Food ingredients specialist Orchard Valley Foods (OVF) supplies a range of food ingredients for various applications including confectionary, bakery, ice cream, flavoured coatings, beverages and breakfast cereals. When looking for a new mixer and sifter for the company’s blending and packing operation, managing director Mike Forrester required flexibility and attention to detail. The specified equipment needed to be flexible enough to accommodate a variety of different recipes and ingredients whist maintaining OVF’s exacting standards.
Having dealt with Kek-Gardner in the past, Forrester had no hesitation in contacting them again for his new equipment. He commented: “We are committed to meeting our customers’ requirements and Kek-Gardner were happy to discuss the process and work around what we needed.”
Trials at Kek-Gardner’s technology centre confirmed that the equipment would meet the requirements both in terms of flexibility, throughput and product quality. As a result, a Gardner 1500l Plough Mixer and a Kek K650C Centrifugal Sifter were installed at Orchard Valley Foods.
The equipment is part of the blending and packing operation, which processes cake mixes, flavoured icings and sugars. Initially, the dry ingredients are transferred from a sack tip unit to the K650C sifter for policing before being dropped into the 1500l mixer. Block fat is added and mixed in half tonne batches before being discharged into big bags and transferred to the packing line.
The process itself is relatively simple but the mixer needs to be flexible enough to accommodate a number of different ingredients for the variety of recipes that OVF’s customers demand. Bakery ingredients can have differing characteristics from fine to large, coarse or fragile particles all of which had to be accommodated in one machine. The answer is a multi-purpose mixer with variable speed drive, with easy access to the internals to allow cleaning between batches.
The blending and packing line has been in operation and running problem free for 12 months. This is primarily thanks to the expertise of Kek-Gardner’s installation team, as Forrester commented: “The commissioning was excellent. The commissioning team was very professional and made sure everything ran smoothly.”
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