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Future challenges and solutions

Manufacture of aquafeed

Extrusion of aquafeed
Extruded aquafeed

Between 1960 and 2010, the global consumption of fish rose from 9.9 kg per capita to 18.6 kg per capita. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) assumes that this trend will continue. By 2020, an additional 23 million tons of fish will be needed each year just to meet the demands of the current per capita consumption. As the supply of fish cannot be sustainably increased through fishing, the rising demand must be met through aquaculture. Aquaculture is hugely dependent on the availability of high-quality feeds in the quantities required (FAO, 2012). However, this presents aquafeed manufacturers with the challenge of achieving higher production capacities.

Nowadays, commercial aquafeed is predominantly manufactured using extrusion. This continuous process allows huge quantities to be produced. Single screw extruders reach their capacity limits at a throughput rate of around 15 t/h, whereas even higher throughput rates can be achieved with twin screw extruders. Coperion is a pioneer in the development of co-rotating and closely intermeshing twin screw extruders and has already designed numerous large-scale plants with screw diameters up to 420 mm and throughput rates of up to 100 t/h in different areas of application.

However, the maximum throughput rate on its own is not significant. It is also important to ensure that the selected extrusion system can manufacture a wide range of recipes to the desired quality. With its modular design, our ZSK twin screw extruder is extremely versatile. Its process section and the screw configuration can be individually designed to the process task.

With our new test lab for food and feed extrusion applications in Stuttgart, Germany, we offer aquafeed manufacturers a testing area that is well equipped to meet extrusion needs. The test lab is fitted with a ZSK Mv PLUS twin screw extruder with 43 mm screw diameter and some appropriate plant periphery. A considerable number of customers make use of the test lab to develop and optimize processes and recipes on a small scale, thereby acquiring reliable data for the scale-up to production scale.

Customers from the aquafeed industry have already been able to achieve throughput rates of more than 500 kg/h on the ZSK 43 Mv PLUS extruder with the desired product characteristics. These high throughput rates are primarily down to the high free volume in the process section of the ZSK Mv PLUS series. In a scale-up to a ZSK Mv extruder with 248 mm screw diameter that has already been built, this would correspond to a throughput rate of more than 40 t/h. Within the same tests it was possible to inject more steam directly into the process section compared to a set-up including a preconditioner.

Your contact:
Stefan Gebhardt, Tel.: +49 (0)711 897 3048, e-Mail

NAFTA contact::
Ed Beecher, Tel.: +1 201 512 3509 , e-Mail

Twin screw extruder ZSK 43 Mv PLUS of Coperion
Twin screw extruder ZSK 43 Mv PLUS for the extrusion of aquafeed
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A detailed insight into the complexities of food extrusion

“Food Extrusion Seminar 2014” at Coperion

“The Food Extrusion Seminar 2014”, which we organized in collaboration with the German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL, www.dil-ev.de), Quakenbrück, Germany, at our premises in Stuttgart, Germany, on May 6 and 7, 2014, met with a highly rewarding response. We were able to welcome around 40 participants from Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland. The participants mainly came from the production and product development departments of food manufacturing companies. Speakers from Coperion, Coperion K-Tron and DIL as well as guest speakers from Neuheus Neotec Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH, Reinbek, Germany, and Mars Petcare Deutschland, a subsidiary company of Mars GmbH, Verden, Germany, presented diverse technological aspects of food extrusion. The presentations were complemented by a visit to our new Food Test Lab, where one of the highlights of the seminar was a demonstration of high-moisture extrusion of textured soy protein as a meat analogue. This series of seminars, which began last year at the DIL, is scheduled to continue in 2015.

