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cases of shell eggs each hour. The eggs are cleaned, graded, and packaged in cartons to sell at supermarket chains. The company also sells liquid eggs to bakeries and food manufacturers.
A few years ago, the company said they experienced an increased demand from restaurants and delicatessens for hard-cooked eggs. Expanding that business meant renovating the existing plant or building a new one, according to the company. Plant manager Ned Kesler consulted with Pat Ryan of the ISE Newberry Engineering department to consider the company’s options.
"With the growth and development of market segments we currently serve and the increased demands of entering a new area of the market and the age and condition of our equipment, it was time to make an upgrade," said Ryan.
A state-of-the-art plant went on the drawing boards. For climate control needs, Kesler and Ryan turned to Wilson Refrigeration, which did the service work for the company. In his proposal, Jimmy Wilson recommended Heatcraft products.
Chandler condensing units and the Beacon refrigeration control system with its Smart Controller was also proposed, according to the manufacturer. The Smart Controller allows a system to be monitored using a computer and modem.
Wilson contacted wholesaler C. C. Dickson Co. of Columbia, SC. Dickson’s Bob Diggle and Joe Parker worked with Newberry throughout a three-year planning process before ground was broken on the new plant, according to Heatcraft. The company and the manufacturers decided the plant would include space to maintain the existing shell egg business, as well as a new area for the new hard-cooked venture.
COOLING IS CRITICALIn the new facility, the eggs are brought from farms and taken to a receiving cooler. According to Heatcraft, Wilson installed three 7 1/2-hp outdoor discus condensing units and three medium-profile unit coolers, all with controllers, to keep the temperature constant at 50? to 55?F.
Eggs are separated into those that are to be sold as hard-cooked and those that are to be sold as shell eggs. Heatcraft says the eggs that will be sold as hard-cooked are taken to the end of the receiving cooler that is about 5? to 10? warmer than the other area. This is done to increase the pH of the eggs so the shells come off more easily when they are boiled, according to the manufacturer.
The eggs are left in the warmer temperatures for a day, according to the manufacturer, and then moved to the staging room, which is maintained at 70?, where they are kept overnight. During the boiling process the next morning, the eggs are submerged first into boiling water to cook them and then plunged into cold water to chill them before going through the peeler to remove the shells, says the company.
The company says the eggs are then packed in 10- and 20-lb. buckets where they are sent first to the packaging room, and then to a shipping cooler, where they remain until they are sent to the end users.
The packaging room required two 3-hp outdoor scroll condensing units with two medium-profile evaporator coils condensing unit and two controllers to maintain the temperature at 40?, according to Heatcraft. The hard-cooked egg-shipping cooler is equipped with two 7 1/2-hp condensing units with two medium profile evaporator coils with controllers.
The eggs that will be sold in their shells are washed, graded, packaged, and sent to a different shipping cooler that is cooled to 40? to 45? by eight medium profile evaporators, connected to eight 10-hp scroll condensing units with controllers, says the manufacturer.
COMPLEX?The setup may seem complex, but the controller allows monitoring with a few keystrokes, says Heatcraft. Kesler said he could control refrigeration system functions and temperatures throughout the plant with the computer in his office, which taps into each controller. At the time of this writing, the refrigeration equipment had just come online. But engineer Ryan said he expected production to increase from 40% to 45% or up to 400 cases of shell eggs/hr and 6,000 lbs/day of hard-cooked eggs, according to Heatcraft.
Publication date: 11/19/2001