Fixing a sticky situation

The Client:

Steamy PancakesA European based Bakery that produces frozen pancakes and waffles along with shelf stable waffles has multiple production facilities in the US. The client prides itself in the quality of its products and production process. The client sells their products to grocery stores and chains in all 50 states.

The Problem:

The client had several process holding tanks in its facility that are unpressurized and have ports for breathing. The Client was concerned about exposing their process tanks to plant air and the possibility of contamination. They installed a Micropure Sterile Tank Vent Filter on every tank on their process line to ensure that sterile air was entering each tank during the breathing process. However, the client found that they were sterilizing the media extremely often to avoid excess backpressure and the media was showing signs of deterioration every time it was checked.

The Process:

The Engineers at Micropure reviewed the application, sizing and media choice originally recommended to the client. They reviewed the issue the client was having with their tank vent filters and a determined number of possible reasons for the issue to be happening. Micropure presented these findings to the client for them to make the best decision for their specific production process.

The Solution:

Tank Vent FilterMicropure’s engineers looked into a possible error in the original sizing calculations or the pipe connection size as a cause for the backpressure, they also looked into several other technical possibilities. However the engineers found these issues were not causing the trouble for the filters.

What was discovered was in the early stages of production, maple syrup is added to the batter mixture. When this mixture is heated, some of the maple syrup was evaporating into the air giving the air a sticky quality. As the tanks were filling with product and air was being pushed through the vent filter out into the plant atmosphere, the media was absorbing the stickiness and prematurely clogging. This absorption is due to the hydrophobic nature of the standard PTFE media. This became a major issue when the tanks would empty and not enough air was being pulled into the tank causing higher than normal differential pressure.

The Micropure engineers determined that the solution for the problem was to keep the Sterile Tank Vent Filters and to switch out the PTFE media of a different material that would not absorb any of the maple syrup. Micropure recommended that the client switch the vent’s media over to its FMS series media. The FMS series media is made of the high quality woven stainless steel. The FMS is available in multiple absolute micron levels depending on the application.

The needs of the client led Micropure to choose the FMS-14-003 Media which has a 3 micron absolute rating. The weave pattern that is used in the media allows the maple syrup air trying to go through the media to wick off and doesn’t affect the back pressure in the tanks or the replacement interval.

Micropure’s segmented design allows for easy, inexpensive and simple changes when issues such as these arise.

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