Automatic Cleaning System for Hooks Used in the Poultry Industry
In 2016, Nortura and Borg Systemvask challenged Aquatiq® Hygiene Systems to apply automation technology to increase the efficiency and efficacy of the cleaning process of the hook system.
The problem areas were as listed below:
- Manual labour
- Time consuming
- Inconsistent application of chemistry
- Poor flushing
- High water usage
- Energy consuming regarding hot water usage
Early in the project, we sat down with the factory management group and launched a solution where we used stainless steel boxes with an automated nozzle system for application of chemicals and flushing. The box was placed as an intermediate object the hooks had to pass as they circled the factory as a transported function. The automated box solution would increase consistency and was hygienically designed to avoid gathering of biomaterial leading bacteria outbreaks.
Testing and improving
As a part of the process, we set up a test in our workshop in Lillehammer, Norway. This allowed us to develop the technology and make adjustments to achieve a perfect fit at the factory. Additionally, we tested the concept on a wide range of hooks, as they come in many types. Lastly, we engineered the exact pressure and gradient of the nozzles.
From installation to automated operation
Based on technical drawings and the overall lay out of the factory, as well as the speed of the hook system, we were able to measure the optimal placement of the stainless steel boxes to achieve the optimal hygienic result. We used our professional pipe benders and stainless steel welders to install the solution as an addition to the existing central washing system. This system is used for flushing, application of chemistry, and disinfection. The entire system is operated by a PLC unit, which is programmed to deliver the optimal hygiene results.
After one year of operation, we can observe significant improvements on all the stated challenge areas. The time consumed by professional cleaners has considerably decreased and the washing process is predictable and precise, with good hygiene as result. Furthermore, the high usage of heated water and chemistry is dramatically reduced, which has resulted in economic gains for our customer. Overall, the hygiene standards have massively improved. The production is more effective, due to less time spent on cleaning.
The conclusion is clear. Automated wash of the hook system used in the poultry industry results in good hygiene and reduced costs.
Aquatiq® provides complete food safety solutions and expertise to the global food industry, offering a holistic approach that includes consultation, equipment and hygiene systems. Aquatiq offers food safety courses, certifications, audits as well as specialized chemistry for food processing and mechanical industries. Aquatiq does what it takes to ensure the production and distribution of safe food for companies around the world.