Key Cleaning Line Bears Fruit at Emblème Canneberge Plant
Emblème Canneberge was started in 2016 by several Canadian growers to add value by offering frozen cranberries of exceptional quality. When equipping their world-class production facility, they turned to Walla Walla, Washington, USA-headquartered Key Technology for a cranberry cleaning line able to remove foreign material (FM) such as sticks, leaves, fines and stones, as well as berries that are too small, soft or rotten, leaving the good fruit to be efficiently washed and dried to a humidity of less than one percent.
“All of our customers have very high standards in the specifications of the berries they want, and Key helps us achieve those high standards,” said Vincent Godin, president of Saint-Eulalie, Quebec-based Emblème. “Our cleaning line removes foreign material as well as rotten cranberries, which would impair the quality of the good fruit in the freezer if not taken out. This line is also very efficient at removing water to produce free-flowing product that’s easy to separate after freezing for further processing.”
Leveraging Key’s expertise in product handling and processing, this integrated cleaning line uses a variety of mechanical processes to elevate Emblème’s product quality while maximizing yield and consistently feeding downstream equipment. The Iso-Flo scalping shaker, air cleaner and Iso-Flo fines removal shaker eliminate unwanted FM from the product stream. The recently updated brush washer removes small, soft and rotten berries at the same time it washes good berries. The Iso-Flo dewatering shaker with air knives dries the good berries so they freeze efficiently and are easily processed later.
“We wanted an integrated line because having one source ensures the fit and function. Key built each machine so one drops product smoothly into the other. Because they are made to work together, installation and start-up was easy and the line runs efficiently,” explained Godin. “High efficiency is incredibly important to us, because we run two shifts a day, seven days a week during our six-week harvest to process 26 million pounds of product on this cleaning line.”
Built for rugged reliability and superior sanitation using Key’s versatile Iso-Flo vibratory design, the cleaning line at Emblème maximizes equipment uptime and hygiene.
The stainless steel shaker beds feature a rotary polish and continuous welds that are ground smooth within the product zone to resist bacterial attachment and improve food safety. Integrated scallops and stiffeners, limited surface laminations, sealed isolation springs and large access doors for easy cleaning further contribute to maximum sanitation.
“Almost everything on these Key shakers is made of stainless steel. This limits rust in our very wet environment and makes the equipment very easy to clean,” said Godin.
Iso-Flo shakers use independent frame-mounted drives and spring arm assemblies that distribute energy equally to all parts of the shaker bed in a controlled natural-frequency operation. This operating principle minimizes the vibration that is transferred to structural support and the floor, which cuts the cost of installation, reduces energy use and offers quiet operation. Key’s contoured StrongArm spring arms, made with propriety composite material, offer an operational life that is up to twice the life of traditional straight spring arms. The stainless steel Iso-Drive adds to Iso-Flo’s extreme dependability, reducing maintenance and improving performance and uptime.
“We measure success on our cleaning line by three criteria. One is the final moisture content of the product, which needs to be less than 1 percent. Second is FM removal – we want to remove as much FM as possible at the same time we limit good product removal in order to maintain a high yield. Third, we want to achieve these objectives while processing an average of 80,000 pounds of product per hour,” said Godin. “Our cleaning line from Key does all this and more.”
“We’re in business to add value. We add value when we clean and condition the fruit. We add value when we freeze clean product, and we add value when we size and sort frozen product,” explained Godin. “We’re installing our sizing and sorting line now. It features an Iso-Flo mechanical size grader and a VERYX digital sorter, both from Key.”