Evaluation of the flexibility in the process of ventilation for cured ham production

Autores UPV
Revista International Journal of Power and Energy Systems Design


This paper presents a novel approach to define and evaluate a flexibility strategy that is very promising in the meat processing industry: fan speed variation in drying chambers. The implementation of flexibility has not been commonly applied in the past as production processes in this sector have traditionally been considered in a very restricted way with respect to the impact of the supply conditions and its effect on the quality of the final product. This fact has made customers reticent to change any element or parameter of those processes. Nevertheless, these rigid industrial practices are being questioned due to the rise in energy prices, increased concern in environmental issues and the evolution of technological solutions. A progress in that field is proposed by the authors, where the application of a strategy based on the reduction of fan speed in drying chambers for short periods of time is proposed. A physical model has been developed in order to estimate the effect of the proposed actions in the drying process. Finally, the strategy has been evaluated for a curing ham factory located in Spain, where significant savings have been identified and assessed with no negative effects in the quality of the product.