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Plant Processes Leftovers into Green Energy
French Manufacturer of Potato Chips Opts for Biomethane



Food & Beverage
Weltec Biopower French Manufacturer of Potato Chips Opts for Biomethane
Picture: Weltec Biopower

Recently, biogas plant builder Weltec Biopower completed a biomethane plant for Altho, a French manufacturer of potato chips in St. Gérand, Brittany. The plant was planned and set up by the German manufacturer in collaboration with its French partner Weltec France. Some 200 standard m³/h of biomethane are generated from production waste and sludge from the company’s own wastewater treatment plant. This corresponds to the gas consumption of a town with a population of 5,000.

For more than a year, France has promoted the establishment of biomethane plants. Now, an action package implemented by the government makes sure that the projects can be rolled out speedily and with minimum bureaucracy. The improved framework conditions have started showing up in the order books of experienced biogas specialists like Weltec Biopower.

The biomethane production is in line with the CSR (corporate social responsibility) policy of Altho, which holds more than a third of the market share with its chips brand “Bret’s”. “Via the Altho subsidiary Sober, which operates the biogas plant, we actively participate in recycling, producing a green energy source from waste. Additionally, we contribute to the reduction of greenhouse emissions and the energy dependence of the region”, says Christophe Chrétien, Managing Director of the biogas plant of Sober.

The chips production yields 22,000t of leftovers and sludge a year. Potato and starch leftovers as well as other production waste account for about half of the substrate; the rest is made up of the sludge from the washing process. First, the solid and liquid substrates are mashed and shredded in the sturdy Multi-Mix input system. After this pre-processing, the mixture is fed into the stainless-steel digester, which has a capacity of 4,436 m³. A post-digester with the same capacity is the last step in the material cycle. Subsequently, the digestate is sold to local farmers, who use it as high-quality fertiliser.

The process that transforms the biogas into biomethane also stands out with its sustainability: To condition the biogas, Weltec Biopower has integrated the membrane technology in a compact container solution. “In the container, the raw gas passes through special membranes that separate it from carbon dioxide, steam and other components. The three-stage separation, which has already been successfully employed in other Weltec plants, reduces the methane slip to less than 0.5 percent”, says Alain Priser, who is responsible for Weltec’s business in France. Another major benefit is that thanks to the upstream compression, the methane has exactly the right pressure that it needs in order to be fed into the natural gas grid without any further compression. The separation takes place at ambient temperature and without using any chemicals.

In this way, 400 standard m³/h of raw biogas yield about 200 standard m³/h of processed biomethane. “Owing to the durable membranes, the plant availability is high, and the maintenance overhead is low”, says Alain Priser. He adds: “In St. Gérand, we ensure uninterrupted gas feed-in with our custom-developed LoMOS PLC.”

With this equipment, Altho is able to focus on its core business and make efficient use of accumulating leftovers. This fills an urgent need, as many French biogas operators struggle with technical problems. A survey conducted by the Atee (Association technique énergie environnement) has revealed some sobering results: 94 percent of the plant operators had technical problems, and 65 percent did not see their efficiency expectations fulfilled. This was usually because the technology did not meet the requirements. In view of these challenges, the cooperation between Weltec Biopower and Weltec France is just what is needed. “Our team has a wealth of experience in handling various substrates, and it custom-tailors the technology implemented in each plant. In this way, we ensure stable, economical operation”, explains Alain Priser. “Over the last 18 years, we have successfully installed and commissioned more than 300 biogas plants in 25 countries. The combination of ‘Made in Germany’ with the cooperation with strong local partners ensures security and efficiency for our customers.” This is an optimum basis for the further development of the portfolio of biogas plants in France and around the globe.

Food & Beverage Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation Trade shows

Improved production and batch transparency
New version of Braumat process control system



Siemens presents new version of Braumat process control system
Picture: Siemens

Siemens has showed a new version of the Braumat brewery process control system at the Brau Beviale 2019 in Nuremberg: The latest version 8.0 is based on the Simatic S7-1500 controller and has been optimized in the areas of reporting, weighing systems and security. Already installed Simatic S7-400 controllers can still be used, including in mixed operation. Existing Braumat installations can be expanded or modernized with Simatic S7-1500 controller. Production downtimes caused by new installations are thus avoided.

