One of Europe’s leading manufacturers of sausage and meat products, James T Blakeman & Co invests in freezing equipment upgrade with its fourth Helix spiral system from IQF equipment specialist Starfrost.
James T Blakeman & Co is a family run business that supplies sausage and meat products to the catering and ready meal industry; manufacturing 21000 tonnes of production per year.
The company has a continuous commitment to growth and improvement within the business and recently built a 40,000 sq.ft. state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at its site in Staffordshire, UK.
Blakeman’s latest development was to increase capacity and efficiency of its existing aging system. The firm also wanted to optimise hygiene procedures and increase flexibility of its processing line to provide opportunities for long-term business planning.
British manufacturer Starfrost has worked closely with James T Blakeman & Co for a number of years, successfully installing three spiral freezing systems over the last decade as the meat manufacture extended its processes. For Blakeman’s most recent project Starfrost was once again selected as preferred freezing equipment supplier.
Starfrost, together with parent company Star refrigeration, designed, manufactured and installed a Glacier Spiral system for Blakeman’s. The latest freezing system upgrade combines Helix Spiral Freezer technology and a unique low carbon ammonia refrigeration plant in one complete package.
The Glacier pack included a custom designed Helix Spiral Freezer with a processing capacity of 900 kg per hour of cooked sausages. The system features a stainless steel dual conveyor belt around a single rotating drum, with 28 tiers in total. In addition, the dual twin belt is equipped with optional side guards; this allows the customer to process various products simultaneously, giving increased flexibility to the processing line.
Blakeman’s Spiral Freezer features a ‘Clean in Place’ system, the CIP System is an automated cleaning system using rotating spray nozzles and spray bars, for targeted application of the detergent and sanitizer in major operating zones. Its unique design enables the process to be a repeatable, cost effective means of cleaning and sanitising the equipment, along with reducing operational downtime required for cleaning and maintenance.
The latest spiral system installed at Blakeman’s is designed to maximise uptime and requires minimal ongoing maintenance. Furthermore, the temperature control and a unique airflow is specially designed for delicate products such as skin on sausages, ensuring product quality is maintained for the customer.
Kevin Moller, Operational Manager at Blakemans says: “We have worked alongside Starfrost on former freezing projects and have been very pleased with the results, they have proven to be reliable and have an understanding of our requirements, so when it came to looking for another spiral freezing system, it was an easy decision.”
“The Glacier Helix has been designed to meet our precise specifications; it is operating effectively, enabling us to reduce maintenance and improve flexibility of our processing line, as well giving us capabilities to expand production in the future.
“The primary, most important benefit of our latest install has been optimising hygienic performance within our facility, with rising safety demands within the food processing industry, food processors today must be extremely focused on hygiene within their production. The full ‘Clean in Place’ system combined with stainless steel enclosure and reverse cycle defrost allows for an effective hygienic process at Blakeman’s.”