To achieve reliable laboratory results in the food processing industry, sampling valves must be cleaned effectively. Together with FRECON, Keofitt has documented and optimized flow conditions in their sampling valves by means of CFD simulation. The method is new and educational for Keofitt, who expect to use CFD for simulation in their further development work with sampling valves.
As the only company in the world that exclusively produces sampling valves and equipment for them, Keofitt are experts in taking representative samples during the production of e.g. food. It all started 40 years ago when the company’s founder developed “the sterilizable sampling valve”.
A learning process with influence on the development work
When it comes to ensuring proper flow of liquids and gases, CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) is the obvious simulation tool. So, when Keofitt wanted to document and streamline the cleaning of their valves for e.g. dairies and breweries, FRECON was appointed as CFD sparring partner. Keofitt has previously used simulation and testing to make the cleaning of their sampling valves as efficient as possible, but CFD was an unexplored area.
“The collaboration with FRECON has given us valuable, new inputs for our further work. Today, we do not have any CFD competencies in-house, and it has been a good learning experience that we were able to draw on FRECON’s resources in the area,” says M.Sc. (Mech.Eng.), MBA Carsten Rosendal from Keofitt Business Development. “We have on several occasions considered using CFD simulations in our development work. The collaboration with FRECON has taught us about the advantages of using CFD and simulation, which we will include in our further work.”
Cleaning methods tested via simulation
In the collaboration between FRECON and Keofitt, flow conditions in the sampling valve were visualized and calculated and then modified and recalculated. This was done to ensure a higher velocity and turbulence intensity inside the valve chamber itself by using either water vapor or CIP liquid.
“The valves will typically be cleaned with CIP liquid or water vapor. With water vapor, a high flow is achieved at high temperatures, which streamlines the cleaning process,” says Arne von Eitzen, who is Lead Design Engineer at FRECON with an expertise within CFD, fluid dynamics and FEM. “However, this method is not applicable when the user of Keofitt’s valves is dealing with products that do not withstand heat. CIP fluid is typically used in those cases.”
The method made it possible to skip the production and testing of various prototypes, so that the flow conditions were correct from the start and ensured the best possible cleaning conditions inside the valve.