Watlow's SERIES N7 Clears the Smoke in High Volume Fryer Application
Giles Enterprises, Inc., a foodservice equipment manufacturer, was designing a new, dual-basket, open pot fryer to increase cooking capacity. The new electric fryer needed an easy-to-use controller that would operate the two baskets independently, offer five time-at-temperature recipes or menus, per basket, and prevent cooking oil from smoking, flashing or catching fire.
Users of similar fryers experienced smoke and fires when they mistakenly drained oil while the heaters were on or otherwise operated the fryer with too little oil. Existing controller solutions failed to prevent heater temperatures from exceeding the shortening's smoke and flash points under various conditions especially when the oil level was low. The resulting smoke and fires caused excessive downtime for users and extra warranty expenses for the manufacturer.
The designers at Giles selected Watlow as the provider for their fryer's total thermal solution including a SERIES N7 controller with four temperature sensors and specialized programming to address the control challenges. Watlow's SERIES N7 solution uses two sensors per fry basket. One sensor monitors the oil temperature and the other sensor monitors the heater temperature. By monitoring the heater temperature directly, special intelligence in the SERIES N7 controller prevents the cooking oil from smoking or catching fire. If necessary, the controller turns the heater off and alerts the operator to the low oil level before smoking or flames occur. This solution greatly reduced the number of service calls and the fryer's downtime benefiting both the equipment manufacturer and their customers.
The SERIES N7 controller includes several other features which make it a user-friendly, time and cost saving solution for the demanding kitchen environment. The customizable keypad allowed Giles to arrange buttons in a design specific to this line of fryers. This resulted in a simple and intuitive operator interface. The controller's membrane overlay with embedded switches protects the electronics while allowing quick and easy equipment clean up. With an ambient rating of 80°C (176°F), the controller withstands a kitchen's hot environment. The variable, audible, on-board alarm provides a flexible and practical way to alert the cook when attention is required. Optional high-voltage outputs gave Giles' engineers a convenient way to integrate basket elevators and allowed the controller to automatically lower and raise baskets as part of the single-button menu functions.