GEA Group continuous freezer control system
Company: GEA Group
Equipment Snapshot: The technology group GEA offers its spiral freezer series A-Tec and S-Tec for the food industry with the unique control technology CALLIFREEZE. The new system ensures that all products are frozen precisely to the users’ requirements. CALLIFREEZE takes its name from its ability to calibrate the freezer having controlled the level of frozenness of the products. This reduces power consumption, improves efficiency and helps manufacturers produce the finest quality frozen food.
CALLIFREEZE is a new freezer control system that’s exclusive to GEA spiral freezers. It is able to calibrate the freezer parameters through the continuous measurement of the level of frozenness of the product at the freezer exit. GEA has enhanced its control system to continuously monitor the level of crystalized water in the products and adjust the retention time, air temperature and fan speed to achieve the precise level of freezing required, with the minimum of energy consumption.
Mathieu Nouhin, GEA’s product manager freezing, said that there is no point in continuing to cool a product beyond 100 percent frozen but, until now, there has been no way of checking the level of frozenness of products as a continuous part of the process. “CALLIFREEZE uses GEA’s unique sensing and control technology to measure the level of frozenness of every product in the spiral, without direct contact with the food product” he said. “It then adjusts the machine to achieve perfect freezing in line with the customer’s requirements.” Mathieu also explained that for several applications, 80 percent level of frozenness at freezer discharge is sufficient with the product being ‘finish off’ in the cold store for energy savings purpose. Results from one plant operating seven GEA freezers has showed a 10-15 percent production capacity increase with a reduction in energy consumption.
CALLIFREEZE won the CFIA 2019 Innovation Award in the category ‘Equipment and Processes’, which was presented by the fair organization in France.