Oil-free compressors help boost output capacity of snacks

Paul Boughton

When Kolak Snack Foods Ltd experienced a business upturn and required increased output capacity at its manufacturing plant in London, UK, it decided to upgrade its production equipment, including its compressors. Kolak chose new oil-free air compressors from Atlas Copco due to their reliability and ability to provide a guaranteed supply of high quality, oil-free air.

Kolak Snack Foods Ltd is a leading UK manufacturer of crisps and snacks. Its brands include Kolak Diamond Crisps and Snacks and Dylans Hand Cooked Crisps. At its London plant, the company manufactures a range of standard, crinkle-cut and low-fat crisps, extruded products, pellet-based snacks, prawn crackers and mini poppadums, both as own brands and private label products supplied to independent retailers and major high street supermarket chains.

When upgrading the existing plant air facility to ensure reliability and continuity of output, the company also wanted to ensure that any possible risk of product contamination during process operations was eliminated.

To achieve this, Kolak chose to replace its existing units with Atlas Copco oil-free, rotary screw, full feature machines – two ZT 90 FF compressors and a ZT90VSDFF – which provide a guaranteed supply of high quality air. As a result of the installation, the process air at Kolak’s London plant complies with the ISO 8573-1(2001) standard of air purity, which embraces the Class 0 industry standard. Class 0 measures all three forms of oil contamination: aerosol, vapour and liquid and Atlas Copco was the first compressor manufacturer in the world to achieve the TÜV-certified standard for its zero oil, zero-risk Z-series of stationary compressors.

The 24/7 working shift pattern at Kolak’s London plant, which is in place to meet production demand, meant that energy efficiency was also an essential consideration in the selection of new compressors.

As Rikin Lakhani, Kolak Snack Foods’ Director explains: “The Atlas Copco VSD compressor works in tandem with the base load compressors to cover all the main 7bar plant air application duties, including heat exchanger, steam boiler and packing operations. This ensures that output is matched to demand in the most energy-efficient way, with the VSD compressor taking over any additional site load.”

Each of the three new Atlas Copco compressors is a full feature, total installation concept – a pre-wired and pre-piped solution, ready for use ‘out of the box’. Integrating the compressor’s IMD dryer and its variable speed drive enables the compact package to supply high quality dry compressed air at the lowest cost. 

The IMD adsorption dryer eliminates the moisture before it enters the air net to ensure a reliable process and a contamination-free end product. No external energy is needed to dry the air and as the dryer needs no purge air, no compressed air is wasted. The pressure drop through the dryer is minimal, which again cuts down its operating cost. The overall effect is to generate substantial savings in comparison to conventional types of dryer operation.

For more information, visit www.atlascopco.com

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