Vacuum transport in a poultry processing plant

Effectively discharging by-products without using water

Cyclones Drop Tanks Vacuum

Why would you need a vacuum transport system in a poultry processing plant? A vacuum system is an effective way of transporting edible and non-edible by-products from primary and secondary processes. Such systems have been a common sight in poultry processing plants for many years now. They have several advantages.

Are you still manually handling containers around the plant to discharge your by-products? There’s no more need for loose containers which must be washed each time they are emptied. Automatic vacuum transport systems do away with that. They are totally enclosed and smell-free. Most importantly in our warming world where water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource: the systems use none of it. All transport piping from collection points to their destinations can be in the roof, so they do not take up valuable floor space either.

Marel has upgraded various crucial elements of its vacuum transport system. Recently, Marel installed a very extensive upgraded system in a greenfield processing plant, consisting of 18 separate systems, collecting material from a total of over 100 locations.

HMI Screens Vacuum

Ready for the future

The upgrade comprises completely new HMI (Human Machine Interface) control panels for the vacuum transport system itself and for its CIP system, a new CIP tank and new more robust cyclones. In developing the upgrade, Marel’s priority has been to make the systems more energy-efficient, more user-friendly, more transparent, and capable of handling the huge volumes of material generated by today’s and tomorrow’s highest throughput multi-shift plants.

CIP+Vacuum Tanks Switch Boxes

A user-friendly HMI display

The new vacuum transport system control panel features a new, user-friendly HMI touchscreen, bringing benefits both for the customer and for Marel.
For each system in an installation, the HMI screen presents a clear dashboard of pressure values, pump speed and the current step in the process. A system of alarms, color-coded for severity, warns of operational problems such as too much material at a given collection point. Errors can be traced quickly, avoiding costly excessive downtime.
The HMI display will also identify those collection points where little or no material accumulates and automatically adapt its program. More time is therefore available for busier collection points, increasing overall operating efficiency and potentially reducing energy inputs.

Remote help

For Marel, the new control panel means vacuum systems are easier to configure and quicker to install on site. Once the vacuum system has been fully installed, a simple VPN connection allows a Marel engineer based remotely to see exactly what a plant’s own engineers see. If there is an issue with a vacuum system and local engineers need help, a Marel specialist can log in and advise. Any downtime of the vacuum system is therefore kept to an absolute minimum.

CIP saving time and money

In some markets, if vacuum transport systems are to move organs or other by-products to be sold for human consumption or used in further processed products, the installation of a CIP (Cleaning In Place) system is mandatory. Marel now offers a new CIP tank and a corresponding new HMI control panel.

The capacity of the new tank increases from 1000 liters to 1800 liters. This saves floor space in large installations where previously two tanks would have been needed. For smaller systems, the maximum level can be set at 900 liters to save water. For increased robustness, all connection boxes and dosing pumps are now mounted on the tank. A tank height of 1.4m means that its filter can now be cleaned from above and does not have to be dismantled. A further advantage of the new tank is that the diameter of fill and drain pipework is now larger, meaning that both these operations take less time. On a standard system, where draining can take place up to four times, this saves over half an hour. This is a particular benefit in multi-shift plants, where cleaning time is of the essence.

CIP tanks Cleaning-In-Place

Cleaning progress

The display on the new CIP control panel clearly indicates the progression of cleaning operations through their various stages. At all times, plant management will know exactly the stage in the program reached. If for some reason, cleaning operations are interrupted, once the program is restarted, it will resume where it left off. Until now, interruption meant starting the program all over again. A daily generated report gives an overview of values such as water temperature and concentrations of soap and disinfectant for each step in the process. In this way, plant technical management can verify how the system is functioning and check exactly what it needs.
As with the main control panel, faults can be traced quickly and, if necessary, the plant’s engineer can call on the remote help of a Marel specialist via the VPN internet connection.

Robust cyclones

New cyclones are also part of the upgrade. These have been made more robust to handle almost continuous operation at the highest hourly throughputs. They now incorporate thicker material and additional bracing at the top of the unit and a larger diameter cylinder and improved hinge at its bottom. Apart from offering improved durability, the new cyclones should also make for a more air-tight operation.

Vacuum Pumps For All Systems

Existing owners of Marel vacuum transport systems can upgrade their installations to the latest requirements and technical standards by fitting additional sensors, replacing the main control panel, cyclones and, if applicable, the CIP system only. The main benefits will be maximized uptime and improved operational efficiency.


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