In their lectures, the experts covered the entire food extrusion process from start to finish, providing the participants not only with basic knowledge but also information on the latest developments and trends. As an example of a versatile, continuous production system for food extrusion, Coperion's ZSK twin screw extruder was described and explained in detail. This extruder owes its versatility to the numerous different process steps that take place within its process section – from mixing, plasticizing, cooking, denaturing and sterilizing of the foodstuff through to forming, cooling and cutting of the end product. The possible applications for the ZSK twin screw extruder range from the production of direct expanded breakfast cereals and snacks, the modification of flour and starch, the production of chocolate and caramel masses and confectionary through to the microencapsulation and the maillard-reaction of flavours and the production of pet foods (e.g. dry cat/dog food). Seminar participants were presented with the range of products that can be produced as well as with what influence respective formulations or recipes and the geometrical and processing parameters of the extruder have on the ultimate properties of the end product produced. Possible ways of optimizing the process when extruding natural products, which by reason of their different origins display widely fluctuating starting properties, were also discussed.

Your contact:
Stefan Gebhardt, Tel.: +49 (0)711 897 3048, e-Mail

NAFTA contact::
Ed Beecher, Tel.: +1 201 512 3509 , e-Mail

„Food Extrusion Seminar 2014“ at Coperion
The Food Extrusion Seminar 2014 combined expert lectures (left) with practical demonstrations and exercises
„Food Extrusion Seminar 2014“ at Coperion
The ZSK 43 Mv PLUS (photo left) installed in our new Food Test Lab demonstrated the extrusion of direct expanded cereals. A ZSK 26 demonstrated the newly developed high-moisture extrusion of vegetable meat analogues (photo right)
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Coming soon to Salina, Kansas, USA

Kansas State University Bulk Solids Innovation Center

Bulk_Solids_Innovation_Center
Groundbreaking for the BSIC
Bulk_Solids_Innovation_Center
Todd Smith, General Manager Coperion K-Tron Salina

Thursday, July 10, 2014 groundbreaking for the Kansas State University Bulk Solids Innovation Center (BSIC) took place. The BSIC will be built adjacent to the Coperion K-Tron Salina office and is expected to be completed by April 2015. A partnership consisting of Kansas State University, several government agencies and private companies including Coperion K-Tron received approval this past September of Federal funding to help build a Bulk Solids Innovation Center in Salina, Kansas. Support for the project is in the form of funds for construction, land, donated equipment and operating expenses. The total project cost is approximately $ 3,500,000. The university will be the key tenant in the center, along with Coperion K-Tron as an anchor tenant.

The groundbreaking ceremony consisted of welcomes, introductions, thank yous and recognitions from Salina city officials, the CEO & Dean of Kansas State University Salina and General Manager of Coperion K-Tron Salina, Todd Smith. You could see the excitement in the eyes of people. It was nice to see so many peoples’ hard work, dedication, determination and plans start to become reality.

The almost 13,000 ft²(1,200 m²) facility will be used to study and develop the understanding of bulk solids materials handling, in turn enhancing the businesses that use these materials or manufacture the systems that convey, store and dispense them. Research at the BSIC will mainly focus on the process industries of foods, chemicals and plastics. The BSIC will be the fourth such university-level research center in the world, and the only one in North America. It will include office space for researchers and five flexible bulk solids laboratories to allow for collaborative and proprietary research projects by the building's tenants and industry sponsors. The largest space is a 30 ft (9.14 m) tall open bay for full scale testing of bulk solids behavior and applied research conducted by university investigators, students and tenants. It is envisioned that this facility will also act as an innovation center where the university and industry can work together on new ventures, and a large classroom will allow continuing education and university level courses about bulk solids. The university has committed to providing researchers, students and tenants to work on their own projects as well as on projects funded by industry.

Companies such as Exxon Mobile, Dow, DuPont, Cargill, P&G and ADM have committed to engage research projects with the university, once the Center opens. Todd Smith is extremely excited with the support he has received by companies donating their equipment to the facility.

