HRS Heat Exchangers help Ready Foods keep their cool
Denver, Colorado-based soup and sauce manufacturer Ready Foods has cut the time it takes to chill one of its core products by a third, thanks to a turnkey cooling system from HRS Heat Exchangers. The HRS solution, which is ideal for viscous materials, has enabled Ready Foods to significantly increase production of the meat marinade it supplies to a leading restaurant chain.
After receiving a large order for one of its meat marinades from a leading chain of quick-service Mexican restaurants, Ready Foods needed to increase capacity. The existing process of kettle cooking and steaming the marinade, then chilling it in 5lb pouches in a water cooling system for three hours, would not allow it to meet the customer’s increased demand for 2,000 lb bulk packs.
Why choose the Unicus scraped surface heat exchanger?
- Suitable for a variety of processes, including cooling, heating, pasteurization, crystallization and evaporation
- Specially designed for difficult transfer applications involving very viscous or high-fouling products
- Reciprocating scrapers mix fluid while cleaning heat exchange surface
- Keeps heat transfer high and reduces downtime
- Gentle movement ensures product integrity is unaffected
A turnkey solution from HRS comprises a transfer pump to move the product from the cook kettles into the balance tank; a balance tank to receive and mix both recycled and new incoming product; a BP-6 hydraulic pump to push product through the system; a pre-cooler (consisting of AS Series triple-tubes) which cools the product using chilled water; the final cooler (two Unicus scraped surface heat exchangers); and finally, a three-way valve which sends product into the filler tank or back to the balance tank.
HRS also supplied auxiliary equipment, including a cleaning-in-place (CIP) system and a steam-powered hot water set to heat the automated CIP program and prevent freezing in the event of a production halt.
It now takes Ready Foods just an hour to chill the marinade, instead of the previous three hours. Since it was commissioned in September 2018, the cooling system has been operating successfully and, as the product is very viscous, the CIP system has proved crucial from a food safety point of view. The CIP cabinet and system incorporate a centrifugal CIP pump installed alongside the BP-6 pump to ensure the correct velocities are met, keeping the entire system clean and hygienic.
“I’m surprised by how smoothly this project has gone. It normally takes a long time to integrate a system into a factory but that has not been the case. The cooling system has evened out the playing field by allowing a medium-sized company such as ourselves to compete with the larger firms. For us, this is 21st century, advanced technology and is the standard we now expect for everything we do. The HRS cooling system has set the bar for us.”
Greg Hefter, Plant Engineer, Ready Foods