An Argentine food manufacturer recently reached out to our distributor in Buenos Aires (AYRFUL) to discuss a potential application for EXAIR products. The need became clear when a packaging line for soon-to-be-frozen food began experiencing problems with excessive water on the surface of the packages. In this process, the packages are rinsed to remove any unwanted debris, and then sent into a large freezer before distribution to local groceries.
The excessive water on the packages would become ice, which would fuse the packages together when stacked in boxes for transporting to retail centers. This fusing caused rips in the packaging when they were separated, thereby creating unsellable goods, ultimately leading to returns for this manufacturer. And, the residual water also increased the total weight of the packed packages, enough to increase the actual weight when bulk packed. This increase in actual weight led to an increase in freight costs from their courier. So, this manufacturer needed a way to remove the residual water, reduce defects and returns, and simultaneously lessen the freight cost.
The solution they found was a 48” EXAIR Super Air Knife, model 110048, mounted using (2) Universal Air Knife Mounting Kits. The Super Air Knife in this application provided a precision airflow to blow off the water from the top of the packages, after rinsing and before freezing. Removing the water at this stage, as shown above, eliminated the problem of fused packages, rejected products, returns, and increased freight. And, the Super Air Knife was able to do this at a low operating pressure, fed from a single compressed air inlet.
(Note – EXAIR recommends plumbing multiple compressed air inlets for Air Knives longer than 18”. For this model, 110048, we recommend compressed air be supplied to (3) compressed air inlets. Plumbing less inlets will reduce the compressed air flow into the knife, which reduces possible operating pressure. In this case, the lower operating pressure was acceptable, however, we still recommend to plumb (3) compressed air inlets on a 48” Super Air Knife.)
Plumbing specifics aside, this solution still brought tremendous value for the customer. They were able to solve the root cause of a multi-faceted problem with an engineered solution. If you have an application in need of an engineered solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.