Since the commercialization of petfood, improved techniques
for processing petfoods and treats have resulted in the
expansion of the petfood supply by prolonging keeping times,
preventing spoilage and increasing the variety of food products
available. The latest extrusion, drying and cooling
developments from company's like Clextral, Wenger and Aeroglide
continue to focus on these very advancements, hoping to
continue to improve overall petfood quality for both the
consumer and their pets. The question is: Which technology is
right for your manufacturing line?
Clextral's Evolum LT 145 extruder offers optimum torque and
higher screw speeds for maximum throughput, to help petfood
processors achieve exceptional results from their extrusion
processing lines, according to company literature. In addition,
the Evolum incorporates Clextral's advanced temperature control
for managing complex recipes in the processing of premium dry
and semi-moist petfoods. The Evolum LT 145 operates at
throughputs from 5-10 tons/hr.
The wraparound frame is newly designed to provide maximum
accessibility, says Clextral. The machine includes
ergonomically designed anti-slip steel footmounts as well as
handrail and footrail to allow easy machine access.
The design ensures quick access to operating parts for
sanitation and maintenance. Take for example, a simple clamp
system that unlocks the barrel from the lantern to allow
immediate barrel access for reconfiguration or dismantling.
Clextral attests that the oversized lantern opening allows
quick access to the bearing block and shaft coupling. The
design also allows the dismounting of the mechanical torque
limitor without removing the main motor or gearbox.
Maximum drying results with a small footprint, for products
that can tolerate repositioning, is one of the many things
Aeroglide's single and multi-pass dryers offer.
With Aeroglide's multi-pass dryers, conveyor beds are
stacked one above the other in a single insulated enclosure.
The ultimate for maximizing capacity in the least amount of
floor space, Aeroglide multi-pass conveyor systems provide
multiple product turnovers for uniform thermal processing. The
systems can be configured to run at the same temperature
throughout, or with sequential heat zones allowing precise
control of temperature, process air humidity and airflow
throughout the process.
Utilizing engineered airflow control throughout the
recirculation loop used on the production line, Aeroglide's
goal is to set the standard for single and multi-pass conveyor
dryers, according to the company. This unique design provides
uniform airflow temperature and velocity distribution across
the product bed. An additional benefit is in fines management
and collection, resulting in safer operation and increased
uptime, says Aeroglide.
According to Aeroglide, it was the first company to offer a
sequentially zoned dryer to the petfood industry. Providing the
ultimate in zone temperature control, this system maximizes
production per square foot of floor space, while still
protecting the product from excessive temperatures.
Sequentially zoned dryers are ideal for temperature sensitive
ingredients. New technologies to help petfood manufacturers
optimize their process include the AeroFlex adjustable feeder
and advanced controls, as well. AeroFlex product spreader may
be adjusted on the fly and the fines management system includes
floor fines drags and plenum screws.
The new Swivel Valve Cooler MkII from Geelen Counterflow has
been designed for customers with very high food safety
requirements where frequent cleaning and inspection are
necessary, even if the risk of cross contamination is small to
begin with. The main advantage of the improved cooler design is
that it enables fast and effective cleaning, inside and
outside, with a minimum of cleaning residue, according to
The hood of the cooler has been redesigned to avoid
horizontal surfaces inside and outside. There are no ledges
where cleaning water can stay behind. All external stiffening
bars are in stainless steel. The air exhaust has no
horizontal surfaces so no risk of product accumulation. The bin
walls contain giant doors which allow the side of the cooler to
be completely opened for fast cleaning and inspection. The
redesigned swivel valve discharger minimizes the risk of cross
contamination between different products.
Clextral's Rotante dryer, with new technology achieves
uniform drying for a wide range of high value and hard-to-dry
products, while achieving exceptional energy efficiency.
Additional advantages of this innovative design include:
product changeover in less than three minutes, real-time
recycling of fines generated in the drying process, simplified
cleaning and reduced maintenance.
The Rotante has a unique design that conveys product through
a continuous rotation to ensure uniform airflow on all product
surfaces, thus eliminating product over-heating or unequal
moisture distribution that can lead to rejected product and
Why is the Rotante so energy efficient? According to
Clextral, several factors contribute to the high energy
efficiency of this dryer: product is distributed in thin layers
that require lower air velocity; process air temperatures and
humidities are independently controlled in multiple zones to
achieve optimal drying for each product; and the dryer has
reduced interior volume to minimizes process air quantities.
Improved product quality is achieved by the continuous,
homogeneous drying process and uniform residence times that
ensure a final product moisture variation of +-0.1%, says the
Wenger's new C2TX generates compression continuously and the
interesting co-rotating conical screws have a special profile
that kneads the ingredients as it is forced through the
extruder. Conical intermeshing co-rotating screws provide
natural compression from the low density of a preconditioned
recipe at the extruder inlet to the dense dough mass at the
screw discharge, explains Wenger.
With less material in the C2TX extruder barrel than in the
barrel of a conventional single or twin screw extruder, the
C2TX cooking extruder is extremely responsive to screw speed
change, recipe moisture, recipe temperature and cooking in the
preconditioner, claims Wenger. Changes in final product
density, color, cell structure, and surface texture are present
only seconds after making a change in a process variable.
Changing processing conditions will result in immediate changes
in product density without changing the extruder die.
The cost of wear parts is reduced when compared to wear
costs in a conventional twin screw extruder, another advantage
6. Maxxim Extrusion Systems
Extru-Tech Inc. recently announced the introduction of the
new Maxxim Series Extrusion Systems. The new line of enhanced
single screw extruders are capable of 20 to 30% production rate
increases over previous models with the same barrel diameter,
according to the company. Extru-Tech's inline drive system has
been re-engineered to handle up to 600 hp compared to 350 on
previous models. In addition, many ongoing improvements have
been made to the barrel design, including changes to the screw
profiles and the ribbing design in the sleeves.
Other improvements include a screw support assembly that
eliminates metal to metal wear. This assembly also allows for
thermal expansion, which occurs as the screws are heated up to