PET Food Processing - March 2018 - 66


"Higher protein
levels usually result
in less expansion as
many proteins are
less viscoelastic
than starch."
Galen Rokey, Wenger Manufacturing

The Vemag extruder,
offered by Reiser,
features a powerful
positive displacement
double-screw pump
that provides high
portioning accuracy
while transporting
product gently without


tons," Riaz says. "If you grow, buy another line. To process properly, you have to have the right capacity on
the entire system both upstream and downstream from
the extruder."

Adapting to diversity
Over the years, it stands to reason that a pet food
processor may need to expand its product offerings
to keep up with trends. That could be adding new flavors or shapes to an existing product or maybe introducing high protein or gluten-free products to seize
some trendy sales dollars.
"Pet food processors need to ultimately take a close
look at what they are currently producing and what
products they have in the research and development
pipeline," Wenther says. Accommodating these product expansions is easier with equipment that is flexible enough to adapt to a growing business. An extruder that lasts is an extruder that keeps up with a
changing business.
"If the system was built for one product and one
product only, then likely the wrong machine was
selected," says John McIsaac, vice president, strategic business development, Reiser Inc., Canton,
Massachusetts, illustrating just how important flexible equipment is to a successful operation. "Your consumers' - or more importantly, their owners - con-


stantly want new products, and you want to be able to
meet that demand," he adds.
Flexible equipment is designed for quick changeovers. While one extruder may be capable of producing many different products, many of the components
on the extruder may need changing to accommodate
the next product's needs. "It may take several extrusion forming dies or a different extrusion configuration," Wenther says. Screws, dies and knives must all
accommodate new raw materials and create a new
shape, size and texture.
"For example," Wenther explains, "a processor may
want to extrude 17-mm sticks through a 24-lane extrusion system on one day and then make a thicker strip
product the following day. With the ability to change
the adapter insert, the forming die and block off lanes
of the 24-extrusion system to use 12 lanes, they can easily produce a completely different product with the same
extrusion technology."
The screw, which mixes and sometimes cooks the
dough, lives inside the extruder barrel. The screw configuration, however, needs to change to handle a new
formulation and create a different texture. Operators require easy access to the screw to remove it and change its
configuration. To do that, Clextral's twin screw extruders have an automatic hydraulic barrel opening to provide screw access at the push of a button. "In addition,
easy access to the screw-caps and screw pattern enables
quick reconfiguration during changeover, and offers
convenient, preventive maintenance," Brisset says.
Dies and knives, which control the size and shape of individual pieces, also need to be quickly and easily changed
with each product. "Dies have a quick-clamp design for
easy removal and replacement, and cutters offer complete
adjustability," Brisset says of Clextral's extruders.
Another aspect in the extruder that needs to be flexible is the pumping system. A pumping system needs to
be able to deliver accurate portions and handle a diverse

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PET Food Processing - March 2018