How fluid control valves play their part in avoiding product line downtime
27 Mar 2019
Fast and efficient processes are essential for food product consistency, so limiting downtime counts. That includes when you are updating control valves…
Like its cousin the Cornish pasty, the Jamaican pattie is a distinctive and popular food product. One of the leading makers in Britain is Birmingham-based Cleone Foods, founded 30 years ago this June.
Founder and company director Wade Lyn (pictured right) set himself the task of creating a high quality brand under the Island Delight name, with a range of distinctive fillings on offer to the market.
As he puts it: “We have a passion for creating our products and quality matters a lot - not just for food industry regulatory standards but for the taste and the experience of our range, it has to be right.”
Burkert confirmed that the job of exchanging the valve stem and actuator would only take about 15 minutes
Keeping product lines at the highest level of hygiene and combining this with the lowest level of downtime was inevitably a challenge. The choice of fluid control valves was therefore an important decision.
Ten years ago, the company opted for Burkert’s Type 2000 flow control valves to regulate the flow of hot water and steam to the Cleone Foods factory cookers, an area that requires repeated washdowns.
Since then the valves have maintained their efficiency but, recently, the Type 2000 underwent a design update that, amongst other things, reduced the overall length of the fluidic module. This raised the challenge that, if a complete valve assembly was to be replaced, some additional work would be required to reposition the threaded joints to enable the new valve to be installed.
Compatability saves time
Fortunately, even though the Type 2000 has been updated, the new components are still compatible with the original valve bodies, minimising the downtime required to complete the job. Only the original valve stem and actuators needed to be replaced, leaving the valve body unaltered.
Pneumatically controlled valves have two ports, inlet and exhaust and in a humid atmosphere damp air can reduce the long-term reliability of the valve. When the valve closes a small amount of ambient air is drawn into the valve to fill the void. In certain circumstances it is advisable to install a silencer on the valve or to draw the air from a cleaner source, such as the inside of a control cabinet.
Burkert confirmed that the job of exchanging the valve stem and actuator would only take about 15 minutes. If the valve body had needed to be replaced this would have taken considerably longer, especially if the valves had been welded in place.
Bürkert account manager Greg Wainhouse explains: “Hygiene is of the utmost importance in the food and beverage industry so if any maintenance work requires a system pipeline to be opened then it must be cleaned properly before production can restart.
“In this case, replacing the valve stem and controller was a really simple operation and the customer now has all the benefits of the latest incarnation of the Type 2000 valve.”