Baker Perkins said replacement costs for its Multi-purpose Food (MPF) extruder barrel line have been slashed by up to 50 per cent thanks to newly developed technology for the system that is widely used in the snacks and breakfast cereal sectors.
Separation of parts key
The firm said savings have been achieved by replacing the original one-piece liners with a separate backing block and a liner comprising of a number of individual inserts. In previous systems, the backing block and liner were manufactured as a single component.
“Because the liner is no longer an integral part of the machine, it is subject to far less stress. This means it can be manufactured from a far wider choice of materials, which brings operational benefits,” a company spokesman told FoodProductionDaily.com
“By making liner replacements easier to fit as well as enabling only the worn sections to be replaced, the cost, complexity and downtime needed to replace barrel liners have all been significantly reduced,” he added.
Cost of ownership savings
The life-span of food extruder liner replacements varies depending on a range of factors, including abrasiveness of the product and throughput, but it “can be annual” said the company. Baker Perkins said its MPF extruders frequently have a production life of more than 20 years, so cost of ownership savings can be “considerable”.
The system can cut maintenance costs, said the company. While it recommended the initial fitting involving the backing block be done by its own engineers, subsequent liner replacements can be done by the customer’s own technicians “in a fraction of the time, saving both cost and plant downtime”.
Further economies are possible either by replacing only worn sections of the liner, or by upgrading the liner insert material only in high wear areas of the barrel to extend its life, said the firm.
“Additional upgrades for MPF food extruders include barrel extensions for increased mixing capacity and raw material processing; changing the shaft type from round to hex; and improving barrel opening and closing using a hydraulic barrel actuator”, said a Baker Perkins statement.