IPCO, the Netherlands-based manufacturer of cooling and forming systems, has announced the development an innovative new cooling tunnel. Combining exceptional energy efficiency provided by a unique airflow system with the hygienic qualities of a highly accessible, all-stainless steel design, the tunnel has applications in both the confectionery and bakery industries.

The system can be designed with direct, indirect or impingement airflows, with a bottom cooling option also available. Airflow has been designed for maximum efficiency to deliver rapid, controlled cooling and significantly lower energy consumption than comparable lines.

Designed as an efficient, single-pass process, IPCO’s new line can be equipped with stainless steel or plastic belts in standard widths of 1500 mm or 2000 mm, with other sizes available. The length of the tunnel can be designed around specific customer needs. Other features include belt alignment and safety systems, and the tunnel is supplied in modular form with all electrical equipment ready for connection, enabling fast installation and commissioning.

Hygiene is also key to the system’s design. All relevant components are made of stainless steel for easy cleaning and the whole line has been designed for maximum accessibility.

The efficient and economical design of IPCO’s new single pass cooling tunnel means it has applications in any sector of the food industry where products need to be cooled down. For the bakery industry, it could be used for cooling anything from cookies and crackers to brownies and biscuits.

“In developing this process we aimed to create a system that would deliver high levels of operability, accessibility and cleanability, while at the same time offering high levels sustainability and energy efficiency,” Mitchell Paquaij, commercial manager at IPCO Food, said. “In other words, we wanted to make a cooling tunnel that is as economical, energy-efficient and user-friendly as possible. We are confident that we have achieved that goal.”

The addition of the cooling tunnel represents a signification extension of IPCO’s portfolio for the bakery and confectionery industries. The company supplied the world’s first steel belt for a continuously operating bake oven in 1926, and is today the world’s leading suppliers of solid and perforated steel bake oven belts.

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