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Enhancements for co-extrusion system

09 April 2021

Baker Perkins has improved process control, performance and hygiene on all the units in its Co-Ex Master co-extrusion systems, which are designed to create high-value products by adding a centre filling into a cereal outer. 

Co-extrusion systems can be added to virtually any new or existing food extrusion line to make a variety of pillows, sticks, bites, tubes and bars in different shapes and with fillings of virtually any sweet or savoury flavour.    

Visual appeal of the product has been enhanced by adding a rotary insert to each stream of the co-extrusion die where extrudate and filling are combined. This allows the position of the seam on the pillow to be adjusted so that the dark line, which features on many products, is hidden.

On the cream feed system, the introduction of progressive cavity pumps transform control. Metering accuracy is precise; product conveying is gentler and back flow has been eliminated; a broad range of viscosities can be handled; and the pumps are suitable for high pressure. There is also a temperature controlled hopper with a recirculation system to maintain the filling in optimum condition, even if the line stops. 

The unit features hygienic design throughout and the time required to carry out a full clean has been reduced with the introduction of an Assisted Cleaning system –  a three-stage process which uses an external boost pump to circulate water through the pumps and pipework at 1.5m/sec to ensure thorough material removal. Operators are guided through the entire process by prompts on the HMI. 

On the crimping unit the introduction of servo control combines accuracy with operational simplicity. The precision of servo control means that it is much easier to align the cutting blades for precision cutting.

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