A new generation of extrusion equipment for the snacks industry will be introduced by Baker Perkins on Stand 440 at Snackex in Vienna, 21st-22nd June 2017.
Baker Perkins will also focus on the MPF24 small batch extruder for development work and low production runs; the new sheet and cut process for extruding baked snacks; and its co-extrusion capability.
Full details of the show can be found at http://www.snackex.com
Re-designed SBX Master™ twin-screw extruder range
The flexibility of the SBX Master™ extruder has been improved by increasing power, torque and speed. This, along with a range of barrel lengths, increases the variety of end products that can be made, while barrel diameters between 50mm and 125mm give an output range from 500 to 2,300kg/hr.
Improved barrel cooling also contributes to broadening the range of products that can be made, and also improves quality and consistency. The new design features water distribution channels located closer to the internal surface of the barrel to improve both responsiveness and the rate of heat transfer. Flow rate is increased, and cooling can be controlled and adjusted to individual product profile.
The arrangements for mounting the die and cutter have been simplified to make changeover, cleaning and maintenance faster and safer. The die is supported on a hinged arm that enables it to be moved quickly and safely, especially when hot, while the cutter slides in and out of position on rails. This is a pneumatically-operated, pushbutton-operated system that automatically puts the cutter directly in front of the die as soon as the extruder is ready, leaving only fine adjustment to the operator. This minimises time and waste generated during set-up, changeover or if a blade change is required during a run.
A gearbox condition monitoring system that reduces unexpected downtime is available on all new SBX extruders and can also be fitted to existing machines. This simple system continuously monitors the frequency and amplitude of vibrations within the gearbox, allowing the ongoing condition of vital components to be measured. The principal benefit is elimination of unforeseen loss of production due to gearbox repair or replacement: maintenance scheduling is significantly enhanced.
The SBX Master™ is now a totally modular machine, so future extension of the barrel and all the associated services to expand or change a product portfolio is speedy and uncomplicated.
New Preconditioner adds flexibility
The Preconditioner is a new addition to the Baker Perkins SBX Master™ range. It adds flexibility to snack production when applied to denser and/or shear-sensitive materials.
It is particularly advantageous when processing pellets for half-products formed in the extruder and expanded elsewhere – multi-grain chips are typical. It is also ideal for protein products, where energy input in the Preconditioner replaces mechanical shear energy in the extruder in order to avoid protein damage.
The Preconditioner comprises two processing chambers, each fitted with a mixing shaft, which provide a first-in, first-out process flow. In the first chamber high intensity mixing of the dry and liquid ingredients takes place while steam is injected to heat and hydrate the ingredients. The second chamber allows the energy and moisture to equilibrate throughout the preconditioned mass, minimising clump formation and achieving an optimised mix profile for subsequent processing by the extruder.
Hygiene levels are high: a large vertically-rising door allows unrestricted access to both chambers for cleaning while an optional manually-installed water spray bar is available to loosen stubborn material build-up from the internal surfaces and mixer shafts.
MPF24 laboratory extruder for product development
The MPF24 is a laboratory tool for product development. It is used to try out new ideas, assess ingredients, provide test marketing samples, and even make small production batches of snacks with high-value ingredients. It does so without loss of production time - scale up is accurate thanks to comparable geometry.
The machine can be stopped and the clam-shell barrel opened at any time to note the state of processing, allowing screw and heat transfer profiles to be optimised. The machine is mobile; available with a full selection of cutters and dies; and sophisticated controls include data capture, trending, and recipe management.
Extruded sheeted snacks
The most recent addition to Baker Perkins’ twin-screw extrusion capability is a process for making cracker-type snacks. A new die produces a thin, wide sheet of dough that is cut into regular, geometric shapes by an in-line rotary cutter. The shapes may be fried as a conventional snack, or oven baked for a lower fat content, and then flavoured. Using extruders to make sheeted snacks taps into a trend for thinner snacks with plenty of crunch but less product and hence fewer calories.
The conventional production method uses sheeting, gauging and rotary cutting equipment, typically found in the cracker industry. The new system is not only much more compact and cost-effective but also a lot more flexible: an extrusion line may be configured to make a wide range of different snack products simply by changing the post-extrusion forming equipment.
The addition of a Baker Perkins co-extrusion system transforms the output of the SBX Master™ extruder by enabling a sweet, savoury or fruit centre filling to be added to the extrudate before it is shaped into pillows, tubes, bars or wafers.
The CoEx Master™ co-extrusion system can be added to any existing Baker Perkins extrusion system to incorporate fillings with contrasting textures and colours into a cereal outer. It provides a capacity for making added-value products with out-of-the-ordinary shapes that catch the eye, complemented by exotic flavours and fillings.
Fillings can be of virtually any colour or flavour – sweet and savoury creams, fruit pastes, cheese and chocolate praline are typical. Exotic flavours, plus glazings, frostings or chocolate coating, add even more appeal.
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