Kansas State University Bulk Solids Innovation Center at a glance:
Two-story 13,000 ft² (1,200 m²) building
Research areas - five laboratories for university and industry sponsored research
Training/education center conference and lecture rooms
Material properties test lab - bulk solid and particle properties will be evaluated and modeled in a test bench environment
Full scale bulk solids test bay - full scale systems to include: vacuum and pressure dilute phase, vacuum sequencing, vacuum and pressure vessel dense phase, rotary valve dense phase, batch weighing, silo zone blender, gravity flow, air filtration, feeding, mixing and silo storage
Research fellows, doctoral candidates and students
Continuing education and university level courses about bulk solids
Adjacent to Coperion K-Tron Salina

Your contact:
Todd Smith, Tel.: 001 785 825 3868, e-Mail

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Saratoga Food Specialties

Automated feeding and material transfer for efficiency and improved product quality

Saratoga Food Specialties, IL, USA, contacted Coperion K-Tron for the automation of their dry seasoning blend operation. Saratoga has been developing and producing unique and quality dry seasoning blends for over 60 years. With a product array of over 500 different blends, a growing customer base, and a goal to deliver consistent output through facilities optimization, Saratoga quickly realized the need to automate their dry seasoning blend operation.

The original method of production for the seasoning blend included labor intensive batch weighing and transfer of each of the individual ingredients as well as the addition of fiber to the final blend prior to packaging. All weighing and transfer of these ingredients was done manually. This operation had limited flexibility in capacity and also required long production time due to the manual stages of the process. In addition, when recipe changes were required for the different blends, the changeover time further extended the production time.

In response to Saratoga’s request, Coperion K-Tron’s overall system design includes a two stage blending step with the primary preblend of spices done in a batch blender. This preblend is then conveyed pneumatically directly from the blender via dense phase vacuum conveying to a Coperion K-Tron vacuum receiver above a Coperion K-Tron loss-in-weight feeder.

A second processing line, complete with a mechanical conveyor transfers the fiberous material directly to a second loss-in-weight feeder. Both feeders are controlled through individual Coperion K-Tron Control Modules (KCM’s) with direct links to an overriding HMI, the K-Vision™ Line Controller, complete with recipe control.

Depending upon the recipe chosen, the control system directs the correct proportion of spice blend/fiber to be delivered by the loss-in-weight feeders to the continuous mixer below. The highly accurate load cells of the Coperion K-Tron feeders ensure that the precise amount of ingredients is supplied to the process without excess or waste. The two loss-in-weight feeders supplied include a single screw and a twin screw design, with one being constantly refilled by a flexible screw conveyor, and the other via the Coperion K-Tron pneumatic conveying system. Consistent refill of the loss-in-weight-feeder and correct integration into the overall material handling system is imperative in order to achieve efficient product quality.

The added ability to control required set points and ingredient proportions through the Coperion K-Tron controller allows for added versatility, with the ability to change recipes quickly and easily. Most importantly, the automated transfer of all the components reduces labor and overall process time, while allowing Saratoga to more than triple their capacity in the production line, with a significant increase from 2,000 lb/hr to 6,250 lb/hr.

Today’s food manufacturers are continually striving for methods to maintain and improve product quality while controlling overall manufacturing costs. Saratoga Food Specialties is a prime example of a food processor succeeding by utilizing highly accurate Coperion K-Tron loss-in-weight feeders and the automation of material handling. This resulted in tripling their existing line capacity.

By accurately controlling the seasoning delivery, there is significant reduction in the delivery of excess ingredients, thus also controlling high value ingredient cost and improving overall product. The added transition from a manual to an automated transfer of product has allowed Saratoga to significantly increase their production capacity. As stated by Jim Bejna, Director of Operations, Saratoga Food Specialties, “The accurate and efficient system as provided by Coperion K-Tron has improved the overall versatility of the seasoning line, and has also allowed us to meet the growing capacity demands of our customers. In addition, the added reliability of the Coperion K-Tron control system provides a validatable method of feedback that the system is making product correctly, in both product quality and required quantities.“


Your contact:
Sharon Nowak, Tel.: +1 (856) 589-0500, e-Mail

Automated feeding and material transfer for efficiency and improved product quality
Coperion K-Tron Control Modules (KCM’s)
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