In order to enhance the reporting options, a batch report with a basic choice of process parameters has been integrated. Users can now create reports with the help of MS Excel. Braumat V8.0 is also now connected to the established PM-Quality option. This means that MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and MIS (Management Information System) functions are now available for calculating KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) such as plant availability. In the new version, storage location management is integrated together with dosage management in the recipe system, enabling the efficient and flexible automation of mixing processes. Recipes are automatically adjusted according to storage location availability and the quantity specifications of the batches to be produced. High-precision, self-optimizing weighing operations are fully automated with the integrated Siwarex weighing system. The Braumat V8.0 process control system continuously checks recipes and quantities for the individual production processes, thus reducing overdoses of malt, hops and diatomaceous earth. A combination of password protected Simatic S7-1500 controllers, encrypted communication on the terminal bus as well as extended user management and company ID registration via an RFID card reader increases security during the production sequences.

New Braumat V8.0 is available in both a standard and lean edition: With Braumat Lean, micro breweries and craft brewers can benefit from process automation from just a quantity of four units and one Simatic Open Controller. This can be expanded up to 40 units as required. Braumat Lean can also be operated as a compact, single user station or for remote areas of large breweries, such as laboratories. With the Standard edition, it is possible to create complex plant structures with redundant client-server features and server visualization. The Lean Edition of Braumat V8.0 can be expanded to the Standard Edition. After just a few days of training, users are able to configure new Braumat plants. For other food and beverage sectors such as dairies, cheese factories or soft drinks, the Sistar version 8.0 process control system is available.

As a long-term partner in the international brewing and beverages industries, Siemens is demonstrating at this year’s BrauBeviale being held in Nuremberg from November 12 through 14 how its innovative brewery automation processes enable the first step into digitalization. Visitors to booth 419 in hall 7 can experience the path to digitalization themselves: Exhibits stretch from the lean version of the Braumat process control system for the automation of micro breweries, to a standard Braumat system with a Manufacturing Operation Management (MOM) solution and energy management, to cutting-edge technologies such as cloud and edge computing.

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Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage Food & Beverage Pharmaceuticals Plant Construction, Engineering & Components Videos

Processing and Packaging Technology



Syntegon Bosch Packaging Green

Syntegon – the new name in processing and packaging.

Formerly Bosch Packaging Technology – Today: Syntegon. Your global partner for processing and packaging technology in the pharmaceutical and food industries.

Syntegon is a supplier of process and packaging technology. Wether it is dry, liquid, aseptic, clean or ultra-clean we have the perfect solution to pack your valuable goods and if needed we track them around the world. Processing and packaging for a better life. That´s what Syntegon Technology stands for.

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Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage Food & Beverage

Expand product portfolio
New one and two-component dispensers



The new Viscotec products at the productronica 2020 in Munich. (Picture: Viscotec)
The new Viscotec products at the productronica 2020 in Munich. (Picture: Viscotec)

At productronica in Munich, Viscotec presented, among other things, its optimized dispenser series for even smaller dispensing quantities. Both one-component and two-component dispensers have been optimized for the application of very small quantities. From now on even smaller quantities can be dispensed with maximum precision. The one-component dispenser 3RD3 and the two-component dispenser Viscoduo-P 3/3 and Viscoduo-P 4/3 extend the product portfolio of the dispensing technology specialist even further. Minimum quantities of 0.002 ml for the 3RD3 and 0.005 ml for the P 3/3 can be dispensed. As with all previous dispensers, Viscotec guarantees extremely precise dispensing results with an accuracy of +/- 1 %.

Various stator materials are available for the newly developed products to meet the requirements of different applications. The dispensers are particularly effective in potting applications or for dot and bead dispensing in adhesive and sealing applications. This makes them particularly suitable for the electronics industry, automotive and similar applications.

As with all products, the proven properties of the optimized dispensing pumps are also impressive:

  • Suck-back option (no dripping nor stringing)
  • Completely linear relationship between rotor speed and output quantity
  • Constant dispensing volume, even with fluctuations in density and viscosity
  • Longer service life
  • Quick disassembly
  • Easy programming of quantity and speed
  • Consistent dispensing quality for low to high viscosity fluids

The two-component versions Viscoduo-P 3/3 and Viscoduo-P 4/3 guarantee the static mixing of two components of the same or different viscosity. Maximum flexibility is provided by various combinations of Viscoduo-P 4/4, 4/3 and 3/3. A parallel arrangement of the two dispensing units ensures a space-saving, compact design. Their modular construction allows a wide range of mixing ratios up to 10:1 thanks to the use of different dispenser sizes. The two-component dispensers are perfectly suited for two-component adhesive materials based on epoxy resin (EP), polyurethane (PU), silicone (Si), acrylate and many others.

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