Ardo produces frozen vegetables and ready-made meals, and is one of Europe’s leading suppliers. The factory in Nyborg, Denmark, produces 40-50 million bags of 150g – 2,500g annually. About 85 people work in three shifts in the production section, where advanced mixing and weighing facilities provide the precise combination for almost 450 different end-products.
The vegetables are stored, weighed and mixed in a large freezer room, from where the mixtures are sent on a conveyor belt to the 1200m² production room, where the temperature is approximately 12ºC. Ardo experienced problems in the form of mould and mildew on the walls between the freezer room and the production area. The humidity in the production room was constantly over 70% relative humidity (RH) and condensation build up on the cold wall against the freezer room and under the ceiling was unavoidable. An attempt was made to use hot water pipes to improve drying after cleaning and thereby avoid the hygiene problems that required regularly washing with disinfectant and frequently painting etc.
Ole Sepstrup, technical manager at Ardo, contacted Munters, who found a solution to the problem whereby a Munters MX7600 dehumidifier operating around the clock ensures that the humidity in the production area is kept at the low level of 50% RH. The Munters dehumidifier was installed on the roof, from where 3-4 ducts distributed the dry air into the room.
Since the dry air ensures that condensation no longer builds up on the wall surfaces, the hygiene problems are solved and the company complies with the condensation control requirements in the HACCP regulations. Dehumidifying also ensures that there is better use of the evaporators, which no longer become covered in ice. This also reduces the need for defrosting. Previously, the built-up ice had to be removed manually, which was both costly, a source of irritation and an inconvenience. The conveyor belts work better now because the dry air prevents ice formation on the cog wheel and drive. Last but not least, Ardo employees enjoy a far better working environment, and feel better in a dryer climate.