Optimising energy efficiency in ice-cream production

We all enjoy a cool ice cream when the air temperature rises to over 30°C. However, mixing and cooling the ingredients for ice cream production consumes a very large quantity of energy. Festo’s energy efficiency module MSE6-E2M installed in the Unilever plant makes a crucial contribution to increasing efficiency and reducing energy consumption.

This plant is one of Unilever’s main production locations for ice cream. These include well-known Wall’s products including Magnum, Vienetta and Cremissimo, produced in large quantities. Each of the five Magnum production lines in Heppenheim, for example, produces more than 20,000 ice creams on a stick per hour, which requires a lot of energy.

Visualising energy flow

In order to reduce the consumption of its pneumatic components, Unilever has equipped its Magnum production line with Festo’s energy efficiency module MSE6-E2M. This module automatically monitors the air supply to the machines. It transmits data for values such as flow, pressure and consumption to the machine controller via Profibus. This makes it possible to visualise how much energy is being consumed during production operations.

Reducing compressed air consumption

What is more, the module allows leaks and unnecessary consumption to be detected and rectified easily. MSE6-E2M also recognises when a machine is on stand-by and automatically shuts off the compressed air supply. This means that there is no consumption of compressed air when the machine is paused or at a standstill. In this way, Festo supports Unilever in its efforts to achieve greater sustainability. This makes eating ice cream even more enjoyable!

For the long version of this report please see pages 35-38 in Trends in Automation Magazine:
trends in automation (TIA)