Haukur Hafsteinsson, embedded software engineer at Marel, explains how the road to making food proce..
12 Jan 2017
The ChillingControl principle can be used with existing Stork air chilling technology, be it DownFlow+ or Shock maturation technology equipped with PDS production software control in the primary process.
It is even possible to use ChillingControl without weighing data before chilling. In this case, the system reacts only to the detected product quantity.
The recently launched ChillingControl is the only solution in the marketplace which dynamically and automatically adjusts tunnel settings to the load being handled. It is in fact an add-on software module which makes use of data from Innova and it can be implemented in an existing chilling tunnel. It saves a considerable amount of energy, making the chilling process more cost-efficient while at the same time optimizing product quality.
Precise control of the air chilling process is critical when processing poultry; products leaving the chilling tunnel should have the defined core temperature without any frozen parts.
With ChillingControl this process has now been taken a step further. To obtain the desired accuracy, ChillingControl is able to anticipate tunnel loads and then react directly with no human input.
Adjusting to tunnel load
Relying on a thermostat to set the right chilling temperature is a common approach. When a tunnel runs empty during a production break, manual adjustment is needed to prevent the risk of frozen products. However, the temperature will follow the thermostat with a certain reaction delay, so the cooling system will continue to run on for a longer period.
For ultimate efficiency and automation Stork ChillingControl is the next step. It gives processors the ability to improve overall chilling efficiency by automating the reaction time. It’s all about adjusting the tunnel’s settings at exactly the right moment, based on prior knowledge of product weight and product quantity.
With the help of ChillingControl, the chilling tunnel starts up just in time. By the time the first products enter the tunnel, the control software has optimized the temperature; settings adapt themselves dynamically to the number of products entering.
Apart from startup and shutdown, part filling of the tunnel can also happen during production breaks. Normally, the chilling system would continue to operate at full power. ChillingControl, however, will detect the reducing load in the tunnel and will immediately adjust the system accordingly. The cooling system will not operate at full blast unnecessarily, thus saving energy. As soon as products begin entering the tunnel again, the chilling system will already have powered up automatically and on time.
Weighing before chilling
ChillingControl uses weight information on the products to set the temperature in the chilling tunnel. When, for example, a flock of small broilers enters the tunnel, it needs less cooling. In a normal chilling tunnel this can only be done manually and runs the risk of product freezing. In a ChillingControl tunnel, however, this light flock was already expected and chiller settings adjusted automatically and in good time.
Environment and profit go hand in hand
ChillingControl is a smart combination of existing technologies in chilling and Innova product distribution software. The dynamic auto-adjustment is completely automatic; it doesn’t need any human input or control. Energy consumption is as low as it can be, contributing both to environmental sustainability and profitable business.
ChillingControl saves energy and maintains the highest quality.
Product leaving a tunnel managed by ChillingControl will be in the best possible condition for the downstream process. Having been chilled at a consistent temperature, product will be just right for cutting and deboning.
An additional advantage is that weight loss can be kept to an absolute minimum. In a standard chilling process evaporation means a loss in yield. With Stork ChillingControl, evaporation can be even less, with a maximum yield post chill as a result. Product quality, therefore, also greatly benefits from ChillingControl.