Food processing is a complex undertaking. At every stage of production, processors need to follow rigorous safety standards to ensure that their products remain free of contaminants. At the same time, they need to heat, blend, and store every ingredient according to exact specifications to ensure the quality of the finished product. With so many variables to manage, it’s not surprising that food processors sometimes see inefficiencies creep into their operations despite their best efforts to avoid them.
Highland Equipment’s Continuous Protein Process System (CPP) was designed to eliminate those inefficiencies. Based on unique patent-pending technology, the CPP makes food production a completely continuous process, preventing many of the delays and overruns that lower a product’s quality and inflate operating costs. With the CPP in place, food processors can expect a consistent stream of high-quality products and significant savings in nearly every aspect of production.
How It Works
The CPP is designed for any cheese that needs to be heated and acidified, as well as various tofu and food-grade casein products. It’s compatible with any cheese with a ratio of whey to milk between 100% milk and 100% whey, as well as any cheese with a 50%-50% ratio of whey protein concentrate to ordinary whey.
The CPP begins by blending the ingredients in a balance tank and neutralizing the mixture. After it’s subjected to multi-step heating, the mixture is pasteurized in an HTST holding tube and placed in another holding tube to denature the whey protein. The mixture can then be injected with an acid to stimulate coagulation. As soon as the curds have formed, they can be removed from the deproteinated whey and pressed for drainage on a conveyor belt.
Designed with productivity in mind, the CPP comes with a wide capacity range and a number of prestigious safety standards. Our three available models have a capacity range between 2,500 and 10,000 liters (or 660 and 2,640 gallons) per hour, making them well-suited to food processors of every size. Completely CIP cleanable, it’s compatible with any packaging system and meets the safety standards set by the USDA and Dairy 3A.
The CPP is a revolutionary solution to the typical challenges faced by the food industry. Dairy companies are particularly poised to reap its benefits. Our internal reviews found that it reduces energy costs by nearly 70%, labor costs by greater than 60%, and steam costs by 50% in comparison to a traditional open vat process, all while prolonging the shelf life of products by four to six weeks.
The CPP had a similarly significant effect on productivity. After installing the CPP, users saw their product yields rise by nearly 10%, largely because they were able to recapture 95% of the proteins and fats that are lost in most dairy processing methods. The average return on investment fell between 1 and 1.6 years based on an 8-hour production run, a considerably shorter time frame than most traditional approaches can offer.
Partnering with Highland Equipment
Since 1974, Highland Equipment has specialized in supplying stainless steel process equipment to the food and dairy industries. Backed by the creativity and determination of our designers and engineers, we’re confident that the CPP marks our latest advance in food processing technology, offering unprecedented efficiency without undermining the safety and quality of your products.
If you’d like to explore the CPP further, download our free eBook from our website. If you’re interested in installing the CPP or simply in working with Highland Equipment, you can contact us today.
The innovation driving modern-day production may be an art, but the optimization of the various processes involved is definitely an exact science.
There are two ways to go about production. Some choose to go with a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach, in which things work sometimes, or most of the time, and when they don’t, it’s back to the drawing board. The other, more efficient strategy, adopted by top manufacturers, involves careful system design and regular maintenance — allowing them to make the most of available resources and scale quickly and efficiently while eliminating the hiccups, downtime, and general headaches associated with production bottlenecks.
So what’s the best way to ensure optimal performance from your unique process system? Consider the three key design considerations laid out below.
Before diving into the details, it’s important to first grasp the “big picture” of your process system design requirements. Assess the available space and how it can be best utilized to support the goals of the unit.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of equipment is being installed?
- What kind of space can we use?
- Do we need to account for extra space in order to accommodate certain features of the equipment or particular characteristics of the production process?
If you have to install a new tank, for instance, the vendor responsible for the addition will need to check off a few important to-dos:
- Create sketches for review that show where the tank can sit.
- Evaluate the dimensions of the tank against the dimensions of the location where tank installation is proposed.
- Ensure that there is a clear passageway for the tank to reach the intended site; otherwise, installation cannot proceed.
2. Output Diversity
Single-product manufacturing deals with fixed quantities. There is little to no variation. So, the process system design can easily account for single density, viscosity, and temperature requirements.
The scenario is more complex for multi-product units. The following questions are of paramount importance when creating a unique setup capable of efficiently handling multiple outputs:
- What raw ingredients will be processed?
- How can we handle the different viscosities?
- Do we need to change the temperature at any point?
- How will the heat transfer take place?
- Will other adjustments to production parameters be needed?
- How can we accommodate these adjustments?
Without proper maintenance and upkeep, even the most sophisticated process system design will be undermined over time.
Three main cleaning options are available for production units:
With the CoP approach, separate cleaning tanks do the job. With a skidded CIP arrangement, the most effective cleaning is possible when the equipment is accessible and its design relatively straightforward.
A variety of tests — a couple of which are listed below — can be conducted to probe the thoroughness of CIP setups.
- Analysis software monitors spray devices in order to keep tabs on performance and installation robustness.
- A regular riboflavin test is an easy, visual way to spot areas of equipment that are not being cleaned.
