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Freezing Tunnel Cleaning

cleaning food safety equipment tools

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karemfiori

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 08:29 PM

Hello! I work in the pasta industry.

 

Basically we produce filled frozen pasta, we bought a freezing tunnel where filled pasta (ravioli, tortellini) goes inside a freezing tunnel, the product comes out completely frozen and is ready to pack.

 

The problem we have is with the tunnel because it has several belts (not smooth, those that looks like a mesh) they are  5 belts but they are individual, only one belt the one in the top have a small portion outside the tunnel in order to receive the product.

 

Right know we are trying to figure out how to clean because once we defrost the wet flour becomes a nightmare, it is adhere on surfaces and cleaning takes like 8 hours.

 

I was hoping if someone could recommend any tool, chemical or cleaning tool to remove all debris from conveyors, floor and walls inside tunnel.



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Posted 16 November 2018 - 08:54 PM

Check with your sanitation cleaning chemical supply company as there are specialized cleaning compounds that are targeted to this type of freezing application. Midland, Spartan, ecolab, Zep etc all have items for this.


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Setanta

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Posted 17 November 2018 - 03:35 PM

Alternately, you might be able to get a second set of belts, so one is in use while the other is being cleaned. I have no idea how costly your belts are, some of ours are quite expensive. (!)


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012117

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 11:31 PM

Hi, Karemfiori.

 

You have both the tunnel from a reputable supplier? On freezer tunnel I have experienced with, they are also equipped with CIP system  (and drying before resuming operation). On the equipment manual, normally the cleaning scheme is also available. You can then set meeting with your chemical provider to align as well with the equipment manufacturer.

 

Not for flour but my experienced with tunnel (for the smaller one) is we use foaming machine for cleaning. This is also being done only every 3-5 days.



Gerard H.

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 12:56 PM

Dear Karemfiori,

 

An adaptation of the machine and the process in combination with the solutions above could be helpful. You can consider:

  • A sort of shock freezing of the (outside) of the product, just before entering the tunnel, so that it will not pollute the belts anymore
  • An adaptation of the machine to make the parts easily accessible for cleaning
  • Is there "loose" flour on the outside of the product? Is it possible to optimize the process to avoid the need of the "loose" flour?

Please, make sure, that there is no accumulation of dirt elsewhere in the machine caused by the process or by cleaning.

 

Try to involve several departments (maintenance, production, quality, R&D) in the solution of this problem.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gerard Heerkens



Parkz58

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 03:24 PM

Have you checked in to dry ice blast cleaning?  Sounds like it might work very well for you - sublimates upon impact, no liquid involved...but, I also don't know how easy it would be for you to reach every area with the blast nozzle, or how easy it would be for you to sweep/vacuum up the sublimated particles after cleaning.  However, if you are weighing out all your options, it might be worth checking out.



DonnaM

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 04:42 PM

Hi, Karemfiori

 

I have visited facilities that manufacture frozen pasta or ravioli. What I have observed was that large sheet pans were used to place the pasta on and then sent through the tunnel. This might be a solution depending on your current process.

 

This way you do have to keep sheet pans in stock and cleaned regularly but also will avoid a large amount of the debris from attaching to the belts and staying inside the tunnel. Also the fans inside the tunnel should be adjusted properly as to not distribute the flour debris all through the tunnel.

 

Some studies need to be done as to find the optimal settings for the speed of the fans so the freezing temperature is not compromised on the pasta internally.

 

Hope this helps !



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Charles.C

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 06:32 PM

I presume this was a mesh belt.

 

Solid belts are available but take up longitudinal space.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


MrHillman

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 02:08 PM

A lot of good solutions here! I like the spare belt if you can afford it. I've used a dry ice blaster before they work well, and sounds like it would work to clean the surrounding areas also. However keeping dry ice on hand is another task. Most food processing equipment is designed to breakdown easily, we have to remove our belt to clean it.



Shane mcclough

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Posted 22 April 2022 - 10:10 AM

I work for a company in North Dakota that specializes in exactly your predicament. We use multiple very large pressure washers and hundreds of feet of hose line with a "soap" sucker attachment that allows you to introduce or eliminate the use of chemical based on what tip you're using at the time on your sprayer. Tips can be changed in seconds. I'm not sure how large your tunnels are but the ones we do the smallest one is easily just a lil smaller than a school bus and we're able to climb and move around inside them. The largest of them has 3 levels and is probably the length of a football field. Idc how wet your flour gets. A 2500psi machine spewing 9 gallons a minute will remove it. The tunnel should have built in drains that it can be washed down granted were talking that big of a tunnel. I've seen videos of the same washers slicing thru the trunks of trees before.



Charles.C

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Posted 23 April 2022 - 08:53 AM

I work for a company in North Dakota that specializes in exactly your predicament. We use multiple very large pressure washers and hundreds of feet of hose line with a "soap" sucker attachment that allows you to introduce or eliminate the use of chemical based on what tip you're using at the time on your sprayer. Tips can be changed in seconds. I'm not sure how large your tunnels are but the ones we do the smallest one is easily just a lil smaller than a school bus and we're able to climb and move around inside them. The largest of them has 3 levels and is probably the length of a football field. Idc how wet your flour gets. A 2500psi machine spewing 9 gallons a minute will remove it. The tunnel should have built in drains that it can be washed down granted were talking that big of a tunnel. I've seen videos of the same washers slicing thru the trunks of trees before.

Old thread but thanks anyway.

 

Was never revealed (zero feedback !) but I speculated that the "tunnel" was vertical. :smile:


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Rick Reyes

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Posted 23 April 2022 - 12:59 PM

  • The first place to start is with your original equipment manufacture, they should have a cleaning reference guide (each installation is different).
  • IQF (Instant Quick Frozen) freezers typically come in two styles, spiral and standard horizontal freezers.
  • The NUMBER ONE GOAL is the worker safety, this is why I recommend that you read the operators cleaning manual from the original equipment manufacturer, these are typically enclosed areas where a person can become incapacitated and no one would know until the work did not get done on time.
  • IQF freezers typically have aluminum coils inside them for the cooling and using an inappropriate cleaner can pit or damage the coils leading to microbial harborage or refrigerant leaks at welds (I would recommend staying away from chlorinated or high causticity cleaners).
  • If your primary soil is flour you may want to start with a compressed air cleanup to get the flour off of the belts and coils and onto the floor where it can be picked up easily.
  • Without know more about your IQF set up and product profile the rest is a bit more difficult. I hope that this helped a little.






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