Worldwide about 80% of the cleaning of powder mixers is done by manual dry cleaning. In the case of paddle mixers, this is a difficult and time-consuming job that can take about 90 minutes for one operator. Compare this to our new cleaning method using Air Jet technology that takes only 30 minutes each time.
The image on the left shows a powder mixer with milk powder remaining after discharge and the image on the right shows the same powder mixer after about 30 minutes of cleaning with the new Air Jet technology. Only small traces of powder remain on the surfaces.
The launch of Tetra Pak Air Jet Cleaning system for Powder introduced a brand-new patented technology in powder handling. Jets of compressed air are used to break the interaction between particles and stainless steel surfaces and between the particles themselves. The powerful air jets suspend powder particles so they can be extracted from the mixer using a vacuum system.
The downtime for the manual dry cleaning of a paddle mixer is about 90 minutes with one operator. On top of this, when opening the mixer for cleaning, dust will be released into the room so extra time will be needed to clean the surrounding area. Using the new Air Jet technology, you can reduce the total cleaning time to about 30 minutes. What’s more, no cloud of dust escapes from the mixer because most of the time you do not need to open it at all.
The new Air Jet technology will reduce the operating cost for cleaning and save time. You can expand the capacity of your line without having to invest in extra mixers. Just use the existing mixers more efficiently.
This technology is not just intended for full cleaning, but it can also be used for flushing for a few seconds to avoid powder fouling on surfaces. For example, layers of powder can build up on the ceiling inside the mixer when running one batch after another without cleaning in between. If these residues drop down, they can affect the homogeneity of the product. In the case of infant milk formulas, it is not the base powder that sticks to the ceiling, but micro-ingredients.
Normally operators need to manually remove the layers of powder that build up. As an alternative, flushing dislodges powder stuck on surfaces and avoids the build-up of layers. As a result, the powder goes into the product instead of being lost. Flushing can be done without needing to open the mixer and without impacting the production schedule, which is a big advantage.
Our Air Jet technology will reduce not just the time for manual cleaning but also the frequency of cleaning due to the timely use of flushing. This flushing function is not available with other types of cleaning methods.
The risk of food contamination is always a big consideration in the food industry. This new technology is attractive since we reduce the amount of direct intervention by operators in the mixer and thereby increase food safety. Microbial swab testing associated with direct interventions is a significant cost that can be reduced.
The new Air Jet technology cleans fast and with minimal residual powder so that you can switch hygienically from one recipe to another as quickly as possible.
There are a lot of different consumer trends fragmenting the market such as preferences for organic, plant-based and gluten-free ingredients. And now the latest trend arising from the covid-19 pandemic is about incorporating powder ingredients with the ability to boost immunity. All these trends lead to a lot of different recipes to handle, and the need to clean very frequently – perhaps 2-3 times a day in some plants.
In a scenario with three cycles of cleaning per day, Tetra Pak Air Jet Cleaning system for Powder was compared to conventional manual cleaning of a powder mixer with one operator, which normally takes 90 minutes. With the new Air Jet technology, an hour could be saved for each cleaning cycle. The cost of operators for cleaning could therefore be saved. With a wage rate of 30 euros per hour, the potential saving is nearly 45,000 euros per year in salaries. These substantial savings are combined with the potential to use the time-saving of about 1,000 hours a year for additional production, giving extra revenues. In addition, product losses can be reduced by the use of flushing.
This technology is a form of dry CIP (cleaning in place) that can in some cases replace wet CIP using liquids. In that case, you can reduce the environmental impact and cleaning costs because no water, no chemicals and no detergents are needed. Furthermore, no drying is needed after cleaning with Air Jet technology because the equipment never gets wet.
The return on investment will obviously vary depending on cleaning frequency and operational costs. We would be happy to make a calculation based on your specific circumstances.
Tetra Pak Air Jet Cleaning system for Powder is an option that can be fitted not just onto the Tetra Pak® Powder Mixer B range of paddle mixers but onto other brands of mixers or other types of powder handling equipment. It represents a paradigm shift in the cleaning of powders.
The patented Tetra Pak Air Jet Cleaning system for Powder is a major innovation in mixer cleaning and a dream come true if you are faced with time-consuming manual cleaning at the end of a production cycle. Now you can avoid clouds of dust being released while reducing the risk of contamination from operator interventions and cutting up to an hour off each cleaning cycle.