James T. Blakeman & Co. is a family-run business that supplies 21,000 tons of sausage and meat products to the catering and ready-meal industry annually.

The company has a continuous commitment to growth and improvement within the business and recently built a 40,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at its site in Staffordshire, UK.

Blakeman’s latest development was to increase the capacity and efficiency of its existing aging system. The firm also wanted to optimize hygiene procedures and increase flexibility of its processing line to provide opportunities for long-term business planning.

British manufacturer Starfrost has worked closely with James T. Blakeman & Co. for a number of years, successfully installing three spiral freezing systems over the last decade as the meat manufacturer extended its processes. For Blakeman’s most recent project, Starfrost was selected as the freezing equipment supplier.

Starfrost, together with parent company Star Refrigeration, designed, manufactured and installed a Glacier Spiral system for Blakeman. The latest freezing system upgrade combines Helix Spiral Freezer technology and a unique low-carbon ammonia refrigeration plant in one complete package.

The Glacier pack includes a custom-designed Helix Spiral Freezer with a processing capacity of 900 kg per hour of cooked sausages. The system features a stainless steel dual conveyor belt around a single rotating drum, with 28 tiers in total. In addition, the dual twin belt is equipped with optional side guards; this allows various products to be processed simultaneously, giving increased flexibility to the processing line.

“The Glacier Helix has been designed to meet our precise specifications,” says Kevin Moller, operational manager at Blakeman’s. “It is operating effectively, enabling us to reduce maintenance and improve flexibility of our processing line, as well giving us capabilities to expand production in the future.”

Blakeman’s spiral freezer features a clean-in-place system, which is an automated cleaning system using rotating spray nozzles and spray bars, for targeted application of the detergent and sanitizer in major operating zones. Its unique design enables the process to be a repeatable, cost effective means of cleaning and sanitizing the equipment, along with reducing operational downtime required for cleaning and maintenance.

The latest spiral system installed at Blakeman’s is designed to maximize uptime and requires minimal ongoing maintenance. Furthermore, the temperature control and a unique airflow is specially designed for delicate products, such as skin on sausages, ensuring product quality is maintained for the customer.

“The primary, most important benefit of our latest install has been optimizing hygienic performance within our facility, with rising safety demands within the food processing industry, food processors today must be extremely focused on hygiene within their production,” says Moller. “The full clean-in-place system combined with stainless steel enclosure and reverse cycle defrost allows for an effective hygienic process at Blakeman’s.”

For more information, visit http://www.starfrost.com