When a ready-meals food company in Sydney required a custom built wastewater treatment design, Aerofloat delivered.
Aerofloat’s wastewater treatment design for a growing ready-meals company exemplifies the company’s ability to allow clients to upscale with speed and flexibility, Food & Beverage discovered.
Read feature article in Food & Beverage Magazine
The Australian wastewater treatment company helped a ready-meals giant complete its new manufacturing facility in Yennora, New South Wales.
Michael Anderson, Aerofloat’s general manager of engineering, said Aerofloat’s extensive experience working with food manufacturers put it in an ideal position to work with a ready-meals manufacturer.
“The customer had another site but as a growing business, they outgrew that site and we were contacted to take a look, provide a price and help identify what the design could be,” said Anderson.
“We provided a lot of design input for the client. We went through a bidding process to win the work.”
Aerofloat collaborated with the other companies hired to ensure the fit out of the new facility was food and beverage industry compliant.
“It became a matter of identifying the space and better understanding their flows. We’ve done quite a lot of work on a number of food and beverage plants, especially in the ready meals space, which gives us expert insight,” said Anderson.
“The customer was pretty straight forward in the sense that we understand what is required when running different products each day, and also seasonal implications.
“All of this plays into the type of wastewater and the way in which it must be treated.”
The type of effluent is dependent on season offerings, such as salads in the summer and soups during winter.
“We understand that need and are able to work with the client on a tight footprint because space was at a premium,” said Anderson.
“The wastewater treatment plant on the existing site was basically a bolt on to the side of the existing building. This project was a fit-out construction.
“They asked us to make it as small as possible without compromising process.”
Aerofloat’s experienced designers and engineers used cutting edge technology to test out potential designs via 3D modelling capabilities before committing the manufacturing process.
“We held multiple draft meetings to display what the plant would look like.”
“The client, builder and consultant could offer opinions about how the plant would work from an operational point of view.”
Aerofloat tackled challenges around footprint and workability at the site head on.
“Our solution ensured everyone was happy. We went through a detailed design phase with a tight deadline for completion to allow the customer to start producing,” said Anderson.
“We had to be ready whilst other building works were going on around us. Aerofloat met the practical completion and wastewater was received from the first commissioning of their lines.”
“The effluent was industry compliant from day one. During the commissioning phase we tweaked and optimised the plant and have had an ongoing arrangement for chemical supply to the site which provides us with an extra set of eyes and ears at the site,” Anderson added.
Aerofloat also ensured that operators were across the requirements and servicing of the site.
The design included the installation of a collection pit to allow for the correct mixing of chemicals to maintain pH levels. The balance tank fit the small space available whilst still being appropriate to the specified flows.
“We mix that tank well, but we also aerate the tank to inhibit fermentation in low flow times as you can get a build-up of microorganism in those tanks over time.”
It’s this attention to detail which allows Aerofloat’s installations to maintain integrity.
“We also pH correct in that tank,” added Anderson.
“And the balance tank is big enough that we can ride different CIP’s, so it isn’t always pH correcting, but based on reacting to the water that is coming in.
“It’s big enough that CIP water is mixed with other wash down water which creates a nice, blended average.”
Aerofloat had recently launched its AeroCirc DAF with a rotary scraper and 60-degree bottom.
“The AeroCirc DAF is in line with our other self-cleaning product, the AeroDAF to minimise maintenance and downtime,” said Anderson.
“We developed this product to target higher flows because our AeroDAF’s are six and 12 cubic metre per hour treatment windows,” said Anderson.
“But now our AeroCIRC DAF’s come in two model with 20 and 30 cubic metres per hour. The customer have one of our larger 2.6 metre diameter
Aerofloat also had to adapt the product to fit the unusually shaped space.
“It’s a very tall product. Imagine the old AeroDAF with its 60-degree bottom and 60-degree top, with one metre and 1.5 metres in diameter, if you go out to 2.6 metres in diameter it will literally be the size of a rocket ship,” said Anderson.
“So, what we did was keep the bottom half and a rotary scraper on top that displaces the sludge into a chute.”
The work with the ready-meals manufacturer, and the ability to tailor to the customer’s unique needs, is also helped in large part by the extensive suite of DAF’s on offer from Aerofloat. “That’s the best part about our business, we invest money in research and development and new products,” Anderson added.
“If we were just buying products from others we would never evolve. We always work at making things better every day.
“We invest in our research and development every year, which helps us to win projects and provide better solutions.”
Read feature article in Food & Beverage Magazine