Machines Become Even More Complex

While freezing’s main purpose is to preserve product quality over extended periods of time, requirements like advanced safety and hygiene have become paramount in recent years. This is nothing new, as attention to these issues have been on the checklists for decades, but recent years have put more pressure on manufacturers to deliver new, innovative solutions in this area. As such, new and more complex machines have been brought forward by major industry players.

GEA has launched the new spiral freezer GEA ProEdge Drive at IFFA in Frankfurt,Germany. The GEA ProEdge Drive features a drum-free design using fewer components for a more hygienic and sustainable solution. Its innovative and patent pending spiral drive with robust sprockets ensures that the belt runs smoothly and extends the service life. This freezer fits perfectly for the processing of protein or products in the area new food as it particularly meets the desired requirements for high product yield. Standard ProEdge Drive Series models are suitable for 400mm-, 600mm- and 750mm-wide lines and offer freezing capacities of 460 to 3,600 kg/h of fully cooked products.

This new alternative to traditional freezing systems with a drum-free design also offers more flexibility in adding tiers, increasing freezing capacity up to 12 percent for the same footprint. The reduction of the number of structural parts combined with external drives makes it easier to clean and maintain, resulting in enhanced hygiene and a lower total cost of ownership. Another important aspect is that the drum-free design also makes production more sustainable, as the consumption of resources such as steel and other components is greatly reduced. The GEA ProEdge Drive is also an intelligent freezer system that provides perfect synchronization of the drives in all operating environments.

The innovative and patent pending sprocket construction is a top performer, even under the most demanding cooling, chilling, and freezing conditions. The positive-edge drive limits belt tension and allows less product movement on the belt. This helps to preserve the product shape and ensures safe product handling with smooth, continuous product flow. Multiple belt width and layout options offer a seamless integration into the customer’s processing line. The GEA ProEdge Drive integrates GEA’s latest freezer innovations: continuous monitoring and control of product frozenness with Callifreeze®, optimizing and control of the air temperature in the freezers with the dynamic IVS (Intelligent Valve System), and up to 14 days of operation without stopping to defrost with Sequential Defrost (SD) combined with Static Pressure Control System (SPCS) automated air balance.

Simpler and Faster Maintenance

System customization, hygiene, ease of maintenance, operation in a continuous cycle, and high-quality freezing – these are the five winning assets of Tecnopool’s spiral freezing systems, according to company representatives. Tecnopool’s patented T-Worth technology ensures greater productivity and increased customer satisfaction in the field of frozen foods, and in particular in the growing ready-meals sector.

Unlike conventional drum-based spirals, the T-Worth belt installed in Tecnopool’s freezing systems is driven externally by a motor that is smaller in size and needs less power. This does not affect the system’s performance, as friction is reduced and the belt is driven instead of being pushed, offering considerable advantages right from the design stage. In terms of ready-meals, every producer has a specific set of requirements, depending on the type of product, volumes, and logistics. By eliminating the need for a central pivot, T-Worth technology increases the system’s flexibility, enabling it to combine two separate lines with same-level entry and exit.

“The customer can study and test this system directly in the Test Room set up in our facilities in San Giorgio in Bosco (Padua). Here, Tecnopool’s specialized technicians and technologists will explain the characteristics of our freezing spirals and tailor them to the customer’s needs,” representatives add.

Another distinctive feature of Tecnopool’s freezing systems is the use of horizontal airflows that guarantee excellent freezing quality. The T-Worth system allows cold air to flow over the product, under the product, and throughout the spiral at a rate of up to 3 meters per second. With ready-meals, this characteristic is essential as it ensures excellent, rapid freezing while preserving the ingredients’ flavor and organoleptic properties. Once in operation, every system must then be kept clean and in good repair. Tecnopool’s technology offers further substantial advantages in these two strategic aspects of food processing. The entry of humid external air is limited by air cutting tools placed at the inlet and outlet ends of the belt to reduce frosting and maintain the high efficiency of the evaporators.

“Moreover, for more than ten years now, Tecnopool has been using sequential defrosting evaporators that can be defrosted individually while the others continue operating, thus preserving the internal temperature of the cabinet and the effectiveness of the freezing process. This method allows the system to run in a continuous cycle, 24/7. The absence of a drum-based drive system for the T-Worth belt also allows easy access to every part of the freezing system, thus facilitating sanitization and achievement of the hygiene standards required by law for the food industry. Finally, easy access to internal spaces also guarantees another important competitive advantage, that is, simpler and faster maintenance, without the need to disassemble parts to access the area required. Every maintenance operation can be carried out from the outside of the spiral, thus also facilitating visual inspections.”

To read the entire article, access your complimentary e-copy of Frozen Food Europe May-June, 2022 issue here.