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Media / Application stories / Vacuum pumps use one-third less energy at meat processing facility

Vacuum pumps use one-third less energy at meat processing facility


Wilrijk, Belgium, August 2014: Atlas Copco worked with the team at a large poultry processing company to develop a customized vacuum supply solution that extracts high volumes of giblets efficiently and cost effectively. The three new Atlas Copco GV 1200 vacuum pumps have not only improved the quality of the final product, but also use approximately one-third less energy than conventional systems.

GV 1200 vacuum pumps
When a large poultry slaughterhouse in the north of Germany started planning two new production lines, it looked for a solution that would improve the giblets extraction process, decrease the amount of handling, and ensure the product looked fresh at the end of the production process. The company, which slaughters around half a million chickens each week, was not satisfied with conventional vacuum systems. Traditional slaughterhouse vacuum systems generally fill a funnel and then pump the contents out with a low-pressure, forceful push. The product is then transported through a pipe network at high speed. This process generates heat, which slightly cooks the chicken meat so that it no longer looks fresh. The second disadvantage of this system is that the intermittent pump operation uses a lot of energy and is a strain on the machinery.

Handling the product with care

Working with Atlas Copco’s compressed air and vacuum experts, the company was able to develop a brand new extraction system for its production line. The three GV 1200 vacuum pumps gently extract the giblets almost continuously, rather than intermittently as before. The cyclones, which are tapered at the bottom and specifically designed for this process, ensure the giblets are extracted with minimum energy consumption. As the volume of giblets to be transported is always small, a relatively low level of vacuum is required.

Decreased noise, increased energy-efficiency

Atlas Copco’s oil-sealed rotary screw vacuum pumps operate much quieter than other systems. The slaughterhouse operates the pumps at a vacuum of between 900 and 550 mbar or 100 to 450 mbar (absolute) — the optimum energy efficiency level. Two GV pumps supply four filleting lines, while the third pump operates vacuum packing machinery. All three vacuum pumps can be networked if required.

Easy access to data

The company can easily read and adjust pressure data and other parameters on the Atlas Copco vacuum pumps compared to other conventional systems on the market. 

The programming options for the GV vacuum pumps also make the production process much easier. Pressure bands are simple to program, and it is easy to detect the pressure flow and any leaks in the system. As a result, the entire system can be precisely controlled, ensuring that the valves only open for the required amount of time and only the exact level of vacuum required for the production process is applied. As a result, the system only requires around two-thirds of the energy that other pumps would require. 

The GV vacuum pumps are hardwearing and have been working perfectly ever since they were installed a year ago.

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Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and service focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics.  The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2013, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 84 (BEUR 9.7) and more than 40 000 employees. 

Atlas Copco’s Compressor Technique business area provides industrial compressors, vacuum solutions, gas and process compressors and expanders, air and gas treatment equipment and air management systems. It has a global service network. Compressor Technique innovates for sustainable productivity in the manufacturing, oil and gas, and process industries. Principal product development and manufacturing units are located in Belgium, Germany, the United States, China, India and Korea.