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Pinch valves help produce the popular bags of coloured puffed rice for a sweets manufacturer

Following a successful nine-month test phase, the sweets manufacturer is using pinch valves from the VMC series for its puffed rice production. The currently installed ball valves are being gradually replaced.

The pinch valves from AKO Armaturen are used to control the product flows for the production of puffed rice balls coated with sugar and syrup and have replaced the ball valves that were used up to now. The ball valves were too prone to faults, difficult to clean and had to be replaced or maintained in some cases after just one month.

In the search for an alternative, the company came across the pinch valves from AKO Armaturen. Following a nine-month test phase with a DN 80 pinch valve from the VMC series, the company was impressed by the quality and performance of the valves and is now installing them as standard. As a vacuum of 260-280 mbar is created in the pipeline system for the production of the puffed rice, the installed pinch valves were supplemented by the AKOVAC vacuum unit from AKO.


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The production plant consists of six separate production stages in which different coloured puffed rice balls are produced. Suction pipes are used to move the puffed rice balls from the different sections and mix them equally in collection containers before they are packaged in bags. The ball valves currently installed for this task are also being gradually replaced by pinch valves from AKO Armaturen fitted with food-grade sleeves. The sweets manufacturer aims to switch the entire system responsible for the media flows over to pinch valves.

A manager at the sweets manufacturer who is familiar with this subject matter is very satisfied with the pinch valves from AKO:

„We have been using the first pinch valves now for more than a year and they still work the same as on the first day!“

As well as the food-grade sleeves made out of natural rubber that are used in this case, AKO Armaturen also offers special sleeves and complete valves (VMCE series) certified according to the regulations of the EHEDG.

Pinch valves from AKO control the transport of puffed rice
AKO pinch valve in sweets production with an AKOVAC control unit
AKO pinch valves used as a shut-off valves for sweets
VMC80.02X.50G.30LX pinch valves as control valves in the production of sweets

Requirements:

  • The manufacturer was looking for an alternative to the previously installed ball valves.
  • The aim was to significantly reduce the downtimes caused by the ball valves.
  • Food-grade materials and valve design.

Goals achieved:

  • Following a nine-month test phase, the pinch valves are now an integral part of the plant.
  • The pinch valves that were installed have a service life 12 times longer than ball valves. (Ball valves: 1 month, pinch valves: 12 months (and even longer because it was not yet necessary to replace them at the time this case study was written).
  • The elements of the pinch valves that come into contact with the products are made out of food-grade materials: Stainless steel (connections) and natural rubber (food-grade quality, light).

Medium:
Puffed rice
(coated with sugar & syrup)

Processing temperature:
Ambient temperature

Opening and closing cycles:
Approx. 200 / 15 h

Operating pressure:
Vacuum (260 - 280 mbar)

Normal position:
Closed

Valve configuration:
Nominal size: DN 80
Series: VMC
Housing: Aluminium AlSi10Mg
Connections: Internal thread, stainless steel 1.4404 / AISI 316L
Sleeve: Natural rubber, food grade quality, light

Additional option:
AKOVAC vacuum unit

Valve designation:
VMC80.02X.50G.30LX

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