Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Food

In 2021, Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine interviewed members of the Molson Coors Canada team, at their Toronto Brewery, to gain an understanding of the work being done to improve energy efficiency. The team members interviewed were Doug Dittburner (Chief Engineer), Antonio Mayne (Utilities Optimization Engineer) and Khalil Daniel (Engineering Intern).
“Our view is always from the perspective of the value chain from the raw materials to the end product,” Wellendorph said. “How do we work with our suppliers who supply us? How do we look at our own manufacturing to avoid waste? Then, how can our equipment minimize the amount of energy or water it uses when processing and packaging customers products? It’s more than just focusing on ourselves.”
Regular testing of pure gases helps to ensure the safety of consumers and of end products. Whether the pure gas is used directly for medical patients, or in the manufacturing of food, beverages, or pharmaceutical products, quality is of the highest importance. Inadequate levels of purity or unsafe contamination can be detrimental to the products or consumers.
Yearly energy reduction quotas drive utilities, plant, and energy managers to continue to reduce energy consumption in all areas. A frequent question asked is, “Where can we find more energy savings once we have a VFD compressor and we have fixed all our leaks?”
When compressed air comes into direct contact with a product, many applications believe their “standard” particulate and coalescing oil-removing filters, installed either side of a compressed air dryer, are sufficient to protect the downstream processes. Strangely enough, the removal of bacteria is often overlooked, despite this level of filtration being readily available, easy to procure, install and maintain.
Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) accounts for a significant amount of nitrogen usage in the food and beverage industry. MAP involves injecting nitrogen into beverage or food packaging to purge and displace any oxygen-containing air with nitrogen. Oxidation of lipids in food products causes rancidity. Since oxygen is replaced with dry, inert nitrogen in MAP packaging, no product oxidation will occur. The result is maximized product shelf life. 
Danone today announced, in December 2020, that it has been highlighted for the second year in a row as a world environmental leader by the international non-profit organization CDP, whose disclosure and scoring system is recognized as the gold standard of corporate environmental transparency.
Micro-aerosolized droplets are how many members of the microbial world become cross-contaminants via the air mode of transmission.  Food borne viral pathogen Hepatitis A and the ubiquitous Norwalk are very often transported via micro- aerosols. It is well known that many viral or bacterial pathogens or spoilers are transmitted via respiratory bursts [coughs/ sneezes] from people or air handling system, condensate, and splash back from floors. Strict cGMPs  can limit  and control transmission in terms of personal & environmental  hygiene.
There are a tremendous variety of unique and creative ways people in the food industry have overcome their need for compressed air blowoffs used for cleaning, drying, cooling, conveying and overall processing. You may have seen some of them yourself. It is not uncommon to view open copper tubes, pipes with a crushed end, plugs or caps with holes drilled into them, modular flex coolant lines or nozzles designed for liquid application but blowing air.
The Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds campus in Lost Hills, California is a manufacturing facility that processes and packages pistachios and almonds for the consumer market. Food processing requires extensive use of compressed air to control multiple applications ranging from actuators, valves, optical sorters, packaging equipment and plant maintenance operations. The campus has its peak season during harvest in late August/early September, but processing and packaging operations take place year-round.
For decades, a major meat processor and packaging operation in Northern England did what many growing companies do when more compressed air is needed to meet demand: added another air compressor and then another air compressor and so on. Yet the company decided the strategy of adding equipment had run its course, especially given a positive outlook for continued growth and the need to resolve nagging issues with system downtime and compressed air quality.