Skin packaging of meat – Dry compressing vacuum pumps as enabler
this presentation Leybold will demonstrate how dry compressing vacuum pumps can
support the recent trend from MAP to skin packaging.
Skin packaging wins more and more market shares as if offers several advantages over the conventional modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). Most important will be here the extended shelf life, the improved product appearance and the reduced packaging costs as less plastic material is needed and no gas is consumed. For the MAP process, the packages must be evacuated into a rough vacuum of ~100 mbar only before the final gas atmosphere is introduced. Skin packaging requires a fine-vacuum level of 3-5 mbar instead.
To safe production costs, most modern production facilities installed central vacuum systems (CVS) to supply the required rough vacuum to their various MAP packaging lines. These have now a challenge, as they can’t supply rough vacuum for MAP and fine vacuum for Skin packaging at the same time. Producers must therefore install separate vacuum pumps again to support their skin packaging lines. As market standard those pumps are typically oil lubricated rotary vane pumps which are installed remotely to avoid oil and heat emission into the hygienic and air-conditioned food processing rooms. At fine-vacuum, the often >20 m long pipework in between the pump and the packaging system causes so much throttling effect, that typically a dry compression Roots-type booster pump is added inside the machine to compensate the pipework losses.
Leybold qualified an alternative to this uncomfortable solution. By using the dry compressing, screw-type DRYVAC pump, the food producer can improve the situation clearly as he can install such pump locally. Being a 100% water-cooled pump, the DRYVAC does not emit any heat into the food processing room. None of the processed meat is accidentally heated and no expensive additional heat load for the air condition is emitted. Having an oil-free compressing room, the DRYVAC does not emit any oil. Unlike oil-sealed pumps this pump is therefore fully hygienic. Being installed either inside the machine or inside a hygienic enclosure next to the machine, the DRYVAC also offers an unmatched hygiene level.
Due to the local installation without long, throttling pipework and it’s superiorly low final pressure of <0,005 mbar, the DRYVAC pump does not require an additional Roots booster, still ensuring a faster pump-down time and/or lower pressure inside the package. In praxis, one locally installed DRYVAC DV650 could replace up to 3x 300 m³/h remotely installed rotary vane pumps plus 1x 1000 m³/h Roots booster pump, offering lower energy consumption and less maintenance with same or better cycle time!