Ideal Conditions: Using Data to Optimize Climate Control in Food Processing Plants

December 16, 2021


“We’re a second set of eyes, making sure the equipment is working as it should without impacting the plant envelope.”

As the demand for processed foods continues to grow, manufacturers feel the strain, and so does their equipment. As a result, ancillary equipment like HVACs and ventilation systems must keep up, too. However, many food processors run into issues here regarding climate control and air quality. Talking about how facilities can mitigate these risks, Polygon’s Nick Kline, director of client development, and Mart Wicker, business development specialist, joined Ideal Conditions host Tyler Kern.

“Manufacturers are under pressure, and that means adding equipment and infrastructure,” Kline said.

Wicker, who spent over a decade working in food processing facilities, concurred: “They need the plant to run at optimal performance, which means reengineer facilities for greater output. Over time, HVAC systems will struggle to keep up, and these smaller impacts, like increased temperatures and condensation, can cause problems.”

Wicker noted that such issues could extend sanitation time, delay starts, cause unsafe working conditions and lead to shutdowns due to unsanitary conditions.

Kline advised that Polygon works with its partners to evaluate the problems. “We’re a second set of eyes, making sure the equipment is working as it should without impacting the plant envelope.”

One of the best ways for plants to stay proactive and have greater input is leveraging the power of data from sensors to deliver insights.

Wicker shared a story to demonstrate how data drives optimization: “A customer had high gas levels, causing line stoppages. We installed a monitor to detect these, and they receive notifications when it goes outside their limits. They can then turn on exhaust fans to mitigate the high levels, keeping employees safe and avoiding downtime.”

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