SEEPEX, a specialist in progressive cavity pumps for food and beverage applications, offers a sophisticated solution for chopping, pumping and removing food waste. This simplifies the handling of challenging by-products, ranging from fish, whole chickens and vegetables to peelings and fruit stones. The BTM progressive cavity pumps not only reduce food producers’ costs, but also improve their standards of hygiene and health & safety.
Fruit, vegetable, meat, poultry and fish processing facilities inevitably produce waste. This includes not just trimmings, wash residue and by-products, but also off-specification batches, overproduction, and expired goods. Strict sanitary guidelines dictate the handling and quick removal of this waste from production areas.
Clearing this food waste not only frees up capacity for primary processing operations but also provides an opportunity. This involves turning waste and by-products into additional revenue streams by using them for animal feed, compost, or even to generate renewable energy.
However, some waste products are notoriously difficult to handle – large, highly viscous, or non-flowable foodstuffs can be a challenge. These include whole chickens, chicken frames, heads, feet, and necks as well as other animal bi-products. Whole vegetables and fruit, along with fruit stones, seeds, and peelings also fall into this category.
As a result, some operators still rely on traditional methods to remove them from the production area. Conveyor belts are often used in large food production factories. Compressed air systems, vacuums and water flumes are also common. Operators use waste containers, like tote bins or dolavs, for manual handling. These methods can be inefficient, unsanitary and expensive.
Automated, All-in-One Alternative
Fortunately, there are sophisticated, hygienic and cost-effective alternatives on the market. The SEEPEX open hopper BTM pump range is one such option. Many fruit, vegetable, meat, poultry and fish processing factories across the UK and Europe have adopted this pumping technology for the disposal of food waste. The BTM progressive cavity pump with a feed auger and macerating knives, chops and pumps food waste in a single operation.
This process effectively reduces solids waste volume by up to 60% and provides a pumpable consistency without requiring additional water.
SEEPEX Pumps for Food Waste Handling
Changing from traditional waste removal methods to an enclosed food waste removal solution like the SEEPEX BTM pump has several advantages for food manufacturers:
Hygienic waste removal
Firstly, it is more hygienic. Transferring food waste products through a closed pipe system eliminates the need for dedicated cleaning of tote bins. This is especially beneficial before re-entering high-care areas, as it helps prevent potential cross-contamination.
Improved health & safety
Secondly, it is safer. Manual handling or conveyor systems can cause waste products to fall on the floor. This creates an immediate health and safety risk for workers and increases the risk of slipping accidents. In contrast, SEEPEX automated solutions streamline the process, needing only one staff member to load products into the hopper or even fully automating the feeding process.
This improves efficiency and safety on the factory floor by minimising traffic and hazards in high-risk areas. Reducing the number of forklift trucks, operatives, and tote bins significantly improves overall safety.
Finally, the BTM pump range is more efficient, generating significant cost savings. By chopping and pumping all-in-one, the BTM pump is able to create a pumpable consistency without requiring any additional water, resulting in savings from water usage. It can also reduce food waste volume by up to 60%, making it easier to transport and cutting transport costs.
The operating and energy costs of the BTM are considerably lower than vacuum or compressed air systems, generating savings. Automating the process and eliminating manual labour also allows food producers to cut down on labour costs, freeing up employees for more profitable primary production roles.
In chilled high-care production areas, using a simple pipeline to remove waste instead of manual transport through doorways will help reduce energy costs and minimise potential contamination from external sources.
Bespoke Options for Challenging Waste Streams
Customised solutions are available for transporting more challenging by-products. To ensure continuous pumping, the BTM pump range incorporates an auger with a large pitch, feeding the product into the cutting elements.
Horizontal and vertical grinders can also be integrated; as can solids traps to prevent pump damage. Dewatering devices can help reduce waste volume even further. Additionally, all BTM pump systems can be fitted with Smart Conveying Technology (SCT), a pump maintenance solution from SEEPEX that enables rapid dismantling and cleaning, reducing maintenance time by up to 85%. With SCT, the adjustable stator can also increase pump stator life by up to 200%. Pumps fitted with this maintenance solution can be fully maintained in place without removing any pipework and are also suitable for Clean-In-Place (CIP).
Contact SEEPEX to discuss your requirements and learn more about our food waste pumps and food waste pumping applications. We also offer solutions for fruit and vegetable processing, the fishing industry, poultry and meat processing, and other applications within the food and beverage industry.
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