The Food Manufacturing Brainstorm features industry experts sharing their perspectives on issues critical to the overall food industry marketplace.
Food manufacturers can attain this level of detail by tapping into their existing automation infrastructure in a new way — connecting energy-enabled devices to the systems that already exist on the plant floor. Just as food manufacturers are using their control systems to reduce variability in production, they can now use these systems to make changes based on energy consumption — processes can be refined, schedules
shifted, and machines and lines put into lower-power states based on specific requirements. Using this approach makes it unnecessary to
install a separate energy management system, which reduces implementation costs and minimizes the ROI timeline for the project.
There are great
opportunities for food
manufacturing facilities to save energy by
dividing space with
often are not pursued
because facility managers fear the costs and
down-time associated with building solid permanent walls or rigid panelized structures.
Thanks to industrial fabric curtain walls, however, this no longer needs to be the case.
Industrial curtain walls are similar to traditional solid walls in that they define and divide
spaces, offering different types of environmental control. However, as the name implies, fabric curtain walls are significantly different than
traditional walls in their design and construction. A typical curtain wall is made of insulated
fabric panels connected together with Velcro
to span the width and height of a given space.
Because of their construction, they offer a higher degree of flexibility than traditional walls and
are far less expensive and quicker to construct.
Their time, cost and flexibility benefits provide
facility managers the freedom to divide and
control their interior space as business needs
dictate, with changes in space allotments made
as necessary — not as can be afforded.
Among the most common curtain wall appli-
cations for food manufacturing facilities are:
• Temperature and humidity isolation
— Separating temperature- and humidity-sen-
sitive areas from other areas of the plant can
boost efficiencies of HVAC systems, while also
ensuring proper climate control.
• Partitioning cooler and freezer space —
Partitioning of these areas can boost the efficiency of the refrigerant system — and avoid
dangerous temperature fluctuations;
• Loading dock staging areas — Facilities
can gain control of temperature and humidity
levels at the loading dock with separate, tem-perature-controlled staging areas.