Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Precision temperature control equipment saves energy in food processing

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Precision temperature control equipment saves energy in food processing
A new temperature controller offers improved energy efficiency in food processing and packaging operations.
In Use – Commercially available

Benefits
Resource efficiency (e.g. filling line efficiency)

Product Categories
Drinks, Food, Home Improvement, Household & Personal Care

Relevant Materials
Not Applicable

Relevant Packaging Formats
Not Applicable

Supply Chain Phase
Packing, Processing, Production, Other

Details

Precise temperature control in food processing and packaging systems can have great influence over product quality. In addition, tightly controlling temperature can impact energy consumption and process efficiency – which ultimately results in lower cost of operation and lower carbon footprint.
 
For example, heaters have different rise times depending on their wattage. A thermostat cannot differentiate between different heaters. However, a temperature controller with auto-tuning can calculate and “learn” the rise speed of a particular heater. These systems reach their optimum productive state more quickly and maintain that effectiveness, thus operating most efficiently. By ramping up temperature faster, processing and packaging machines become more energy efficient due to their ability to eliminate waste heat caused by overshooting.
 
A new type of temperature controller has been developed which has a proprietary, advanced control algorithm and built-in PID auto-tuning, giving it highly precise control.  The new controllers can reach the set point value 33 percent faster than other controllers that do not have combined PID and auto-tuning features, making them proportionately more energy efficient than existing temperature controllers.
 
The new controller has been developed by Schneider Electric of the USA and is marketed under the Zelio® REG brand. The controllers can be retrofitted to replace static thermostats.

The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

Any temperature control technology can deliver significant energy savings compared to basic thermostatic controls. The innovation in this new temperature controller - the advanced control algorithm and built-in PID and auto-tuning - delivers even greater energy efficiency. The manufacturer claims up to 33% quicker time to reach the set temperature and this could represent a significant saving for a large scale operator who may employ multiple temperature controllers across processes. Lower energy requirements equates to a lower costs and a reduced environmental impact, in particular a lower carbon footprint for the process. The new temperature controllers can be applied in a range of packing and sealing equipment, including heat sealing for flexible packaging and shrink tunnels.

Intellectual Property

The new controller has been developed by Schneider Electric of the USA and is marketed under the Zelio® REG brand.

Consultant View

Retrofitting temperature controllers to replace thermostats can allow companies to take full advantage or their existing equipment by improving its capabilities rather than investing in new equipment. If considerable energy savings can be realised, the payback on such an upgrade is likely to be attractive. Cost and environmental savings can quickly be realised.
 
There are likely to be other opportunities to upgrade and improve the performance of existing packing machinery. To identify other relevant technologies try searching the REID database using search terms such as "resource efficiency" and "energy efficiency".

Contacts and Further Information

Schneider Electric SA
35 rue Joseph Monier
92500 Rueil Malmaison - France
Phone: +33 (0) 1 41 29 70 00
Fax: +33 (0) 1 41 29 71 00 
 

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