in a deal valued at $8.55 billion. Do you think the acquisition will be beneficial for meat and poultry processors?
View Results Poll Archive

Food Engineering

July 2014

2014 July

The July 2014 issue of Food Engineering features the 12th Annual Replacement Parts Survey. Also covered: OEE improvement steps and increased filtration cycle.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
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.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

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

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +