The Model 16 -12 Frozen Block Grinder was recently manufactured for a Pet Food Manufacturer. At the beginning of the line, it performs pre-breaking, then the product travels to final grinding operations.
The grinder takes 40 – 60 lb. blocks of frozen meat and grinds them from kidney plate size (approximately ½”) to ¼”.
The grinder is integrated with a tilting hopper and a sanitation platform.
The Apache tank team and Mepaco specialists have developed a new white paper which serves as a guide to heat exchange surfaces for food processing equipment and vessels.
Dimple jackets are used in Mepaco equipment including mixers and auger carts for continuous heating or cooling in food processing applications. Temperature control on mixers, cookers and auger carts include steam injection and CO2 injection in addition to ASME dimple jacketing.
In the photo, rods are individually welded between the inner shell and outer jacket of the Themablend cooker.
For more information on heat transfer solutions, download the white paper, “Abstract and Attributes of ASME Vessel Heat Transfer Surfaces.” No registration required as a courtesy to our blog followers.
Mepaco has been working on an e-commerce website to make it easier for customers to select and purchase standard components for Mepaco equipment.
The first product available on the website at store.mepaco.com is the Sanitread decking line. All the standard widths, lengths and types are available for purchase directly through the website.
Sanitread decking is designed for optimum safety and cleanability. Evenly spaced holes are punched in 12 guage stainless steel and raised above the surface to provide positive foot traction in all directions. Drain holes are punched between raised holes.
Mepaco’s auger pumping systems provide an alternative material handling option to traditional methods of dumping, screw or belt conveying.
Pumping systems are available as single or dual auger units and provide low-profile surge capacity where space is limited.
The key to any Mepaco auger pumping system design is to provide a first-in, first-out product delivery to mitigate shear, temperature rise or other changes that would affect product integrity in any way.
With the sophisticated demands in food processing and production, safety and quality, every component within food equipment is critical. Any machinery with moving parts has friction and ‘wear’ issues, and to accommodate most equipment uses a standard bearing. But in applications where the standard bearings compromise food contact areas, Mepaco offers the polymer bearing.
Standard issue bearings are typically ball bearings, mounted in a painted cast iron housing. While the painted coatings are a sealant and deliver anti-corrosive benefits, rust and paint chips can still exist and find its way into the product path. Secondly, maintenance, disassembly, and replacement of bearings is very time consuming in a busy production setting. And lastly, if used above an open product path, grease may cause product contamination. For these reasons, steel ball bearings are best used in equipment and areas where they will not come in contact with food.
In food processing environments, producers should consider polymer bearings to mitigate food safety risks.
The polymer bearing has a moderate up front investment – more than steel bearings – but the Total Cost of Ownership is lower, because of fewer maintenance, safety and sanitation issues.
Mepaco’s polymer bearing is a solid, self-lubricating polymer that is absent of ball bearings. This ensures fewer parts, lowering the chance for breakage or malfunction. In place of the ball bearings, the polymer bearing includes a self lubricating insert, which eliminates the need for grease. That insert can also be replaced without needing to replace the entire housing, reducing the Total Cost of Ownership.
In recent Mepaco systems, the polymer bearing is showing much promise in new applications within traditional food processing environments. While not steel or cast iron in build, the polymer is ‘holding up’, proving to display the durability and efficiency in design.
Polymer technology is changing the face of many industries, and the food industry is no different. The advanced polymer bearings available in Mepaco products represent the promise of innovative components. And with a lower Total Cost of Ownership along with improved quality and efficiency, the smooth polymer bearing should be a reliable transition for all producers.
Among the value that Mepaco’s equipment provides, is the fact that Mepaco’s veteran welders are ASME certified. ASME welding certification guarantees a safer, stronger product.
Welding is an art among the science of manufacturing. The welder has the responsibility to provide artful, structurally sound coupons – with the independence, autonomy and accuracy presented by every challenging joint, bend or break in the metal.
But like any art, there is an associated range of quality with its practitioners. In our plant, ASME welders are highly skilled professionals certified to weld in all physical positions of a weld joint. This is the highest level of certification available. Mepaco invests the time and resources to ensure that all welders achieve this versatile level of quality. The process starts on day one when new welders are hired.
