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Steam control valves and valve controllers in pet food production applications

Steam is a vital component in the production of food for both human and pet consumption. The health and safety standards laid down for these applications are rigorous and processes need to be carefully controlled.This has an impact on the control and use of steam. Steam is used to prepare and cook the pet food and it is also used to clean the internal pipework and valves that were used during the process.



CIP cleaning in Food & Beverage applications

Clean in place steam application

The most common cooking method in pet food production is known as extrusion; a process which includes a pre-conditioner, an extrusion cooker and a die/knife assembly to shape the final product. The pre-conditioner is designed to increase the temperature and the moisture content of the substrate by adding steam and water. The steam must be carefully controlled to ensure a uniform distribution and an even temperature rise within the substrate to between 70°C and 90°C. This process would typically be controlled using steam control valves and valve controllers.

Once the substrate has reached the desired temperature, the substrate passes through the extruder, where the pressure and temperature of the dough is increased using a combination of friction and steam. A combination of sensors connected to a controller are required to monitor and adjust the process to ensure the optimum pet food safety parameters are maintained.

Bürkert steam control valves

The Bürkert Type 2301 globe control valve and Type 8694 valve positioner are ideally suited to these types of steam applications. Bürkert steam control valves incorporate a stainless steel design for use in wash-down processes typical of food applications and offer precise steam control that results in efficient energy usage and reduced energy costs.

Steam control valve
Steam solenoid valve

Bürkert steam valves can be used with an intelligent valve control head, meaning easy networking and decentralisation of automation equipment. Fewer cables and conduits requiring washing down reduces installation and maintenance costs. The stainless steel valves are available in flanged, threaded or welded formats and the type of valve controller can be configured to suit each installation.

Furthermore, Bürkert’s steam control valves can be used to control a range of process valve ends, such as globe valves, pressure valves, proportional valves and shut-off valves.

For a free copy of our steam site guide please email


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