Statistics from 2013 show that the UK pet food industry is worth approximately £2.6bn. This sum is partly due to a new and innovative supply of organic and human-grade products which are designed to improve pet digestion and promote healthy activity levels.

One of the UK’s largest pet food manufacturers recently undertook an expansion project. During the expansion of the production line, temperature control specialist ICS Cool Energy supplied an upgraded rental cooling solution to support processes.

Russ Baker, UK sales director of ICS Cool Energy’s Hire Division explained: “The pet food process involves the products being heated up to 120°C for approximately 30 minutes in a retort before being cooled down to 15°C in order to retain high nutritional content before the food is vacuum sealed and distributed to stores.

“Effective temperature control is crucial to the food production process as the produce needs to be maintained at optimal temperatures. If this isn’t correctly maintained, the overall cooling cycle takes longer and can affect the quality of the product as well as the volume that can be produced in one working day.”

The previous equipment used for the process was an aging water-cooled chiller which was showing significant signs of wear and beginning to cause production disruptions. Baker continues, “Our rental applications engineers recommended two 500kW Air Blast Coolers which offer an advanced level of energy and cost savings, as well as delivering the highest efficiency ratings possible.”

ICS Cool Energy’s rental cooling system provides a low cost, environmentally friendly method of Free Cooling. Free Cooling is a fast and effective method of utilising low external air temperatures to cool down process water, providing tangible energy savings whilst maintaining demands required by the company’s process.

Operating Air Blast Coolers to achieve Free Cooling serves as the most economic method to effectively cool the pet food produce once cooked. The power and intelligence of Free Cooling ensures that units can provide a cost saving of 80% when the ambient air falls below 5°C below the discharge temperature required and is most effective during winter months.

Baker explained: “Based on standard operations, the pet food manufacturer can save £787 per week in running costs (approximately £40,924 per annum), significantly lowering its carbon footprint and setting a firm example on efficiency long into the foreseeable future. The new Air Blast Coolers not only improve the cooking times and productivity, but ensure the company can continue to meet its targets for the next three years.”