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Food & Dairy Industry

Kinergetics has extensive experience improving the economic and environmental performance of food and dairy facilities across the United States. Our experience ranges from building lighting, heating and cooling to steam systems, heat recovery system design and engineering, to optimization of evaporators.

Kinergetics founder Tom Tucker served for over two years as a Lead Process Energy Engineer supporting Wisconsin Focus on Energy Program efforts to improve process energy efficiency in the Wisconsin food and dairy industry.

While Kinergetics can be heavily involved in the design and implementation of a variety of equipment, sometimes all that is needed is an assessment to determine if equipment replacements or procedure changes are needed to improve cost and plant efficiency. 

 

Case Studies

Boiler Upgrade & Steam System Assessment

At an east coast facility of an internationally known food and dairy processor, production had been decreased so that the primary boiler was much larger than necessary. As a result, down sizing the boiler to better match demand was being considered. The boiler operator had extensive experience but needed third party verification because his annual energy budget would be reduced by the estimated savings.

Kinergetics was asked to provide a detailed assessment, which revealed that boiler replacement could not be justified on a standalone basis. However, there were significant opportunities identified in production areas that could not be implemented with the existing boiler. As a result, the facility submitted a request for boiler replacement and concurrent implementation of the recommended measures to reduce annual fuel cost by approximately 20-percent.

Modifying Startup and Shutdown Procedures

During a process and steam system assessment of a New York food processor, uncommonly frequent failures of heating coils were reported. Investigation revealed that personnel were not allowing sufficient warm-up time for a steam-to-water process heater.

This was causing water hammer-related tube and gasket failures. Kinergetics recommended new start-up procedures, saving an estimated $25,000 per year on coil replacement costs alone. This does not include any gains from reducing process down time.

Using Reverse Osmosis to Preconcentrate Whey

Reverse osmosis (RO) is recognized as a cost-effective means to concentrate whey and can be used to pre-concentrate whey before final concentration in an evaporator. At a cheese and whey processing facility, RO was retrofitted to a 5-effect TVR evaporator in the mid-1990s to increase capacity.

However, at the time the RO discharge was set to only 8 percent, far less than is typically possible. Management was interested in optimizing the current RO system or upgrading to reduce the overall cost of whey concentration.