The bottom line? Maintenance should never be an afterthought. It needs to be a regular practice to ensure optimal process system performance, reliability, and longevity.
Truly optimized production also depends on three other critical system design factors. To find out what they are, download our new, free eBook, “Key Design Considerations for Process Systems.”
Mechanical polishing involves the utilization of processes such as grinding and buffing in order to remove scratches, gouges, and other damage appearing on the surface of a material.
Mechanical polishing is done to improve the surface condition of a product for decorative or functional purposes — or both.
Understanding the Mechanical Polishing Process
There are typically three main steps in the mechanical polishing process: grinding, polishing, and buffing, done in that order. For stainless steel, in particular, there are five grades of mill plate and sheet metal finishes available; these finishes are produced mechanically using the abrasive media and buffing wheels. There is also a generic “non-directional No. 8” grade available.
During mechanical polishing, defects such as grinding lines, scratches, pits and surface flaws — damage that may affect a part’s appearance, as well as its functionality — are eliminated.
Mechanical polishing is a highly specialized process, and must be completed by a skilled technician with years of experience and thorough knowledge of the craft. Special mechanical polishing procedures may also need to be carried out for product that will eventually undergo electropolishing.
Common Mechanical Polishing Applications
Mechanical polishing is used in a range of different industries, including the food and beverage, dairy, chemical, pharmaceutical, and semiconductor sectors. Various parts may require polishing, such as tubing, elbows, fittings, and custom machined and fabricated assemblies. Polishing is critical especially for the pharmaceutical, but also for the dairy, food, confection, cosmetic and brewery industries who require sanitary applications, the process is inevitably more complicated.
The mechanical polishing process results in uniform surface conditioning that meets or exceeds ASME BPE and ASTM B912 standards.
Mechanical polishing offers numerous benefits, providing products with an improved surface finish, reduced product adhesion, better surface cleanability, and higher aesthetic appeal.
Whether done to improve function or provide an enhanced decorative look, mechanical polishing plays a critical role in all types of applications.
At Highland Equipment Inc., we’re proud to specialize in sanitary mechanical polishing for stainless steel fabrications. We can have your product mechanically polished, ID and OD, to 3A or BPE (Biopharmaceutical) Standards or higher. To learn more and discuss how we can help with your unique application, request a quote today.
The metal fabrication industry makes use of various materials and techniques to create high-performing, reliable products for diverse industries and applications. Blanking, cutting, drawing, stamping, bending, hydroforming, roll forming, stamping, and welding are a few of the most popular fabrication techniques, but the best method will depend on the specific application at hand and the end products’ unique requirements and specifications.
Along with fabrication techniques, material selection is also critically important. Steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and other alloys are all commonly used within the industry, each offering unique properties and benefits for different applications. All of these metals are easily available and relatively cost-effective. Other alloys are typically used for more specialized applications.
When selecting from the former group of materials, a number of key factors should be kept in mind to ensure optimal product performance.
The Material Selection Process
Before selecting a material for your fabrication process, take the time to carefully consider the unique requirements of the application and any environmental challenges the product may encounter. Also consider material properties such as ductility, weldability, machinability, tensile strength, and corrosion resistance.
- Ductility — How pliable is the material? Are you able to draw it into a wire or form it into different shapes? Aluminum has a low ductility, for instance, whereas stainless steel has high ductility.
- Weldability — How easy is it to solder the metal? In other words, will it require preparation and advanced welding techniques and tools, thereby increasing overall project costs? Steel is easily weldable, while stainless steel has medium weldability.
- Machinability — Machinability refers to the ability to cut materials with a blade. Highly machinable metals can be cut at high speeds. Steel has medium machinability, for instance, while stainless steel has hard machinability.
- Tensile Strength — How much force is required to snap the metal? How strong is the metal you’ve chosen? Stainless steel can handle very high tension. Aluminum cannot.
- Corrosion Resistance — How well a substance can withstand damage caused by oxidization or other chemical reactions.
It’s also important to consider the cost and versatility of the material. How expensive or inexpensive is the material compared to other options? Will it work as well as another material for the specific project being considered? The shape will also come into play. Common geometries for metal applications include flat plates and sheets, flat bars, C channels, angle irons, pipes, round tubes, square/rectangular tubes, I-beams, etc.
Types of Metal Fabrication
During the material selection process, consider how each material will fare under different types of fabrication processes. Machining stainless steel, for example, requires the use of large tools to dissipate heat and chip breakers to deflect debris, plus a machine tool that will reduce vibration. These applications also require consistently sharp cutting edges.
Stainless steel welding, on the other hand, will require different things depending on the category of stainless steel used: austenitic, martensitic, ferritic, or duplex. Many comprehensive resources are available online outlining information on how to weld each type of stainless steel.
Highland Equipment is proud to be a leader in stainless steel fabrication, specializing in the design, fabrication, installation, and servicing of sanitary equipment for a range of different industries, including the food, beverage, dairy, pharmaceutical, brewery and cosmetic sectors.
Our team is well-versed in the intricacies of metal fabrication, and can guide clients throughout each step of the material selection process, ensuring an ideal fit for the specific application at hand. To learn more and discuss your options with an expert, contact the team today.