Standardization Upgrade for food processing Valves ?


1/ The context

image of coffee_indutrial valves for coffee production_guichonIn the production process of soluble coffee, the coffee beans are placed in “percolators” (16 bar @ 200°C) after having been torrefied and ground. Once the coffee is brewed and collected, the coffee grounds are removed from the “percolators” by a pressurized steam injection and then directed to a hopper where they are pressed to extract any remaining juice. Diverter or multi-way valves are situated underneath the “percolators”, after specific GUICHON gate valves, to send the coffee grounds of one or the other towards the hopper. In the context of confirmity and standaridization of the production line between several customer sites, the customer consulted GUICHON VALVES in order to change the diverters used on the recuperation line of the coffee grounds.

diverter valve guichon coffee process line

2/ The problem

The diverter valves in place at the site present external leaks. Furthermore, the equipment is no longer up to standards and the original supplier doesn’t exist anymore. The legislation now imposes that new valves be PED (European Directive 97/23/CE for pressure equipment) compliant. The customer, satisfied by the valve performance of Guichon’s most recent delivery, approached them to supply the new material, to modify it and improve its external tightness.

3/ The Guichon Solution

multiways_diverter_valve_coffee line_guichon
A technical appraisal shows that repairing the existing valve would be useless. A new valve, based on the assembly drawing provided by the customer, is recommended. The design team conceives a new, custom-made valve, optimized by:

  • Carrying out a 3D study of a similar valve with the addition of an external tightness
  • Verifying compliance with the essential requirements of the PED
  • Finding a suitable motorization with the help of the original motor supplier (the references of the installed equipment having disappeared)
  • The fluid (coffee grounds) that builds up between the piston and the body can generate substantial frictional forces. The motor must therefore be properly sized.
  • Integrating improvements requested by the customer (changing the type of limit switches)

GUICHON’s strengths through their values

  • Knowledge at every level (design to testing) of different valve technologies, allowing to carry out « reverse engineering » in the ambition of responding to the obsolescence situations met by our customers (Professionalism)
  • A polyvalent engineering department, working by project and not on pre-established product ranges (Professionalism)
  • Flexibility in the construction of custom-made valves, with welded construction, often single quantities or very small series’ (Professionalism ; Enthusiasm)
  • The motorization element required considerable research in order to guarantee the correct operation and avoid blockages in the diverters due to the presence of coffee grounds between the body and obturator. (Fighting Spirit)