Photo report: How sausage skin is produced?


Near five years ago I worked in a company which sales laboratory equipment for industrial, food and beverage,  chemical and petroleum markets. I was a younger service engineer that time and travelling a lot, sometimes together with my line manager - Sergey Stiushin.
This is a photo report of the service visit to the customer which produce sausage skin and heat shrink tape for food and beverage industry.

We installed tension testing machine in their laboratory.  That was a first unit in the laboratory by the way.
The customer just finished reconstruction of the old factory facilities that time (they bought buildings of old meat processing plant in very bad conditions) and was starting up of factory machines, equipment and laboratory stuff.

After tension tester was installed and configures the head of laboratory made a short tour thru the factory for us.
That was a first time when I faced this specific type of equipment. The general and most exppensive component of the production line is extruder. It head looks as follows:

This complicated construction is needed because extruder can produce multilayer sausage skin which absolutely necessary for actual sausage manufacturers. With high magnification by using polarized microscope this film looks like:

The picture below illustrated triple layer film. I took this picture during development of the films test method for this customer by using polarized microscopy. By adjustment of extruder you can precisely control the thickness of the film and each layer (total thickness of the film near 30 micro meters). That's why construction of extruder head looks like nuclear bomb ;-)
The extruder perform the source plastic film tube which is pre-cooled with water:

This tube goes thru additional tank with water to get the desired temperature:

Afterwards the tube should pass drums to increase the the tube diameter and reduce the thickness of the film:


 
The production line introduced compressed air inside the film tube to prevent glueing of inner surfaces of it.
When forming of the sausage film is complete it is cooled down with air rolled on a special machine in the end of production line:

The whole production line view:

Another production line produces skin for frankfurters and needs some manual operations:

The production line for heat shrink tape was temporary stopped but you can eatimate the size of the setup on the pictures below:


Here is the end of this story and I hope that was interesting for some of you. Thank you for reading and watching. See my new photo report very soon.

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