06 Jan MicroThermics Issue 8 – Winter 2017
We hope 2017 has been a great year for everyone.
It has been a year of change and expansion for us. To better serve you, we:
- Made our equipment easier to use and maintain
- Expanded our Technical Services Group
- Expanded our Miniature Plant Trial capabilities.
- Introduced new leasing and financing options
- Doubled our floor space
- Increased our staff
It is hard to believe, but 2018 is virtually upon us! We are looking forward to further expanding our Technical Services Staff, further expanding our Miniature Plant Trial Services, and brining new innovations to you with our equipment.
As we enter into the new-year, please remember to properly maintain your MicroThermics’ equipment. Regular servicing will protect your investment, ensure it is in proper working order, comply with FSMA, and avoid costly downtime.
The cost of proper maintenance is small compared to the cost of repairs and downtime when you need to be making samples of your product. MicroThermics offers a variety of services to support you and your compliance with FSMA including;
- Preventative Maintenance Agreements (PMA)
- Training for new operators
- Advanced topic trainings for experienced operators
- Certified Operator Trainings
- Custom educational programs and more.
Also, please keep in mind that our new equipment provides unparalleled process simulation and is easier to use than ever. Let us show you how it is easier to use and maintain than ever before. Perhaps 2018 can be the year you upgrade your equipment and processing methods!
New 2018 Show-Anuga Food Tech
This year we are exhibiting at Anuga Food Tech in Germany. It is our first year at this show. If you are there, come and see us. If you are not planning to be at the show, perhaps you should be!
Operational Tip-Product and Utility Pressures
Operating a processor is similar to driving a car. There are steps that need to be taken in order for the equipment to work properly. Just like in a car, if they are done out of order, you grind your gears.
One important concept in operating a processor is to prevent water from boiling. This is done with the proper application of pressure. Regardless if its product, heating water, or even cooling medium, if it boils, it will cause operational issues. Keeping this in mind will help keep your equipment running smoothly and help you recognize problems.
In this issue, we will review product pressure. (We will discuss heating and cooling medium pressures in subsequent issues.)
If backpressure is not controlled properly, the processor will exhibit a number of symptoms including:
- Inability to reach process temperature
- Complete lack of heating (in steam injection)
- Unusual noise from product lines
- Product pressure fluctuations
- Output of heaters reaching maximum
- Shut-down of heaters
For indirect processes, there is a pretty simple rule of thumb. If you maintain 100 PSI product pressure over the hottest part of the process (i.e. the heater and hold tube) you are pretty much guaranteed to not boil. In a simple process with no homogenizer, or upstream homogenization, this is done with the main back pressure valve. For processes with downstream homogenization, this pressure is controlled by making sure the stuffing pump (product pump) is running sufficiently faster than the homogenizer as to ensure the 100 PSI is achieved.
Pressure control for Direct Steam Injection processes is a little more complicated. The pressure must be maintained within a window. If the pressure is too low, the desired product temperature may not be reached because the steam is essentially boiling with the product in the line. If the pressure is too high, it will prevent the steam from going into the product line at all (and therefore not heat).
For these processes, product pressure is controlled by setting it initially with a backpressure valve to about 20 PSI. Then by introducing steam to heat the product the pressure will naturally increase. Slight adjustments on the back pressure valve may be necessary to reach the optimum level, and then once product is started. As a good indicator, if the product hose leading to the vacuum chamber is bouncing or vibrating, the product pressure is too low and needs to be increased with the back pressure valve.
If you are confident that you are operating the equipment properly, but you are unable to reach the required back-pressure, you may have another issue. This could involve the product pump, back-pressure valve, pressure sensor or even a leaking fitting. Or there may be an issue with your product such as having air whipped into it. For more assistance with this or other technical topics, please contact us at the following link.
For Fastest Service, Please use our Technical Support Ticketing System!
In order to better serve our clients, we have implemented a Technical Support Ticketing System. This system will enable us to respond and resolve your issues more quickly. There are 3 ways to reach us for technical Support:
Call us at +1 919 878 8045
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit our Website: http://microthermics.com/services/
We look forward to hearing from you!
Expanding our Team! (AGAIN!)
Recently we welcomed two new members to our Technical Services Team!
We are happy to announce that Joshua Cloud has joined us in the USA. Joshua will be working out of our home office. Once he completes his training, he will be working with clients for trainings, tune-ups, repairs, technical support and more! Make sure to say “Hi” to him!
We are also happy to announce that C.D. Ramdevanand (Ramdev) has joined out Technical Support Team. Ramdev will be working with our clients in India and surrounding areas. Once he completes our training, he will be supporting clients for trainings, tune-ups, repairs, technical support and more! We hope you meet him soon!
February 7 & 8, 2018
Westin Santa Fe
Ciudad de México, Mexico
Presentation: Aseptic Packaging for R&D and Small Scale Production
Pete Johnson, Managers of Technical Services, MicroThermics, Inc.
February 22, 2018
March 20-23, 2018
2018 Anuga Food Tech
July 15-17, 2018
2018 IFT Food Expo
Chicago, IL USA
BOOTH S1002-At the show entrance!