Food Industry Case Study: Princes Group

The engineering team were no longer having to replace the cylinders on the filling machines nor where they having to manually drain the air receiver tank.

About the customer

Princes Group is an international food and drink group involved in the manufacture, import and distribution of branded and customer own brand products. Customers include major supermarkets, convenience stores, foodservice operators, wholesale suppliers and other food manufacturers. Princes’ brands and products span over 20 different categories including fish, meat, fruit, vegetables, soups, pastes, pasta, cooking sauces, edible oils, and a wide range of soft drinks sectors.

They employ over 7,000 people, operate ten food, drink and edible oil manufacturing sites across the UK as well as facilities in Italy, Mauritius and Poland.

Their portfolio of leading brands includes Napolina, Crosse & Blackwell, Crisp n Dry, Aqua Pura, Shippams, Trex, Jucee, and the iconic Princes brand itself.

As a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation since 1989, Princes has accelerated its development over the last two decades by completing 23 mergers and acquisitions that have added scale and expertise to the business.

Project Background

At the Princes site in Bradford, the Reliability and Engineering Manager was concerned about the persistent water issues causing damage to the small cylinders on the filling heads. There are 120 filling heads on this single piece of equipment, so frequent damage to cylinders was leading to avoidable and expensive part replacement costs, production downtime and maintenance.

Additionally, the site was experiencing further issues caused by the build-up of water in the air receiver tanks. The site operates a very large air receiver tank which they were having to manually drain a substantial 500 litres of water from every 6-8 weeks. The Reliability Engineering Manager outlined three prominent issues that this was causing for the site:

 

  • Air would escape during manual draining which causes a pressure loss.
  • Because of the large build up of water in the air receiver tank, this liquid water would continue through the airlines and cause damage to pneumatic equipment.
  • When the engineering team are busy, it would take up time to drain the water out.

How did Original AVG help Princes?

 

The Expel 30 compressed airline filter and the AVG Auto-Drains solved all the issues with liquid water in the compressed air lines for the site.

The dryers and compressors at the site were easily 300-400 metres away from the furthest point of use. Therefore, the most effective way to protect the filling machine was to install an Expel unit as close to the point of use as possible. This is to ensure that any water vapour present in the airlines has had chance to cool and condense to become liquid water. By installing Expel at point of us, it will remove all of this liquid water, along with any oil emulsion fluids and solid particulates down to 1 micron, without the need for ANY maintenance or replacement filter elements. This concept was proved very quickly to the engineering team as they are no longer having to replace the cylinders due to moisture damage.

The team decided to install an AVG Auto-Drain on the bottom of the air receiver tank which continually and automatically drains any water build-up from the tank. This stopped the excessive volumes of liquid water infiltrating the compressed air lines. Furthermore, because the AVG Auto-Drain never causes ANY pressure loss, absolutely no air is lost during draining, thereby increasing the energy efficiency and solving the problem of pressure loss through manual draining. By installing an AVG Auto-Drain this also means engineering team have one less job to worry about, as they do not have to remember to drain the tank, it is done for them.

THE RESULTS

Increased efficiency

Reduces Costs

Reduces Maintenance

Protect Equipment

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