Industrial automated plate freezers in focus at Seafood Expo

By James Ranson, Apr 24, 2015, 15:23 5 minute reading

With all the latest refrigeration technology on show at the Seafood Global Expo in Brussels from 21-23 April, partner DSI showcased it latest automatic loading and unloading freezers that are gaining traction in Russia and the U.S. in the fishing, pet food and meat & poultry industries.

For both its vertical and horizontal plate freezers, DSI Sales Manager Peter Nygaard proudly noted the company’s use of ammonia and CO2. Displaying a small demo horizontal automatic plate freezer at the Expo, which removes the need for manpower and machine-operated equipment, Nygaard said demand for fully automated systems is growing rapidly.
“This is a new technology with automatic loading and unloading for the horizontal freezer,” Nygaard said. “We have the same technology for the vertical freezer with the bottom discharge. This is something that we’re putting a lot of our focus on because we’re seeing a big increase in demand for automated machines.”
Aside from Europe, DSI’s primary market, Nygaard said that demand for its systems varied depending on the seasonal flow of the fishing and meat & poultry industries, in particular. The company predominantly uses ammonia (80%) as well as CO2 (20%), and Nygaard said the main growth markets for the company’s technology are the U.S. and Russia, the biggest being Russia, which still has relatively soft regulation preventing the use of HFCs R22, R404a and R407a.
“Compared to HFCs, you can go a little further down in freezing temperature with ammonia, which is a very effective refrigerant in the deep freezing process. Everybody is starting to use ammonia.”

Unique single pass system

DSI’s ‘single pass’ system means that the ammonia is circulated in the cooling plates in one loop, producing a more effective heat transfer process.
“All our competitors are using a double pass system, and that means they are using two channels at the same time,” Nygaard said. “The reason for doing that is that it’s cheaper, but we believe you have a better freezing performance by circulating in one channel – you have a better heat transfer of the plates.” 
In 2014, DSI installed one of the biggest ever projects in Denmark using vertical plate freezers, for a company in the pet food industry. The company in Vejle produces 220 tons of product per day and has 16 vertical freezers installed. DSI is also doing big business in the U.S. with four big orders already in 2015 for slaughterhouses and poultry processing, as well as a deal with Trident Seafood, using horizontal freezers for fish processing.

Ammonia the ‘only choice’ for fish processing
Icelandic refrigeration manufacturer FROST also commented on the uptake of automated ammonia refrigeration systems, particularly in seafood processing. The company has worked in partnership with Skaginn for over 10 years and has been working with ammonia solutions for 30 years.
“Ammonia is very efficient. It’s the only choice really,” said FROST Technical Manager Sigurdur Bergsson.
Working mostly on big factory vessels in Europe (predominantly Scandinavia) but also with clients in the Canary Islands, the west coast of Africa, Canada and Russia, Sigurdur said the company’s most efficient plants use their pelagic plate freezers, which use two-stage screw compressor system and have a capacity of 1000T/day.
“Automatic plate freezers are delivering a much better COP and less cost per kilogram than traditional blast freezers and have become normal practice in Scandinavia,” Sigurdur said.
Sigurdur noted one major installation in the Faroe Islands in 2012 using a 50T ammonia plant for processing fish. Skaginn and FROST have several similar installations in Iceland but this was the first of its kind in the Faroe Islands. The plan was to install 16 automatic plate freezers to reach up to 1000T capacity for pelagic processing (small purse seine-caught fish), but the partners were able to achieve this capacity with 14 plate freezers. FROST and Skaginn completed two more projects in the Faroe Islands in 2014.
Hans Jensen Engineering’s Multi Retention Time (MRT) carton freezer
Danish manufacturer Hans Jensen Engineering launched its new MRT carton freezer (tunnel), which increases production capacity and reduces energy costs by simultaneously freezing different types of fish for different lengths of time.
Hans Jensen developed the carton freezer with an agent in Chile, which has been working in the salmon farming industry for many years. The freezer has a capacity of up to 20T/day and, for example, enables users to freeze one type of fish for two hours and another for, say, five hours.
“This means that fish manufacturers can make use of all the space available in the tunnel at all times instead of having to stop the production between different products,” explained Hans Jensen Engineering CEO Olaf Møller.
“The system blows a continuous stream of cold air into the freezer across the products along one side. This reduces the time and the amount of ammonia used to freeze the fish so that the manufacturers can cut costs.”
Chinese refrigeration company Dalian Bingshan was also in Brussels to boost its European profile. The company produces intelligent cold-storage solutions using CO2/NH3 cascade systems, which it has so far successfully marketed in China, Japan, Malaysia and Bangladesh.
Over 80% of the company’s range uses ammonia as a refrigerant with their cascade systems suitable for industrial applications like frozen food and fish processing, agriculture, and slaughter and poultry processing. The cascade systems are based on inverter technology and auto control and incorporate an improved evaporative condenser water supply circulated system.


By James Ranson

Apr 24, 2015, 15:23

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