With 23 new innovations and 11 new patents, Wenger Manufacturing is once again living up to its marketing slogan, “Inventing the new original since 1935.”
This time, the new originals include an innovative High-Intensity Preconditioner for improved pasteurization and sanitation; a new series of Thermal Twin Screw Extruders that permit up to four times greater steam injection; a revolutionary Enhanced Sanitary Dryer that substantially reduces the risk of contamination, and a long list of innovations and systems designed to improve hygiene and food safety.
“There are a number of trends, which are currently impacting the food industry, that affected the design process behind each of these new innovations,” says Galen Rokey, Process Technology Manager for Wenger.
“Among them are higher energy costs, concerns about water availability and the current economic recession, which is impacting consumer buying habits. Consequently, manufacturers desire the ability to react quickly to new market directions.
“At the same time, the Food and Drug Administration has told the industry that it is the manufacturers’ responsibility to produce salmonella-free food, and that even pet food is considered ‘adulterated’ if it contains salmonella,” Rokey adds.
“So food safety was at the forefront of product design in every case.”
As an example, Wenger’s design criteria for the new Sanitary Dryer stated that no internal horizontal surface could be larger than five by five millimetres unless absolutely necessary.
The design also called for a minimum 30-degree slope on all internal ledges, as well as the elimination of cracks and crevices in which fines and material could collect.
High intensity preconditioner
Likewise, the new High-Intensity Preconditioner (HIP) not only offers adjustable mixing intensities, but it enhances food safety in the process.
Part of the design is a new hygienic beater that eliminates all threaded shafts, and a slide gate that reduces discharge of underprocessed material and manages water flow during the sanitation cycle.
Single screw extruders
“A new series of single screw extruders are even based, in part, on hygienic features, including a stainless-steel frame that has no seams and minimal surfaces for product accumulation,” Rokey adds.
“Additionally, the SX Series, which is comprised of models from 6 to 17.5 tons per hour, features arcuate (curved like a bow) screw elements for more positive conveying when compared to traditional single screw extruder designs.”
On the other hand, the new Thermal Twin Screw Extruders are ideal for manufacturers that want to shift their process to more favourable energy sources.
Unique in the industry, the Thermal Twin not only provides exceptional performance with a broad range of raw materials, but offers a thermal to mechanical energy ratio of 14 to 1 — a level previously unheard of in the industry. Capacities range up to 12 tons per hour.
“Wenger’s new innovations also address recontamination risks,” Rokey adds. “Knowing that fugitive dust is one of the greatest sources of recontamination, we’ve introduced a full line of hygiene products, including a hygienic pneumatic conveying system, a preconditioner slide gate and dust-tight downspout, a new hygienic pneumatic hood and more remote control and sensor systems that provide traceability and help decouple personnel from direct product contact.
“The ultimate goal in every case is to help our customers meet requirements and regulations while reducing production costs and increasing flexibility,” Rokey concludes.
“We look at it as 23 more examples of Wenger’s desire to solve customer challenges.”
, Inc., headquartered in Sabetha, Kansas, USA, is a global designer and manufacturer of extrusion processing systems.