NEWBERRY, SC — For more than 40 years, ISE Newberry Inc. has produced up to 300 cases of fresh eggs each hour.

The eggs are cleaned, graded, and packaged in cartons for sale to supermarket chains. In addition to eggs in the shell, the company sells liquid eggs to bakeries and food manufacturers.

A few years ago, the company noticed an increased demand from restaurants and delicatessens for hard-cooked eggs. Expanding that business meant renovation of the existing plant or building a new one.

Plant manager Ned Kesler consulted with Pat Ryan of ISE Newberry’s engineering department and looked at the options available.

“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.

For climate control needs, Kesler and Ryan turned to Wilson Refrigeration, which did service work for the company. In his proposal, Jimmy Wilson recommended Heatcraft’s Chandler condensing units and the Beacon refrigeration control system with its Smart Controller. The controller allows a system to be monitored using a computer and modem.

Wilson contacted the wholesaler who first brought the equipment to his attention, C. C. Dickson Co. of Columbia, SC. Wilson, along with Dickson’s Bob Diggle and Joe Parker, worked with Newberry in a three-year planning process before ground was broken on the new plant. They decided the plant would include space to maintain the existing shell egg business as well as an area for the new hard-cooked venture.

Cooling is Critical

In the new facility, eggs are brought from farms and taken to a receiving cooler. 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 at this point into those that are to be sold as hard-cooked and those that are to be sold as shell eggs. 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 level of the eggs so the shells come off more easily when they are boiled.

The eggs are left in the warmer temperatures for a day, then moved to the staging room, which is maintained at 70?, where they are kept overnight. During the boiling process the next morning, they are submerged first in boiling water to cook them and then cold water to chill them before going through the peeler to remove the shells.

The eggs are packed in 10- and 20-lb. buckets and sent to the packaging room, 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 for each condensing unit. Two controllers maintain the temperature at 40?. 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.

The setup may seem complex, but the controller allows monitoring with a few keystrokes. Kesler said he could control refrigeration system functions and temperatures throughout the plant with the computer in his office, which taps into each controller.

Engineer Ryan said he expects production to increase from 40% to 45%, with the plant able to produce 400 cases of shell eggs per hour and 6,000 lbs. per day of hard-cooked eggs.

This material was prepared by Heatcraft Refrigeration Products, 2175 W. Park Place Blvd., Stone Mountain, GA 50087; (website).

Publication date: 09/03/2001