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Revolutionary food depositor cuts costs and changeover times

By Rory Harrington , 31-Mar-2010
Last updated on 31-Mar-2010 at 11:41 GMT

A “unique” depositor that cuts changeover times and simplifies the cleaning process for food processors could change the way companies operate, said the UK firm behind the development.

Food Processing Faraday (FPF) said its innovative depositor design is based on a “milking principle”, which means that only the interchangeable hopper and tube come into contact with the food product.

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The new component allows for improved efficiency by reducing changeover times, cuts costs by minimising and simplifying the cleaning process and offers improved hygiene, said the company.

Faster changeovers

Current depositors on the market tend to use a rotary valve and piston system to deposit a range of food products, necessitating a complete strip down between production runs. This makes changeovers lengthy and complex, slowing down production time, said FPF.

The new system can be used with any food production line that currently employs a rotary valve mechanism – including ready-to-eat meals, cakes and sandwiches.

“With traditional rotary valve systems the food product is in contact with the mechanism of the depositor,” the company’s innovation consultant David Walklate told FoodProductionDaily.com. “That is not the case with our system which means changeovers between products become almost instant.”

Switches between product lines can now be done in as little as 20 minutes, which can represent significant time-savings, especially where processors are obliged to perform multiple changeovers.

“The present style in use is 50 years old and doesn’t reflect the needs of the modern food production facility,” he added.

Product trial

Sapcote Engineering Limited (SEL), a UK-based business, has teamed up with FPF to build and take novel prototype to the next stage. The product is already available to food processors and manufacturers, who can trial the system to make sure it deposits a certain product to an agreed tolerance, at an agreed rate before purchasing, said FPF.

“This exciting development has been made possible by the Faraday identifying a gap in the market for a new product and designing a unique solution for a highly prevalent problem in the industry”, said Walklate.

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