A custom-designed, carbon infrared oven from Heraeus Noblelight is helping Premier Foods achieve efficiency gains of more than 10 per cent over a former hot rinse system on a cooking sauce production line. The new oven has also allowed significant improvements in the working environment around the production line as well as energy savings compared with the steam-fed, hot jar rinsing unit

Premier Foods manufactures a wide portfolio of famous food products, from Batchelors soups and Bisto Gravy to Ambrosia custard and Branston pickle.

Its Bury St Edmunds site produces a range of Loyd Grossman sauces. After cooking, the cooking sauce is pasteurised in-line and delivered to the jar filler at a temperature of 94ºC. The new set up saves a great amount of space and time by eliminating the need for a flat bed pasteuriser post bottling. There is always a danger of thermal shock, cracking or breakage of the jars, when filling glass containers, which is caused when the temperature difference between fluid and glass is too great. Previously, the cooking sauce jars were pre-heated in a rotary hot water rinse system. The gripped jars were injected with very hot rinse water, emptied and then fed to the filler machine. However, dwell times varied, with the result that the glass jars sometimes did not reach the temperature required to avoid thermal shock and breakages occurred.

Premier approached conveyor system manufacturers, SFT-UK, which recommended that a Heraeus infra-red oven for the glass jar heating. Tests  proved the capability of medium wave infra-red in heating glass jars efficiently and effectively. Consequently, a124kW infrared oven was installed. SFT-UK modified the existing line by removing the hot water jar rinser and installing a new Paxona SFT sidegrip Jar inverter/Filtered air cleaner. The Infra red oven was installed immediately after the air cleaner. Since installation, the new oven has proved a great success in terms of less downtime, greater reliability and the 10 per cent increase in line speed.

Heraeus Noblelight specialises in the production and application of high quality energy sources covering the electro-magnetic spectrum from ultraviolet to infrared.

Haraeus Noblelight

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