The food processing industry contains multiple different types of processing facilities. The individual activities conducted in food processing plants may vary from one facility to the next. Regardless of the individual focus, each plant has a few common needs, such as preservation and refrigeration. All food processing facilities can employ a few general strategies to begin improving energy efficiency to become a green building in Vancouver.

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If you are only going to focus on one area as you begin to improve the energy efficiency of your food processing facility, start by eliminating waste. Every day, facilities are working to maximize quality control in order to reduce waste- you should be looking beyond the products you make at your facility itself. Evaluate the systems involved in your food processing operation and search for ways to eliminate waste here as well.

How do your facility’s systems create waste? There are a number of ways, and each specific system has its own characteristics. Overall, unnecessary processes are a major contributor to waste. Running equipment longer and harder increases the load, which you may find is unnecessary upon evaluation of your processes. Older, inefficient equipment is another contributor to waste. While the equipment may be crucial to processing and not creating unnecessary steps, inefficient systems could still be wasting quite a bit of energy, right under your nose.

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Start by evaluating the following two systems in use in your food processing facility for unnecessary waste creation. Take these steps to begin improving each system, which will help your facility become a greener building in Vancouver.

  • Motor and Pump Systems- Used frequently in food processing operations, inefficient motors and pumps can create a great deal of waste. Switching to variable speed drives which are a better match for the motor and pump speeds necessary to the application can save anywhere from 7 to 60 percent of energy use in this area. Reducing pump demand can also help a facility save on energy waste- installing holding tanks and cutting redundant liquid flow can cut energy consumption by 20 to 40 percent.
  • Refrigeration Systems- A crucial system for most food processing operations, refrigeration systems are also a major energy consumer. Optimizing these systems can help your facility cut energy costs. Increasing insulation in refrigerated areas can eliminate waste through lost cooling, helping your facility shave 1 to 3 percent off energy costs for every degree of temperature increase.