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Cleaned and dried – for less

At the end of each shift, employees in Europe’s largest pig slaugh­ter­house scrub the work areas until they are spick-and-span. Thanks to an upgraded venti­la­tion system, work can now resume faster after cleaning has finished, and the oper­ator also consumes far less energy in the process.


Hygiene is every­thing in a slaugh­ter­house, so Danish Crown takes partic­ular care to ensure that its slaugh­ter­houses are thor­oughly cleaned and dried after every shift before work is allowed to continue. What’s the catch, you ask? Drying the work areas consumes a great deal of energy as a powerful air flow and lots of heat are required for the process. Danish Crown wanted a more effi­cient solu­tion for Europe’s largest pig slaugh­ter­house in Horsens ─ a solu­tion that could be adapted to actual require­ments and would be easy to operate.

Sensors monitor humidity levels

After each shift, the slaugh­ter­houses of Danish Crown are thor­oughly cleaned and dried before work is allowed to continue. (Photo | Danish Crown)

Energy service provider EnergiMidt came up with a proposal for making the venti­la­tion system more effi­cient. At the heart of the concept are effi­cient EC fans from ebm-papst and sensors that contin­u­ally monitor humidity levels.

The idea was well received by Torben Andersen, Energy Manager at Danish Crown. “This setting allows us to contin­u­ally adjust the air flow to meet our needs. Before the new system was installed, the previous one always oper­ated at full power, even if only a couple of puddles were left on the floor after drying,” says Andersen.

Danish Crown conducted a pilot test of the combi­na­tion of fans and sensors at a smaller slaugh­ter­house in Sæby.

Sensors measure the rela­tive humidity to ensure that the venti­la­tion system is working well. (Photo | ebm-papst)

Since the humidity was con­tinually mea­sured there, the ope­rator al­ways knew how much heat and air flow were re­quired for opti­mal drying. When Andersen checked the ener­gy con­sumption after­ward, he could hard­ly be­lieve his eyes. “When we saw how much ener­gy we were sa­ving in the pilot, we first thought that we had mis­calculated. In­stead of saving the ex­pec­ted 30 to 40 per­cent, we reached al­most 90 per­cent! So we checked the data for another unit and got the same re­sult.”

Up to 108,000 cubic meters per hour

The FanGrid with EC fans by ebm-papst moves 108,000 cubic meters air per hour. (Photo | ebm-papst)

That made the deci­sion to also retrofit the slaugh­ter­house in Horsens easy for Andersen. A tech­ni­cian replaced the old fans with EC fans from ebm-papst, which were installed in a FanGrid config­u­ra­tion. In total, the company fitted 96 fans and connected them with the humidity sensors. The new system can pump up to 108,000 cubic meters of air per hour ─ enough to dry even the enor­mous slaugh­ter­house. The drying process is now faster and much more effi­cient than before. “We were also able to reduce the energy consumed cleaning and drying our slaugh­ter­house in Horsens by almost 90 percent.”, reports Anderson.

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