Equipment & Technology

GEA’s ProFry Advances Control of High Quality Fried Foods Production

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The Düsseldorf, Germany-headquartered GEA Group’s just launched ProFry industrial fryer features a new design for the production of high quality fried foods including meat, fish, vegetables, poultry, cheese sticks and tempura products. The system focuses on sensitive areas in the frying process and establishes advanced technology standards with its patented oil circulation and conditioning system. In addition, the ProFry puts data transparency and traceability at the forefront by continuously collecting process information from several data points in the machine.

“The ProFry builds on the proven predecessor solution and our 50-years-plus technological knowhow and experience. It achieves greater process control, improved hygiene, better productivity, enhanced product quality and consistency,” said GEA’s Luuc van Lankveld.

Patented Oil Measurement System

High-quality cooking oil is fundamental to the frying process. The new system assures much better control of the oil condition and achieves up to 30% better flow compared to its predecessor. It automatically collects data from within the machine and establishes the precise oil state at any moment, alerts operators to any divergence from optimum levels, and allows adjustments to be made inline, without stopping the machine. The automated, inline oil measurement is GEA-patented.

This level of control means that the quality of the frying oil can be maintained at a constant level by topping up with new or used oil as required. For some applications, it may be possible to match the volume of top-up oil with that taken up by the product, and so run the machine almost continuously, with minimal need for cleaning.
The system is equipped with scrapers and filters to remove sediment from the oil, preventing it from burning and therefore helping to maintain high oil and product quality. Limiting sediment build-up also reduces abrasive wear within the machine.

Data is King

The GEA SmartControl HMI (Human-Machine Interface) offers a simplified, personalized user interface and insightful, easy to export data. The new control platform runs on a PC and delivers unprecedented levels of transparency over current and historical process data and events. Through the 21.5-inch multi-touch screen, operators have total process visibility and can make necessary adjustments to keep each element in line with optimum levels.

The control system can be programmed with individual operator data to give full access control and provide information in the user’s preferred language to minimize the opportunity for human error. Tracking of changes by the user is also possible. Available through the HMI are internet access and information such as recipes, training manuals and machine diagrams. Historical data is retained for future review to pinpoint all conditions applying within the fryer at any time, should that become necessary.

Increased Energy Efficiency

The hood and kettle have been redesigned not only by making them stronger and more stress-resistant, but also better insulated. This feature supports more efficient heat transfer and more accurate temperature control, as well as promotes benefits from a sustainability and work safety point of view. The highly efficient heat exchanger optimizes heat transfer to the oil, enabling a lower thermal oil temperature and therefore lower boiler operating costs. The frequency-controlled exhaust allows you to set the speed at the most efficient setting, resulting in an up to 8% lower energy base load.

GEA has also made a range of incremental improvements in the ProFry fryer family that significantly enhance productivity and food quality. There are five models: 5m, 6m, 7.5m, 9m and the new 11m long version, each available with 650mm or 1050mm wide belts.