Batch size is crucial for design. Do you know your optimal batch size?

Large-scale processing of drinks and juices almost always happens through continuous processing technology.

Through heat exchangers amounts of thousands to ten thousands liters of juice, drinks or milk are pasteurized and then filled into bottles or cartons. The capacity of the industrial fillers is mostly expressed in number of packs per hour, while the capacity of the heat exchangers is expressed in liters per hour. Between a filler and a pasteurizer (also when using a PurePulse system), often one or more sterile tanks are placed.  At the design of a complete production line some serious engineering is required. To conduct this engineering process in a successful way, the so called typical batch size is crucially important.

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It seems strange to talk about batch size in relation to continuous processes, but the explanation is simple. Despite the fact a continuous production process can operate for 20 hours, in practice you only need a certain amount of bottles of a certain recipe. The customer doesn’t want an infinite number of bottles, but for instance just 10 pallets of 2,400 bottles each. If another customer requires the same recipe in the same bottle, but with a different label, all you need to do is change the label on the filler and the ready made recipe can be taken from the buffer tank. Suppose this second customer needs 5 pallets of 2,400 bottles. The sum of the amount of liters per customer for the same recipe determines the batch size.

Suppose in a factory this batch size lies typically between 2,500 and 10,000 liters, then often a buffer tank of about 15,000 liters is chosen. Filling machines are often the most expensive ones in a production line and in practice you therefor wouldn’t want this machine to stand idle. A filling machine of for instance 10,000 bottles per hour and a bottle size of 250 ml, treats 2,500 liters per hour. The pasteurization- or PurePulse-machine will then be dimensioned at a larger throughput.

In above mentioned example 36,000 bottles need to be produced, equaling 9,000 liters. The filler then needs 4 hours to process this batch and the pasteurization- or PurePulse-machine for example 2 to 3 hours. Of course food producers want as large a batch as possible – for the lowest costs per unit – but in the end the customer demand determines how much really should be produced.

#6 optimal_batch_sizeA food producer needs to estimate the market demand beforehand and based on that determine what his batch size should be. Then the rest of the engineering isn’t so complicated.

Do you know what the minimal, typical and maximal batch size for you should be? Cool Wave Processing is ready to help you in your search; contact us through .

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