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User-friendly CFD tool for thermal equipment

The implementation of new technologies in the industry is continuously increasing. The transition from the classical model of industry to the Factory of the Future (aka Industry 4.0) is an increasingly tangible reality.

Transition to an Industry 4.0

The food and canning sector is at the forefront in Galicia. In order to guarantee the industrial competitiveness of the region, it is necessary to seek for implementing this new philosophy and so the technologies that come with it into those sectors. The EMTyS project (Thermal Multiprocessing Equipment and CFD/DES Simulation) was born from this idea.

The objective of this project is to create a small equipment that can carry out the most common thermal processes in the food sector, such as sterilization, cooking, defrosting, etc.; and to complement it with simulation tools, such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Discrete Event Simulation (DES) and Virtual Reality.

Figure 1. Computational model of the Multiprocessing Equipment

In this way, the aim is to create a computational model of these processes and optimize them before commissioning to an operating industrial plant, thus achieving a significant impact on the saving of raw materials and energy consumed.

The EMTyS project, financed through the Conecta Peme 2018 programme of the Galician Agency for Innovation (GAIN) and co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF/FEDER), is carried out through the participation of several companies: TACORE, CITEGA, SDEA_Engineering Solutions and SOLTEC INGENIEROS, and with ANFACO-CECOPESCA as the technological centre.

CFD simulation in Industry 4.0

The role of SDEA_Engineering Solutions in this ambitious project consists of the creation of a computational application that allows for several iterations of different thermal processes used in the food sector by employing Computational Fluid Dynamics techniques.

This branch of engineering makes possible to create a 3D model of the Multiprocessing Equipment with the product inside and to simulate a large variety of thermal processes using a computer by making use of a user-friendly GUI (Graphic User Interface). Thus, it will be possible to analyze the evolution that the products will have over time without having to waste raw material for it. Thanks to this, companies will be able to test their processing “recipes” on the computer in a simple way before testing them on the real product.

Figure 2. Collage of the GUI windows

Combining this with comprehensive monitoring in the simulations, areas within the equipment itself with low thermal output, or process recipes with insufficient energy optimization can be examined. This real-time monitoring in the simulations at any point of the Equipment is totally unfeasible in a real process, so this application becomes an ideal assistant for any manufacturer or process designer who wants to achieve the highest quality in their products without having to give up optimal energy efficiency in their plant.

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