The Essarts poultry plant in France has resolved its problem of frost condensation and water droplets by drying the air.
Manufacturers quickly realised that it is in their interest to regulate the temperature in factory workshops but are less quick to tackle humidity in the atmosphere. The presence of water in the atmosphere, however, creates favourable conditions for bacterial growth and causes discomfort for operators working in cold conditions.
The Arrivé Group’s Essarts plant (with a 650-strong workforce and processing 450,000 birds per week) has taken an important step through the acquisition of six Munters dehumidifiers to resolve their humidity problems.
In the wing processing room, the cleaning team are given two hours and 30 minutes to do their job. Before, the fifteen technicians’ visibility was limited to 50cm due to the fog formed by water jets working at medium-pressure, recalls Oliver Bourhis, factory manager.
He said: “We installed a dehumidifier supplying 2,000m3 per hour in a plant of 50,000m3. Since then, the visibility has been increased to 15m!”
In a workroom where whole chickens are cut, the dehumidifier works on an area of 2,700m3/hr in a plant of 70,000m3. The aim is to lower the levels of humidity to 50% working on the basis that the presence of humidity levels of 70% upwards favours bacterial growth.
Benefits of the Munters dehumidifiers include:
- Prevents condensation
- Combats frost formation
- Increases workers’ visibility
- Reduces defrosts
- Improves hygiene
- Energy efficient
Bourhis added: “We wanted a simple, technical solution that would work well with our refrigerating system and be energy-efficient.
“We visited the sites of two other companies in our field, who had already installed Munters equipment. They had completely solved their frost problems in the cold rooms and eliminated water droplets on the ceiling of the carving rooms. That made our minds up for us, we did the same thing and it was a success.
“We wanted to prevent water droplets forming on the ceiling, following advice from the health authorities.”
The dehumidification has enabled droplets to be absorbed at ceiling-level, as well as liberating 10-15% of the energy capacity of the cooling equipment working in cold conditions. This has allowed the temperature of the workroom to be lowered from 8°C to 60°C.
The cold storeroom houses a dehumidifier treating an area of 1,400m3/hr in an air-treatment plant of 22,000m3. The aim was to deal with the frost.
A small dehumidifier is also situated at the air-locked door to the static, deep-freeze tunnels to limit the number of water droplets created there, due to the difference in temperature, and also to tackle the problem of frost formation on the floor caused by falling droplets. Another can be found at the despatch quay for frozen goods.
In addition, a dehumidifier was also used to limit the frost in the spiral-deep-freeze tunnel. Halting production to defrost and clean are less frequent, now taking place every 21 hours instead of every eight hours. The dehumidifier also translates into an increase in terms on materials and energy. With no frost to contend with, the energy exchangers are better, which results in the tunnel running
Munters has more than 1,200 systems operating worldwide to combat frost and condensation.