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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

August 27, 2004

Good for business

When the Schebler Company, Bettendorf, designed a new high-heat cooling tunnel, the designers achieved the desired results, but needed an engineering analysis to document their success.

Cooling tunnels are used in the food industry to rapidly cool baked products, such as cookies, snack bars and candies. The machines are designed to remove large amounts of heat, sometimes in excess of 100,000 Btu per hour and effectively handle the heat that is removed . (The Schebler Company manufactures food and packaging equipment, chimney systems and construction products.)

Schebler President Gerry McClure turned to the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) for help. Schebler staff worked on the project with CIRAS industrial specialists John Roberts and Ron Cox and ISU mechanical engineering faculty.

After evaluating the cooling tunnel, the CIRAS team developed a computer program to assess the heat transfer capabilities of future tunnels. The program included models for conduction, convection, radiation and evaporation of baked products while in the tunnel.

"The program essentially verified the accuracy of our model, which gave us a better understanding of the heat transfer process for the design we had developed," McClure said. "I think the main benefit from this project was that, not only do we now have an accurate model, but also we have a better understanding of the heat transfer process in our design."

An effective design, McClure said, has enabled Schebler to plan for a lower cost design with verifiable efficiency.

Source: CIRAS News, Spring 2004


When the Schebler Company staff needed help evaluating its new cooling tunnel design, they turned to Iowa State's CIRAS.