Operations & Management
Haitoglou installs separation, filtration equipment to automate food production
March 2, 2018 by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Mar. 2, 2018 – Haitoglou, a producer of sesame products, has automated its production unit with Russell Finex’s sieving and filtration solutions to increase production for tahini paste and sesame seeds. Processing up to 150 tonnes of seeds a day, Haitoglou prides itself on modern production facilities that meet high standards of hygiene and automation in the industry.
The first step towards automation began in 2002, when Haitoglou sought a high-capacity automated solution to separate good sesame seeds from soft peels, broken seeds and dust. Russell Finex provided a separation solution that delivered the capacity of two spring-mounted separation units which Haitoglou had previously been using. The Finex Separator vibro screen helped the company reach the desired capacity of two tonnes an hour and improved grading accuracy. These multi-deck machines provide various cuts of material in one operation. In this case, the larger foreign material is removed via the upper screen while smaller particles such as peel fragments and dust are removed using the lower screen.
“We first contacted Russell Finex many years ago to provide a higher capacity solution to grade our peeled sesame seeds. We found the quality of separation and capacity was a significant improvement on the previous machines we were using, as the Finex Separator is more powerful than other separators,” said Nikos Itskos, Haitoglou Bros SA technical director.
The next area of focus was the post-washing stage. Good seeds would stick to the surfaces of the washing unit and be lost during cleaning. Despite seeming like a small quantity, even if 0.1 per cent of product was lost, considering the large amounts of seeds processed, this amasses to a substantial loss of product. Two Russell Compact Sieve units were installed after the washing stage to recover these seeds. Water is flushed through the washing machine and into the vibro sieves, where the seeds are then extracted from the wash water, dust and sediment. This is now an automated process as well as increasing product yield, production costs were also reduced by meeting modern environmental standards, reducing organic material in waste water and lowering contaminated waste water disposal costs.
“What impressed us about Russell Finex equipment was not just the high capacity and accuracy of separation but also the large variety of machines available. If we require very fine separation or a more compact machine – this is available. When we need to grade larger material or filter liquid products – there is a solution. No other supplier has such a variety of options,” said Itskos.
Additional sieving machines Russell Compact Sieve were also installed to guarantee the quality of sesame seeds before packaging. Haitoglou had been experiencing issues with agglomerated seeds entering the final product and compromising quality. In addition, these agglomerated seeds would block the pneumatic tube transport systems used to pass the seeds from one unit to the next.
Itskos said, “Even if there was one clump of product per 100 kg of seeds, this would not be acceptable for Haitoglou. We promise 100 per cent quality for our customers – any less is unacceptable. The Russell Compact Sieve guarantees the quality of our packed sesame seeds by removing any clogging or oversize.”
At Haitoglou Bros SA, the sesame seeds are either packaged or further processed to make tahini. To produce tahini, milling and sterilization processes are applied, and the resulting sesame paste must then be filtered to remove oversize contamination and guarantee a consistent, smooth product. The company invested in the Self-Cleaning Russell Eco Filter to fulfil this requirement. These industrial filtration systems can be installed into an existing production line to remove oversize contamination from liquid products. A continuous self-cleaning design means there is no downtime to change filter elements, and no slowing of throughput due to blockages, says the manufacturer, adding that the filters are totally enclosed to help prevent contamination.
As with the packaged sesame seeds, a final quality-check solution was installed at the end of the tahini production line. A high-speed Russell Compact Sieve vibro sifter was custom-built especially for Haitoglou and installed before the packaging stage to provide a final quality-check of the tahini paste.
“Since our first purchase in 2002, we have trusted Russell Finex to supply high-quality equipment to meet the needs of our customers,” said Itskos. “We now run a completely automated sesame and tahini production line, and are very happy with the service provided by Russell Finex. From onsite tests at our factory, or trials at Russell Finex’s test facility to after sales support, whenever a new application has been identified, we have received excellent advice from the sales team. If ever we have an occasional issue, we can always talk to an engineer and rely on a fast response.”