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New spray technology guide aims to address clogging challenges

By Jane Byrne , 10-Mar-2010

A new white paper evaluates the causes, ramifications and remedies for clogging in cooling, cleaning, coating and other spray applications within the food and beverage manufacturing sectors.

The firm behind the document, US based Spraying Systems Company, maintains that spray technology and correct nozzle selection are vital to product quality and production efficiency in a range of industries including food manufacturing from meat and poultry processing to confectionery and bakery as well as dairy processing and beverage production.

The technology can also play a critical role in can manufacturing, said the US developer.

The paper Change the Way You Spray to Minimize Clogging also aims to help readers calculate the cost of clogging in their applications, states the Chicago based company.

The new publication, it continued, evaluates the effectiveness of strainers in eliminating clogging with a range strainer types reviewed, and also addressed are nozzles with unobstructed flow passages, self-cleaning nozzles and nozzles with specially designed spray tips to reduce clogging and bearding.

The manufacturer said that for spray applications using viscous liquids or requiring a high level of precision, the paper details more advanced ways to minimize clogging, including heated spray nozzles and systems, automated spray systems that use pulse width modulated flow control, and spray controllers and acoustic monitoring systems that detect nozzle clogging.

If overspray and misting are a problem in a plant, low-pressure spraying may address such a challenge, with low-mist spray systems excellent for spraying viscous liquids like butter, syrup and chocolate, whereas flat jet nozzles have a high-impact, flat spray that thoroughly washes fruits and vegetables, stated the spray technology firm.

The company also reports that for a leading US processor of fresh beef and pork, upgrading their spray system with a dedicated spray controller saves them $48,000 annually in ascorbic acid costs.

The spray experts said that the processor in question had varying line speeds was unable, as a result, to apply a consistent amount of solution to every meat tray on the conveyor.

“The spray controller manages the timing of fluid delivery to two spray guns based on feedback from a rotary encoder and optical sensors. The encoder monitors the speed of the conveyor and the sensors detect the meat trays as they pass below the spray guns, thereby eliminating overspray on the conveyor and significantly reducing costly ascorbic acid consumption,” maintained the spray technology firm.

The free white paper can be downloaded here.

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