Milmeq custom designs, engineers and manufactures equipment for primary food processing operations, providing the complete solution to take the product from hot to cold.
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In the 1980s Milmeq pioneered the introduction of large scale plate freezing technology to the meat industry.
Plate freezers feature refrigerant-filled plates which make direct contact with cartons of product to provide a rapid, energy efficient freeze.
The typical 48 hour freezing cycle of air blast freezers is reduced to 24 hours in plate freezers. This rapid freeze improves the refrigeration index (a measure of shelf life and a regulatory requirement) while the cycle time reduction reduces stock inventory and time to market.
Another key benefit of plate freezing is the output of cartons with uniformly flat surfaces, which deliver space efficiencies in the palletising, container loading and distribution operations.
Today we produce the world’s largest horizontal plate freezers, as well as smaller vertical plate freezers which suit lower throughput.
Each plate freezer installation is custom designed to meet the client’s processing requirements. Consideration is given at the design stage to allow flexibility for future additions, extensions and upgrades as product throughput requirements grow.
Horizontal plate freezers feature aluminium freezer plates containing internal refrigerant circuits in a horizontally stacked configuration. These plates make direct contact with cartons of product to provide rapid, energy efficient freezing.
We continue to improve our plate freezer designs and one of our latest innovations is the single station opening (SSO) model. In this configuration, only one set of plates opens at a time to load or unload product, leaving the others closed to continue the freezing process.
The SSO model delivers up to 3.5 hours additional freezing time. Depending on production requirements, this can result in a greater product turnover or the plate evaporating temperature can be raised to gain a further reduction in energy consumption.
A current requirement of the plate freezer system is for all cartons entering the freezer to be exactly the same size. A further innovation of the SSO currently under development will allow multiple height cartons to be accommodated in one plate freezer.
A key component that is now a standard part of the plate freezer is a desiccant dehumidifier. A stream of very low dew point air provides a slight positive pressure to the plate freezer enclosure minimising frost build-up on equipment and sensor surfaces, and minimising the need for defrost.
Plate freezers are available in automatic, semi-automatic or manual configurations. They can be supplied with range of refrigerants including ammonia (NH3) and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Vertical plate freezers provide rapid freezing for meat, meat cuts, blood, seafood, chicken, vegetables, fruit, juice, pulp, ready-made meals and ice cream products. Freezing capacities within these systems can be custom designed depending on individual requirements but are generally suited for operations with a lower throughput than those requiring horizontal plate freezers.
Milmeq partners with DSI, a Denmark based company, to deliver robust vertical plate freezing technologies to customers based in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, including fishing vessels in surrounding waters.
The DSI Plate Freezers are suited to both land and marine installations. The freezers can run on carbon dioxide (CO2) refrigeration providing shorter freezing times whilst maintaining the freshness and quality of the product.
Quick contact freezing of food products in vertical plate freezers delivers a number of advantages including maintenance of product freshness, low power consumption, use of environmentally friendly refrigerants and low initial costs.
Designs are refined for ergonomic operation and easy cleaning and maintenance. Manual and automatic options for the loading / unloading sequence are available, enabling processors to reduce the amount of manual handling in the process flow.