Making delicious beverages is a craft that takes time and the most up-to-date and safe equipment. Ingredients, recipes, processes, facilities, employees, and especially machinery must all be reliable and in safe working order. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for protecting the public by ensuring the health, safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, food supply, cosmetics, and any products that emit radiation. FDA regulations must be followed in the Americas and Coca-Cola’s commitment to safely processing beverages further strengthened the requirement for compliant materials when the need arose for a new tubular heat exchanger to be installed at a Coca-Cola bottler processing facility in Monterrey, Mexico.

ANEKO, a leading engineering company focused on innovative equipment design in the food, beverage, and dairy products industry, was selected for this project to be the engineering installation team and equipment manufacturer. The team had a challenge for this installation of a hot-filling pasteurizer that included a stainless steel tubular heat exchanger due to energy efficiency requirements and the need for temperature control during the hot filling pasteurization process.

Contractors and Engineers at ANEKO knew of only one energy efficient, high-temperature insulation solution that is FDA compliant for non-contact applications that met all these requirements and was appropriate for the food and beverage industry – Armacell’s UT SolaFlex®. UT SolaFlex tube and roll insulation is a UL 94 recognized, flexible EPDM thermal high-temperature insulation with a closed-cell structure that provides low thermal conductivity, excellent fire and smoke behavior, low temperature flexibility and excellent protection against heat flow and water vapor diffusion. UT SolaFlex insulation performs on a broad range of metal pipes and tubing used on process piping, refrigeration, solar applications, hot gas and dual temperature piping, and low-pressure steam lines.

ANEKO was able to quickly create an entire skid assembly encasing the heat exchanger unit and insulating the system where piping and electrical connections were the only needed task to be completed at the bottling plant. The prefabricated and fully insulated system covered the stainless steel exchanger easily due to the roll format for the walls and the tube forms of UT SolaFlex for piping. The roll format can easily adapt to any surface needed and can be cut to size for fittings, elbows, and joins. With the addition of the high temperature contact adhesive ArmaFlex ® HT 625, there was no need for wires or ties to secure the insulation, giving the project a very clean and seamless look. “With the roll, installers were able to cover any surface or shape required, so the outcome was a well-insulated piece of machinery that looked very good,” remarked Hernan Marino, CEO of ANEKO. Another important benefit of the skid housing using UT SolaFlex was that hot piping was covered with insulation providing added protection for operators at the facility, enhancing the safety of surrounding workers. The final installation and completion of this project resulted in an energy savings from temperature control and less steam consumption, improved worker protection, and a nice-looking piece of equipment to safely make refreshing beverages for the world.