This beverage manufacturer needed to increase capacity on one of its hot fill lines but had an extremely tight window to complete the work and couldn’t afford to interrupt production during the project. They hired Woodard & Curran to design and build the system, which included new process equipment and significant upgrades to the facility infrastructure to support it. The new, more efficient line was completed with minimal interruptions to ongoing operations and included 95% thermal energy recovery.
CREATIVE DESIGN IMPROVES EFFICIENCY
To boost capacity while improving efficiency and minimizing long-term costs, the new process systems were carefully designed to maximize thermal energy recovery. To accomplish this, the new cooling tunnel was designed with multiple regeneration sections and the existing cooling tunnel was retrofitted with new heat exchangers, distribution system, and controls. Together, this achieved a 95% recovery rate on waste heat, significantly reducing energy use compared to the typical design.
CAREFUL PLANNING AVOIDS DOWNTIME
With production running at full capacity, any interruption would mean lost revenue. But dividing the project into two phases, new packaging equipment could be installed without shutting down production. A series of upgrades to the facility, including ventilation, cleaning systems, and the production room floor were tightly scheduled with installation of the new filling equipment, cooling tunnel, and other systems. Complicating things further, the new filler had to be lowered in through the roof because no other access offered enough space. All of this was coordinated with three contractors and six equipment vendors within the tight timeframe the client needed.