CRUNCH! The sound of a potato chip or of a pump clogging?
Food service environments are inevitably hard on equipment and potato chip production is no exception. Approximately 120,000 pounds of potatoes move through the production lines at Condor Snack Company, using a significant amount of water to wash, move and rinse the potatoes.
Spent water flows off the equipment, and along with the debris from the initial wash, the starch and the potato peels flow into drains in the floor and are then transported to a sump. In addition, the potato chip fryers are washed down once a week with 180-degree water and caustic beads to clean the equipment and remove the various oils used for frying. Condor uses six different types of oils in its chip making, and each has different properties. This hot caustic liquid and the oils it cleans also flow into the sump and are added to the mix before being pumped out.
The composition of the debris in the sump has been problematic for Condor. Not only do the potato peels and other debris tend to clog pumps, but the weekly caustic hot-water cleaning creates an added difficulty for most pumps. Condor previously was using a non-clog pump to pull product from the sump, but had been dealing with daily clogging issues that required the front cover of the pump to be removed and cleaned multiple times a day during production.