The filters also feature the Russell Filter Management System, a technology that automatically opens the oversize discharge valve at a specified differential pressure or time interval. The system enables the filter to be operated efficiently without operator involvement.
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Compared to the previous basket filtration method, these filters are saving the company a substantial amount of labor and downtime.
Alfano calls the filters “operator-friendly,” saying production is saving about 60 hours a week in downtime. “They’ve also eliminated filter blockage and pump seizures. Rather than ‘baby-sit the filters,’ our maintenance staff is now staying on top of other important tasks such as preventive maintenance.”
As companies like Gertrude Hawk Chocolates are discovering, the self-cleaning Eco Filter fits neatly into existing production lines, in many instances adding significant capacity without requiring excessive space. Because it’s totally enclosed, it also prevents outside pollutants from contaminating product and protects operators from any fumes or spillage. Users see substantial improvement in product purity as well as throughput and waste elimination.
According to Alfano, a choice of easily swapped filter elements used with the system also gives Gertrude Hawk Chocolates additional flexibility to meet the exacting quality demands of their customers ranging from retail and wholesale to contract manufacturing, fundraising, and ice cream inclusions.
“The Eco Filters are making us more competitive and are aligned with the goals of our mission statement – to be innovative in our products, practices, and procedures for competitive advantage while profitably furnishing the finest chocolate products available,” Alfano says.
Del Williams is a technical writer based in Torrance, Calif.