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Versatile mixer provides multiple benefits for TSC Foods

10 October 2011

TSC Foods’ plans to launch their innovative Glorious! ‘Skinny Dip’ range of products were under significant pressure with regard to timescales of the proposed launch date. This resulted in an urgent need for a new versatile mixer that could be used to produce both coarse and smooth textured products in volumes of up to 500kg per batch.

This resulted in an urgent need for a new versatile mixer that could be used to produce both coarse and smooth textured products in volumes of up to 500kg per batch.

The immediate reaction was to turn to the company’s established and proven supplier that had already supplied in-line, direct-drive mixers and high-speed, belt-driven mixers even though this requirement was totally different to these machines.

“We have worked closely with Advanced Engineering for many years”, said Carl Baxter, TSC Foods Operations Director. “Our requirement and schedule was very demanding. We needed total confidence that they would deliver on all counts.”

Advanced Engineering of Rochdale, the mixer company concerned, was pleased to be given the opportunity but there was a sting in the tail – the company had just eight weeks to design, build and prove the mixer required.

The essential requirement from the new mixer was the combination of a high throughput capability and an assured product consistency for all the different products processed, which will include textured dips and smooth, creamy food bases.

“Although a challenge, we realised that essentially the solution was a package based upon our in-house mixer experience”, said Andy Hudson, Advanced Engineering’s Managing Director. “We were also able to draw upon the electrical systems expertise of our sister company, QualTech Engineering Services.”

The mixer supplied to TSC Foods comprised a large top-loading mixing vessel supported on two rotating arms located in an enclosed support structure either side of the vessel.

The stainless steel vessel has a bottom mounted specifically designed chopping/reducing blade and a rotating anchor equipped with hinged PTFE scrapers to prevent product adhering to the vessel and ensure effective mixing of all ingredients.

Different products and textures are achieved by varying speeds and mixing times. These variables can be set/run manually or through a pre-programmed recipe on the mixers HMI to ensure on-going product consistency.

After mixing, the product is discharged into tote bins by using the motor-driven vessel tilting function. Discharge by tilting increases the product yield and simplifies cleaning compared with a pumped discharge. This is paramount when requiring quick turnaround between batches of different products.

In addition, this design eliminates the need for connecting hoses and valves. Consequently, cleaning is minimised, again saving time, whilst also promoting better hygiene.
“The new mixer does everything we need it to do,” said Shane Barrick, Projects & Installations Manager at TSC Foods. “It works really well. It provides a good all round solution whilst boosting yields per batch, increasing the capacity, and making life easier and more efficient as regards cleaning and maintenance.”

TSC Foods specialises in delivering innovative added-value chilled and frozen product solutions, also producing the award winning Glorious! chilled soups, sauces, and Skinny Dips. Today, its portfolio has expanded to consist of a wide range of restaurant quality products including risottos, prepared cooked vegetables, dips, dressings, gravies and marinades; each of which is created in a unique process.

Customers comprise of the catering and retail trades which both demand the highest standards in product quality and consistency at all times. Products include frozen and chilled items, many of which are ‘own branded’ and developed to customer specification.

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