The field of food and beverage is one of the most comprehensive industries playing an important role in the daily lives of people. This is an industry that involves the processing of carbonated drinks, ready-to-eat soups and meals, condiments, dairy products, processed goods, and canned goods. To make the processes they undergo safe and free from contamination, they utilize a variety of sanitary and control products like ball valves.
Securing the safety of the processes they undergo is the top priority of food processing companies. The food and beverage industry caters to food for human consumption. The least that we want are cases of contamination and machine malfunction. Partnering these food processes with the right type of ball valves will promote improvement, efficiency, and reduction of costs. To give you an idea, here is how ball valves work and how important they are in the food and beverage industry.
Understanding Ball Valves
So how does a ball valve works? Ball valves are devices utilized to regulate or halt the flow of media through a spherical-shaped closure with a tight shut-off feature. The ball has a hollow cylindrical hole which aligns with the pipeline when the valve is in an open position.
When it is shut closed, the ball rotates perpendicular to the pipeline wherein the fluid is blocked from passing through. Apart from its tight-shut feature, ball valves are also known for its time-efficient control system.
Belonging in the quarter-turn valve family, ball valves do not require much time to turn on and off. Unlike gate valves, they are very resilient during operations considering that they perform time-efficient control. Ball valves are a great choice for processes in the food and beverage industry. Their material composition is designed to be durable under different environmental conditions and required parameters.
There are different types of ball valve serving different applications. They vary in size, material composition, features, and services they cater to. Ball valves are also classified as high-pressure valves. They are designed to control the steam supply operations the food and beverage industry undergoes during production. Different steam supplies are classified in different grades identifying how exposed they are to contamination.
Three Steam Classifications According to Grade
Three steam classifications are used in regulating food and beverage operations. These include plant steam, filtered steam, and clean steam. These three classifications vary in grade and performance in the food and beverage industry.
A plant steam is a steam system established with the lowest steam grade. Because of this classification, they are more prone to contamination as compared to the other two. Contamination is determined by a variety of factors like raw materials used, correctly operating system, other processes involved, and chemicals used in operations.
The filtered steam is a steam supply system ensured with safety for the media passes through a stainless steel filter. They are identified as mid-grade supply system.
Considered as the steam supply with the highest grade, clean steam is established as a steam supply best for quality-critical processes.
Regardless of the steam system used in the operations of the food and beverage industry, ball valves are required to regulate and halt operations. This is to maintain the quality of the operating system preventing cases of deterioration. The use of superior quality ball valves will help in regulating the velocity required by the steam. There are also cases wherein the excess velocity is used to halt the operation of the supply in a particular section of a pipeline.
The Role of Ball Valves in Food and Beverage Operations
The food and beverage industry is involved in the daily lives of people. From the drinks to condiments and spices, these belong in the same group. More than just processes, this industry pays attention to storage, temperature regulation, cleaning, filling, dosing, mixing, and batching.
This is the industry which caters to a broader market. The food and beverage industry supplies most, if not all, of the food needs of people. They manage to cater to different markets delivering all needs within a required period of time. Broadening the market of the people they cater to aims to focus more on running and distributing than managing and dealing with different suppliers.
The involvement of ball valves in the food and beverage industry is classified into two activities. One of which are valves with direct contact with the media. They are mainly involved in food processing operations to regulate and halt the flow of media within a required parameter. On the other hand, ball valves are also used in utility system wherein they are used to control the flow of steam and water through the pipeline.
Regardless of the services ball valves cater to, the valves with direct contact with the food and materials are carefully scrutinized. Since these are for human consumption, contamination is the biggest downfall of the food and beverage industry. Experiencing contamination only means the machines and the supply are not well-evaluated. It is not just an inconvenience for the schedule of operations, it also adds up to the costs of production.
Ball valves are responsible for more than just regulating the production system of the food and beverage industry. They work hand in hand with other equipment to ensure that the media is free from contamination. When a single quantity of food is positive with contamination, the whole batch is contaminated. This is what makes food processing expensive and why rejected food batches are sold at a cheaper price.