Mepaco is the food processing equipment business group at Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation. Welders come to Apache with a variety of experience levels. Some come in with significant welding experience ready for certification. Others come with a desire to weld and a willingness to work. In those cases, Apache will invest in training and practice to ensure that these professionals develop to the standards Apache’s production requires. Most of Mepaco’s welding team is ASME certified with the remaining team members working toward certification. It is Apache’s goal that all welders be ASME certified.
Such a commitment to a high quality welding program speaks to the investment Apache makes in its workforce and skilled trades development. Apache has over 70 welding professionals on staff and works diligently with strategic community and educational programs to develop skilled trades.
ASME level welding quality is important considering the structural vulnerability within food processing equipment. A poor quality weld or a weld that has cracked can lead to cleaning issues and will likely harbor bacteria.
Because of ASME welding certification, Mepaco products rarely have welding warranty claims. Apache and Mepaco also have significant experience manufacturing pressure vessels for challenging applications that are built to be strong under pressure.
Apache continues to maintain rounds of audits and inspections by insurance and safety professionals that speaks to the consistency of the welders – and the effectiveness of the quality control department. Apache supports the ASME welding program within all our product groups: ASME large tanks, Portable Small Vessels and Mepaco, Apache’s food processing equipment line. Mepaco’s process customers are the biggest winners who will benefit from the best in build quality, efficiency and design.
Mepaco offers two models of lifts that meet most manual pallet lift or product lift operations. In the video, Mepaco’s Greg Gruber demonstrates the EZL2500 lift in our manufacturing facility.
The EZ4000 Product / Pallet Lift handles up to 4000 lb. loads and raises to any level up to 36 “ for ergonomic comfort. This model includes a self-contained power unit with up-down hand controls and optional turn table.
The EZL2500 Product / Pallet Lift has a load capacity of 2500 lbs. This height adjustable (up to 37”) unit offers a low-profile deck for floor level loading. A hydraulic power unit is included with safety up-down foot pedal control.
These lifts are fabricated from stainless steel with a pickle passivated finished. Both the EZ4000 and EZL2500 are stock units and available for immediate delivery. Portable, rotary top units and other custom built lifts are also available.
Both stainless lifts are kept in-stock for quick delivery.
Magnetic grates help to remove ferrous metal contaminants from flowing gravity-fed product streams in processing equipment.
In the video demonstration, a pen adheres to the magnetic grate, which is part of a screw elevator system. The grate is also easily cleanable for sanitation with the magnet constructed inside the stainless tube. The magnetic grate in the screw elevator shown in the video is hinged and accessible for inspection and manual removal of foreign material and testing.
Grate magnets, suitable for wet or dry food product offer efficient, economical protection of processing equipment while improving product purity.
Various styles and strengths of magnetic grates are available for Mepaco equipment, including: Hoppers, Cookers, Mixers, Blenders and Screw Conveyors. They can be utilized on any piece of equipment that receives free flowing gravity fed food product.
The Mepaco team invites you to IPPE – Jan. 26 – 28 in Atlanta, Georgia – World Congress Center.
The 170 Thermablend Cooker will be on display. The Thermablend provides cooking, cooling or blending. This line of cookers have a massive heat transfer area and highly efficient agitators that dramatically reduce process time compared to conventional batch cookers. The 200 gallon cooker on display at IPPE, features a 3” diameter solid stainless shaft with cut-ribbon agitator, paddles and a patented spring-loaded reversible scraper system. It has a 90 psi Stay-bolt steam jacket and six bottom mounted steam injectors.
Mepaco will display a sanitary conveyor design at IPPE. The conveyor will show standards and options available. At the show, the sales team can demonstrate the conveyor’s open access and tool-less removable components that make the sanitation process more effective and efficient.
Also on display at the show is an ergonomic lift. Mepaco has two styles in-stock for immediate delivery. The EZ4000 has a loading height of 9″ and working capacity of 4,000 lbs. Hand pendant controls come standard on the EZ4000 lift. The EZL2500 loads at floor level and comes with foot petal controls. It has a load capacity of 2500 lbs.
For the third year in a row, Mepaco’s customers have helped us with a giving campaign for the local Dodge County Food Pantry. In lieu of printed and mailed Christmas cards, Mepaco sends an e-card to customers and tracks how many open the email. For every click, Mepaco donates $1 to the food pantry. This year we had close to 800 clicks which converted to a nice donation for the food pantry.
Thank you to all the customers who clicked on our e-card! The food pantry is always happy to get the donation especially after the holidays when donations quiet down.
Best Wishes to all for a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!