-Simon Ganley, Ganley Engineering
Have you ever wondered how manufacturers control what they make so they produce everything to the top of the specification and only use the minimum amount of energy to achieve that?
Well, most bulk manufacturers of food and industrial products use sensors that sit in or on the line that measure what is being made to automatically control the process.
And world-wide, NDC Technologies have grown to become the largest suppliers of this technology.
There is a limit to how long any manufacturer can afford to fill up the scrap bin with substandard product, how long they can waste money on power consumption and how long they can compete with companies who do things properly.
So, some of the things we do in NZ and elsewhere, is control the moisture and resin in MDF and particle board. This is done with a succession of sensors that control up at the wet-end and provide total control at the finished product.
We control sugar moisture on-line and new developments will see the control of colour and lactose where degrees of brown have been an issue.
Developed in NZ, most biscuits are now automatically process controlled with colour and moisture which saves huge amounts of energy, staff time and ingredients.
The world’s largest French fries maker controls the moisture, oil, colour, bed depth and temperature at the fryer. Other makers produce anything at all.
The same goes for potato and corn crisps. The big producers became big because they control what they make. Controlling production provides a fast payback.
For confectionery, we control the layers of syrup when it is sprayed in the pan to make up hard-shell products and for chocolate the top producers control the moisture and cocoa butter.
For milk powder, pharmaceuticals and other products made in fluid bed driers, the moisture is controlled so everything is made to the top of the yield. The extra profit and saved energy pays for the technology in days or weeks.
Coffee is another product controlled. Typically, the moisture, caffeine and colour. The technology can sit in the line or beside the line. Sensible manufacturers cannot afford to make bad coffee. Amazing how many do. The sensors also control tea.
Cereals are controlled. Or should be. Nothing worse than variable quality food which is what happens on uncontrolled lines.
Fruit moisture testing is becoming automated. NZ is the world leader in this type of measurement. The measurements can include moisture, colour, oil and brix or any appropriate combination of these.
Fertiliser is a large part of the NZ rural scene. When over-drying, the energy costs are high and product is given away. Under-drying is just trucking un-necessary water around the countryside.
Meat process control either on-line or at-line is an important world-wide part of NDC’s business.
So, these are just a few common applications we have. Maybe we can help out with others.
Just call Ganley Engineering Ltd on 09 42 83426 or visit www.ganleyengineering.co.nz. For an exhaustive trip around what is possible, visit www.ndc.com as they are the manufacturers of this equipment.