Surgically Clean Air Cools Down Maple Leaf’s Processing Plant’s Air Quicker to Generate Huge Savings and More
Tracing its roots back to 1927, Maple Leaf Foods is one of Canada’s largest and longest operating packaged meats companies. At their refrigerated processing plant in Kitchener, Canada, they produce, package and distribute a variety of meats, hams, wieners, and sausages in their 13,000 square foot facility.
Maple Leaf regulates the temperature in their massive production areas. After each processing shift, personnel steam cleans the Refrigerated room, causing the temperature and humidity to spike. When the crew is done, the refrigeration system needs to use a lot of energy to bring the temperature back to 6°C for the next production shift. Therefore, Maple Leaf needed to combat the substantial temperature spikes in the refrigerated meat processing room pre-post the cleaning crews doing their work to reduce the significant energy costs of dropping the temperature quickly, especially in the warm summer months.
On June 22—just in time for the hot summer weather—a Surgically Clean Air Ecoair purifier was installed in Maple Leaf’s refrigerated Sliced Meat Room. It was as simple as rolling in the unit and plugging it into the nearest wall socket given its patented design, Plug and Play.
Maple Leaf wanted to perform an accurate test of the Ecoair. To do so, Tinytag data loggers to take temperature and humidity measurements at 30-second intervals were placed throughout the Sliced Meat Room. Over four weeks, data was collected with the Ecoair turned on and off.
Energy Savings – With the Ecoair running, the room to its set point temperature is almost 50% faster. A 45-minute reduction in cooling time per shift adds up to more than 200 hours every year when the massive refrigeration system is not running full-out. That is significant energy savings. The reduction in cooling time also extended the refrigeration system’s useful life, saving Maple Leaf on repairs and new equipment.
In addition to saving in energy costs, Maple Leaf experienced two additional bonuses with their Ecoair.
i. Better Air Quality – Maple Leaf’s plant also packages finished products, which generates a lot of dust particulate from the cardboard boxes. Ecoair captured much of the airborne cardboard dust making the plant healthier.
ii. Loss Production Time – Occasionally, unscheduled shutdowns can occur, and when this happens, it is expensive, costing many thousands of dollars per day in repairs and lost production time. During the summer of 2011, Maple Leaf avoided costly shutdowns on a couple of occasions when the cooling system experienced equipment failures. Running the Ecoair, Maple Leaf could keep the room temperature cool enough for production with two fewer evaporators (12 tonnes of refrigeration).