Food & Beverage

Food manufacturing is complex because of the inherent physics, a process that is seamless to the end user. From the design of the equipment that processes food, to the actual manufacturing of food, to the packaging of the final product, even to transportation concerns, the needs of product manufacturers are more demanding than ever. Increasingly, food safety, nutritional value and shelf life are important selling points. And, of course, these improvements need to be made while containing costs.

Extrusion of  visco-elastic food material simulated with ANSYS POLYFLOW: pressure drop between inlet and five outlets, outlet shape computed as part of analysis

Simulation driven process development is the answer to many of these manufacturing challenges. ANSYS provides virtual prototyping tools for simple analyses that can prove extremely valuable. For example, understanding air flow in a convection oven offers insight into heat exchange and, therefore, cooking quality, while simplifying food material properties to model the mixing or filling process for milk, carbonated drinks or beer opens the door to making important process improvements. The scalability engineered into products from ANSYS allows for smooth and gradual increases of the model complexity, so more details of the behavior of the materials can be investigated at the right time in the development process.

Designing food manufacturing equipment is just one key to successful production. Food properties are impacted by conditions inside this equipment: Shear rate, residence time, temperature history and moisture levels all can impact food quality. ANSYS tools work in conjunction with industry-standard computer-aided design (CAD) systems, enabling the seamless modeling and optimization of complex equipment via integrated geometry, meshing, material parameter and analysis tools.

Mixing, cooking and storing food create interactions between food components that require their own complex modeling processes. Manufacturers are under continual pressure to improve food quality, find ways to economize on quantities, and enhance ease of preparation. Using virtual prototyping allows food scientists to experiment with as many iterations as needed, without the need for fresh ingredients for each batch. Solution results quickly yield insight into processes and problems, with the end result of saving money and speeding the time to market.

Packaging for food is a critical part of the manufacturing process. Containers must keep products intact and clean during shipment, retain valuable nutrients while on the shelf and, in some cases, serve as a preparation or serving vessel. At the same time, environmental impact concerns have become a priority, a factor that often directly competes with cost restraints. Virtual prototyping can help ensure that all these requirements are given consideration.

From geometry creation and editing in equipment design to modeling heat flux and phase change during cooking to performing drop tests for packaging, the ANSYS suite of tools offers an unparalleled depth of technical solutions, providing a multiphysics approach to development in the food and beverage industry’s many sectors.

  • Equipment design
  • Food manufacturing
  • Food safety
  • Heat, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Packaging