New central vacuum supply at Hamper GmbH – piping realized with aquatherm blue – From mini salami snacks to pastirma beef ham specialty: Hamper Wurst- und Fleischwaren GmbH has been producing a wide range of Halal-certified sausage and meat products in its plant in Mettendorf (Germany) since 1991.
The Muslim citizens in Germany and many other European countries such as France, Great Britain, Austria, Denmark and Belgium in particular appreciate the company’s products, which are among the quality leaders in Europe and the tested and certified organic companies in Germany. In order to set the course for the future, the company is investing in new production capacities and digital business processes.
“As a first step, we implemented a solar system in order to secure operating costs in the long term,” explains Managing Director Andreas Fabry. “The next big milestone was the modernization and expansion of the packaging.”
The eight packaging machines were connected to a central vacuum supply. The reasons for this decision were to reduce energy costs, increase operational reliability and achieve faster packaging cycles.
The company Busch Vacuum Solutions supplied a vacuum system with rotary vane vacuum pumps and a vacuum booster that met these requirements with fewer vacuum pumps than previously used. The system generates a vacuum for the individual thermoforming machines – the rough vacuum, which maintains a constant vacuum level in the pipelines and a vacuum container, and a fine vacuum, which is switched on when packaging is being carried out on the individual machines.
Polypropylene replaces stainless steel
With the previously decentralized vacuum supply, the pumps ran through the entire working time, even if no vacuum was required. The new system has the advantage that only as many vacuum pumps are in operation as are actually necessary for the current requirement. Two vacuum containers ensure that there is enough buffer available, (i.e., that the machine is immediately exposed to a vacuum, even if the system has to start up first). In addition, a fast evacuation time is guaranteed, which in turn has a positive effect on the cycle times, (i.e., packaging can be carried out more quickly).
“By reducing the number of pumps, we were able to reduce maintenance and service costs by around 70 percent,” says Fabry. “The consumption-dependent switching on and off of individual pump modules also reduces our energy requirements by around 70 percent.”
The new vacuum system made a new pipeline system necessary. Instead of using stainless steel as before, Hamper opted for a product made from the plastic polypropylene (PP). Following a recommendation from Busch Vacuum Solutions, aquatherm blue was installed in sizes between 160 and 200 mm.
The vacuum range below a few millibars, (i.e., at a pressure well below atmospheric pressure), requires special properties from a pipeline system. The aquatherm blue that was used consists of the material fusiolen® PP-RCT. Compared to other types of polypropylene, this is characterized by increased compressive strength at higher temperatures. This makes vacuum piping even safer, and also lends itself well to areas of application such as high-pressure risers, district heating networks and industrial process systems.
Light weight perfect solution for installation in false ceilings
“I have been working with aquatherm blue for around eight years and am particularly impressed by the connection technology,”
explains Marina Neubacher, managing director of NeuDi GmbH. NeuDi accompanies its customers from advice and planning to delivery, installation and maintenance of compressed air systems and pipeline networks and has also worked for Hamper GmbH. The piping system was connected to a homogeneous, cohesive and therefore secure unit by briefly heating the pipe and fitting with the help of the tools provided and then simply joining them together.
“The weld seams are tight, which prevents air from escaping at the connection points,”
says Marina Neubacher. This means that the energy requirement and the operating costs can be kept low.
The structural conditions on site were also decisive for the use of polypropylene instead of stainless steel: The vacuum piping was installed above the production area in a false ceiling, which is located under the actual raw ceiling. Neubacher:
“Although the false ceiling can be walked on, due to the statics we had to do without lifting platforms during assembly and, with pure muscle power, assemble the system, which consists of a main line with a diameter of 200 mm and outlets in smaller dimensions, below the building ceiling. aquatherm blue is very light compared to metal systems and has simplified assembly.“