Die efficiency A die is a basic component of a press: the dough, formed in the kneading tank and then driven by the extrusion screw towards the head of the press, is forced through the die. This circular or rectangular device "shapes" the pasta. But its importance goes beyond this: the initial quality of the product is largely determined by the die, likewise the overall efficiency of the press. Making dies for a modern pasta factory requires many skills and great professionalism. Let’s see why.
Die efficiency - minimal loss of pressure and minimal heating of the dough; - maximum duration over time with production being equal and stable; - optimum efficiency so as not to limit the total production capacity of the press; - easy removal of the die from the support and replacement. The quality and precision of the insert are highlighted in the case of so-called "ridged" pasta (a typical example being "rigatoni", "millerighe", etc). The design of these inserts requires even greater attention since the "ridge" makes cooking the pasta more critical. This is the part of the shape that overcooks first, so it is very important for the ridges and thickness of the shape to be accurately balanced. In this connection, the shape (in cross-section) of the ridges is likewise important. Requisites for an efficient die:
(many) Different shapes Curiosity: have you ever noticed the number written on every pack of pasta?? That’s the “serial code”, to distinguish between the many different types!
The Spreader The main spreader functional phases are as follows: stick positioning under the die, in such a way as to make the pasta curtain slide as far as it has passed the stick for the required length; pasta curtain folding on the stick, so that the remaining part of the curtain falls on the opposite side of the stick; synchronized cut of the curtain (side folded on phase 2); moving the loaded stick and positioning of the next one.
The Pre-Dryer To avoid the pasta from sticking with parts of machineries whom comes in contact with.
The Dryer More gradual moisture reduction, compared with pre-drying phase 2 Phases: water extraction by evaporation and water particle redistribution At the end of the drying, a cooling unit is present to reduce the dry pasta temperature and to take it back to room temperature.
Weighing and filling systems Main features: -Precision to obtain packages that contain not more and not less than the stated weight -Speed besides precision, it is the second important factor to be considered
Weighing and filling systems Filling systems used are: Volumetric filling system; Net weight filling system. product density must be uniform by mean of electr. weighing machines In order to ensure higher precision in weight, the feeding is divided into rough and refining; this means, for instance, that 90% of the weight is quickly fed and then slowly completed. operator starts the filling 30-150 packs per minute up to 500 p.p.m. Filling systems can be: -Manual or semi-automatic; -Alternate automatic; -Continuous automatic.
Cartoning and Palletizing The basic function of a cartoning unit is to put products inside a cardboard box. The variety of these machines may be vast, but all the different kinds are referable to three basic groups: 1.With side loading; 2.With top loading; 3.With wrapping up or wraparound. Palletizing units are available in two different versions: with top loading or with ground level loading. A palletizing unit with loading at ground level excludes the necessity of hoisting the cartons to a upper level (area where they are formed and filled). example of possible combinations for cartoning pasta packets A palletizing machine with loading from the top offers the advantage of leaving the surface underneath clear, since the boxes are conveyed to the palletizing unit just below the ceiling. Using this kind of solution, the unit can, for instance, be installed at a level beneath the packaging area.
THE FINAL PRODUCT! Marco Mastroianni Main sources: www.barilla.it www.dececco.it www.professionalpasta.it www.grondona-mamba.com www.pastaepastai.it www.buitoni.it