Fresh-cut salad processing
A long shelf life is vital for pre-cut and pre-cleaned salads. Furthermore, the washing and the minimized manufacturing process, as well as the most stringent hygiene standards, play a fundamental role.
ApplicationFood and Fish processing
- Project nameTecnoceam
- Project locationItaly
- Customer typeOEM
- Customer websitewww.tecnoceam.com
Fresh-cut salads sold off-the-shelf as convenience products need intensive washing and sanitizing to rid them of dirt and possible pathogens from the field. One kilogram of salad is washed 2 or 3 times with approximately 10 liters of water. Following this, the salad is carefully dried in centrifugal machines or tunnels. Finally, it is inspected, before it is packaged in bags or bowls. All these phases are important for the quality and longevity of the final product. The Italian company Tecnoceam produces machinery and conveyors that handle salad extremely carefully and with minimal processing. The process, however, is a wet one. Therefore the whole processing line has to be water-resistant. Electrical machinery like the drives for the conveyor technology even has to be waterproof. Additionally, the overall design of the machinery needs to be very hygienic, as freshness and shelf-life result from careful handling and minimal contamination. Thus, vendors of salad processing lines have to pay their utmost attention to water resistance and the hygienic design aspects of their machines.
The Rulmeca drum motors which Tecnoceam deploys in its fresh-cut processing lines deliver excellent overall efficiency. The 113 Rulmeca drum motor with 0.37 kW has, for example, an electrical eÞciency of over 77%. This would correspond to the IE3, if this standard applied to this performance class. Even the mechanical eÞciency of the spur gear unit at 95 – 97% (depending on gear level) is very high. By comparison, worm gear motors have significantly poorer overall efficiency. Moreover Rulmeca is a vendor that has long term experience in the design of drum motors and offers its drum motors with sealings in various IP protection levels including IP66/69– the highest protection rate for most demanding cleaning purposes in food industries.
Tecnoceam uses drum motors from Rulmeca that feature IP66 protection at a minimum, which means that they are dustproof and protected against powerful water jets. They are therefore not only resistant to wet environments but can also withstand high pressure cleaning. This is a very important factor, even though during the salad processing no harmful fluids or substances are produced or processed. However, ensuring that oàcuts from the previous shift do not contaminate the fresh salad is crucial, as this can lead to a drastically reduced shelf-life. Apart from the crucial waterproof and hygienic properties, the energy eÞciency of the drum motors is another major argument, as many drives are used during salad processing at the various stages. The drives’ low energy consumption is therefore a decisive factor to minimize production costs and thus increase the return on investment. Furthermore, the processing lines are often deployed in climate-controlled environments which are cooled down to temperatures of 5 to 10 °C. The lower the power consumption of its machinery is, the lower the thermal losses consequently are and, with that, the cooling costs. Operators can thus reduce their secondary energy costs for the air conditioning of production halls and thus optimize the company’s environmental performance with Tecnoceam equipment.
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