Efficient compressed air production in the baked goods industry
Progress through smart screw compressors
Major bakeries and suppliers to the baked goods industry depend on high-quality compressed air to convey flour. Process security and energy-efficiency in the compressor technology used are central requirements: Besides safe foodstuffs, economical production is also important.
Die BOGE solution
With the S-4, BOGE KOMPRESSOREN has constructed a screw compressor that is optimally designed for deployment for fluctuating compressed air requirements and in dusty environments. Intelligent control enables performance efficiency and connection to other production areas according to Industry 4.0 benchmarks.
For energy-intensive machines such as screw compressors, every kilowatt hour saved counts. Reliable operation is also important to achieve manufacturing productivity that is as high as possible. The high proportion of dust in the ambient air in flour processing plants is a factor affecting the functioning of the machinery that is not to be underestimated. The danger of overheating and machinery breakdowns occurs quickly due to impurities in the drive or a blocked cooling system. To meet the growing demand of the baked goods industry with regard to compressed air technology that is durable with minimum power consumption in the performance range 110 to 160 kW, the Bielefeld-based family-run company BOGE has turned the design principle of the oil-lubricated screw compressor on its head. The development engineers have also improved the arrangement and function of mechanically relevant components – while always keeping low-noise, energy-efficient operation in view. To fulfil the high demands for food quality and a safe processing procedure, BOGE provides food-standard oil for operating the S-4 screw compressor.
Integrated dust protection for gears
Compressed air is used to convey the flour, among other things, in flour processing plants. From the silos, the flour is pumped into a conveyor pipe and is transported to the next stage of the process, for example to the flour scales, via the addition of compressed air. It may be the case that the flour to be processed is dispersed into the ambient air of the factory halls and is deposited on the machinery. The S-4 screw compressor is optimally equipped for these conditions. The gear for the compression stage, the BOGE effilence “IntegrateDrive", is hermetically enclosed. The drive is thereby optimally protected against high dust ingress from the surrounding air. The result is low maintenance and an extremely long service life of over 35,000 operating hours. The large-scale design of the compressor provides high delivery volumes with low power consumption. The BOGE engineers have also concerned themselves with the technical challenge of the cooling system. To discharge the waste heat from the compression process, the cooling system sucks in ambient air The dust contained in this is inevitably deposited in the cooling system and clogs it up over time. This leads to a relatively high maintenance requirement whereby the components affected have to be cleaned. The S-4 is fitted with a very large sized cooler. The maintenance intervals are thereby extended. The functional areas of the compressed air system are also designed to be separate and very easy to maintain. Access is therefore limited to two sides for all maintenance work required – oil and air coolers are easy to reach via the drawer principle. Downtime for the compressed air system is thus greatly reduced. The focus control 2.0 smart control further contributes to the planning capability and efficiency. It gives early information on action required, for example if the operating conditions move into the critical range.
Compressed air generation that meets demands – smart operation
Depending on the volume of orders and type of baked goods, requirements vary with regard to compressed air technology in terms of service life, frequency and compressed air availability. To enable an appropriate compressed air supply and energy-efficient machine operation at all times, the BOGE S-4 is fitted with a smart control. The focus control 2.0 control system is designed to anticipate operating conditions, and it automatically adjusts to the temperatures and pressure levels that occur. The system makes it possible to simultaneously monitor the operating conditions and maintenance intervals of up to four compressors, entirely in line with Industry 4.0. The potential of the compressor unit is therefore used in full and the service life is considerably extended. Thanks to these attributes, S-4 screw compressors are suitable, for example, for three-shift operation. The focus control 2.0 control system supports interconnected operation with up to four units without the use of additional higher-level control.
Automated and manual working steps interlock with one another in food processing companies. Vibrational decoupling of the machine unit is the key to the incredibly low sound level of the S-4 screw compressor. At 67 dB(A) the new generation is 7 dB(A) quieter than the previous model. “For example, we have even decoupled the oil separator from the base frame and sound insulation hood so that no vibrations are transmitted”, says Frank Hilbrink, product-market manager at BOGE. “The low operating noise is the best precondition for flexible deployment of the machine, for example right next to a workstation.” To accomplish the decoupling, BOGE come up with a first: designing a vertical oil separator with a new pre-separation system. Other benefits are minimal pressure losses and a long service life for the separating element. No additional sound insulation is required for the structure. Th S-4 screw compressor is therefore the appropriate technology for industrial baked goods production, and is in line with the requirements regarding energy-efficiency, durability and workplace compatibility. The result is improved overall operating costs and fine baked goods.