On-demand steam saves energy
Using generators instead of boilers provides steam when it is needed, lowering energy costs and minimizing TDS blowdown periods.
In 1986, frozen soup underdog Kettle Cuisine opened a small factory in a converted garage in Revere, MA. Fast-forward nearly 30 years, and Kettle Cuisine is now a frontrunner when it comes to fresh, ready-made soups for restaurants, food-service operators and consumers.
With natural ingredients, such as antibiotic-free chicken and beef and fresh, non-canned beans, the soup tastes just like homemade. And, since Kettle Cuisine chefs also make a plethora of vegetarian and gluten-free soups, everyone can enjoy it. But Kettle Cuisine is not just about soup. The processor has expanded its product line to include other foods, like mac and cheese, organic oatmeal, spinach dip and Korean pulled pork, to name a few.
Kettle Cuisine has a team of top-notch chefs and focuses on quality meal preparation. With the freshest ingredients always on hand, the only thing left to do is cook the food.
“To make and sell our soup we, of course, have to ensure its quality and flavor—and that it reaches all required temperatures quickly and safely,” says Nigel McGinn, vice president of operations at Kettle Cuisine.
As it began planning to build a new facility, Kettle Cuisine knew it needed quick, steady, reliable process steam. The manufacturer had a choice. The first option was to use conventional steam boilers that are slow to come on line—especially if they’re shut down at night—and use energy even when steam isn’t needed. Option two was to employ steam generators, which can come up to full operation in a few minutes. The processor decided to have a look at Clayton steam generators.
With a small footprint, quick startup time and a TDS (total dissolved solids) blowdown rate 90 percent smaller than that of conventional boilers, Clayton steam generators “make cooking our soup much more reliable and economic,” explains McGinn. The steam generators are relatively small in size, fuel efficient and ready to go in as little as 10 minutes. They can produce steam with a quality that is more than 99.5 percent dry at all times. And, a 250 hp unit can be fired with oil or gas, provide efficiencies of over 80 percent and generate steam at pressures of 15 to 500 psig or more. Clayton generators also include economizer and low NOx burner options.
In 2012, Kettle Cuisine custom built a new $25 million facility for fresh prepared foods in Lynn, MA, and purchased its first two Clayton Model SE254 steam generators with economizers, which are still going just as strong as the day they were installed.
“Good food is an art and a science,” says Cesare Casadei, head chef at Kettle Cuisine. “Timing is everything. The generators produce steam in about 10 minutes, which trumps the hours conventional boilers take to do it.”
Only three years after purchasing and installing its first steam generators, Kettle Cuisine is looking to buy at least one more for its facility. “As our company grows, so must our facilities to keep up with production, and the most efficient way to do that is with a good steam generator like Clayton’s,” notes McGinn.