Centrifugal Fans in Food Processing Applications
Apart from the general ventilation, there are several core processes specific to food processing industry that requires installation of centrifugal fans.
- Material Handling
Conveying of bulk materials from source to destination point requires high pressure centrifugal fans that supply clean stream of air. The fans should be capable of carrying materials in bulk like flour, grains, cereal, sugar etc.
Drying process reduces water content and keeps food products fresh and dry. For instance, food products like vegetable, fruits & meat require drying to prevent the growth of bacteria and mould. To produce high pressure air movement for drying or dehydration process, centrifugal fans with high air pressure capacity are widely used in this industry.
- Fumes Extraction
Hot air temperatures and fumes can cause inconvenience to workers at production facility near ovens and cooking lines. It is important to install centrifugal fans in these areas to circulate air and exhaust hot air temperatures and fumes.
- Cooling & Refrigeration
Cooling is required for the products that cannot be frozen. Foods like vegetables, fruit and meat need refrigeration whereas flour, cereals and breads simply require even circulation of air. Some food products require cooking in its preparation process and the food has to be cooled to normal temperatures before they are stored. Batches of food that are cooked on the food lines are placed on the conveyer belt for cooling before they are sent to packing section. Centrifugal cooling fans are extensively used to distribute uniform air so that the products are evenly cooled to optimal temperatures and humidity.
- Packaging & Storage
Packaging products requires high pressure fans to create a vacuum in the containers, packages and bottles or blow air into crisp packets before the final food products are filled into them. Similarly, when it comes to storage each product requires different storage requirements. Some may need cool & dry conditions whereas others need refrigeration. The process of food storage uses different types of centrifugal fans to supply the necessary air as required by the storage facilities.
Each application requires specific type of fan system because the airflow and pressure requirements are different. For instance, if we consider airing & drying, high pressure fans blowing hot/cool air are required to dry food products like vegetables, fruits & meat before processing. Similarly, for dust collection equipment radial tipped or backward inclined fans are used to collect dust and maintain clean processing environment. Also, the fan machinery used should be efficient and of good quality grade otherwise it can interrupt the manufacturing process and spoil final product. For example, if the fans used in refrigeration or storage facilities malfunction or experience unplanned downtime, the food will not stay fresh. It gets spoiled before it is used in further processing. This may incur huge revenue losses to the industry. Hence, fans used in food processing facilities should be of higher standards and specifically chosen by considering the process requirements.