Food & Beverage Heating Components
As one of our primary markets, Cast Aluminum Solutions offers a wide range of thermal solutions for foodservice equipment OEMs and nutriment processors.
The commercial foodservice equipment sector’s most respected names rely on CAS to design and manufacture core heating components. CAS is more than a fabrication house: with an acclaimed New Product Development Team and expansive in-house test lab, customers rely on CAS to devise, asses and perfect next-generation thermal components.
- Grills & Bun Toasters: CAS is an industry leader in cooking surfaces for meats and breads.
- Steam Generators: The CAS New Product Development Team continually develops trailblazing innovations for the industry's popular new steam and combination cooking methods.
- Confectionery Heaters: Custom-shape, highly-uniformity heaters are a CAS specialty.
- Beverage Heaters: CAS offers inline heating solutions for coffee, espresso, or hot water appliances.
- Pasteurization Inline Heaters: Our large CAST-X Circulation Heaters meet the needs for many high-flowrate pasteurization and liquid purification applications.
- Wash Appliance Heaters: We provide several compact heaters compatible with wet, rugged environments.
- Bottling System Heaters: CAS offers gas & liquid heaters for beverage bottling & sparging operations.
Commercial Grills, Griddles, and Bun Toasters
Cast Aluminum Solutions is a leader in designing and manufacturing commercial-grade food warming components and high-temperature cooking surfaces.
CAS offers traditional grills and griddles as well as groundbreaking designs to fit advanced hybrid and combination cooking technologies.
- CAS’s dedicated New Product Development Team can be relied upon to develop prototypes, test multiple design variations, and manage pre-release performance tests.
- Thermal modeling with FEA (Finite Element Analysis) ensures temperature uniformity to +/- 2%.
- Our in-house test lab includes x-ray and ultrasound technology to verify heater placement. The CAS lab also includes infra-red thermal imaging for temperature uniformity testing. Product life-cycle testing is available to ensure design weaknesses are revealed and resolved prior to full production.
- High-volume production is carried out via multiple pressure-casting stations, horizontal surface finishers, and multi-axis CNC machines. Coordinate measuring machines (CMM) verify dimensional compliance.
- Any worldwide voltage can be accommodated, from 100 to 600 volts.
- Finishes include electroless nickel plating, clear-coat and hard-coat anodizing, Teflon®, and more.
CAS goes beyond traditional griddles. This platen will be incorporated into a “combi-oven,” which combines traditional conducted electric heat with circulating forced air. OEMs continually rely on CAS to develop and manufacture components that fit advanced technologies such as this.
Simulating heat transfer results before prototypes are made is one key to our success. Using Ansys®, a state-of-the-industry finite element analysis (FEA) application, CAS engineers can modify heater positions and power profiles virtually, until optimal temperature uniformity is achieved.
This grill features electroless nickel plating, which enhances overall durability and prevents corrosion. CAS offers a variety of plating and coating options, specified to meet the cooking system’s unique temperature and application parameters.
Life cycle testing and temperature uniformity verification are just a couple of the many analytic tests available through CAS’s expansive in-house R&D laboratory. Here, a griddle is undergoing a long-term life cycle test, where it will run for potentially thousands of hours.
Grill marks and grooves can be designed to suit individual OEM requirements. One of the things that sets CAS apart is our ability to efficiently execute unique customer specifications on large-scale production runs. Precision and volume are delivered simultaneously, thanks to multiple CNC machining and finishing centers.
X-ray and ultrasound technology are important testing tools CAS has integrated into our laboratory. Positioning of heaters, flow-tubes and internal components can be examined, allowing engineers to check for in-mold drift, probe for porosity, and optimize overall production results.
Steam Generators and Water Reservoir Heaters
Cast Aluminum Solutions has demonstrated a mastery of heat, steam and electricity for the warming of vegetables and light food. As a result, the CAS Team is regularly relied upon to design, develop, test, and manufacture the latest innovations in thermal components for infusion heating.
- CAS has extensive experience with traditional water reservoir steam heaters, as well as 'on-demand' steam generation mechanisms and new overhead steam infusion systems.
- Components are designed and manufactured to meet the size, heat and temperature requirements of original equipment manufacturers or large-scale end users.
- Water-resistant heating elements are available, to maximize lifespan even under demanding conditions.
- Certified NEMA 4 waterproof electrical enclosures (terminal housings) are available.
- All CAS components are compatible with standard foodservice equipment controls, for easy integration.
- Finishing options include plating, anodizing, clear coats, high-polish surfaces, PTFE, and more.
- Customer-specific representatives and CS agents provide direct and immediate service.
- Using our advanced ERP system, customers can track orders via online portals.
Steam applications are constantly evolving, with steam burst platens, overhead generators, and new shapes & sizes pushing the technology forward. CAS is at the center of these innovations with thermal components that flash-heat small vegetable items and facilitate the delivery of contemporary fare, all of which means success for our OEM partners and the restaurants they serve.
Large-capacity steam generating reservoirs help to highlight our robust casting and manufacturing capabilities. Compared to traditional designs, CAS’s one-piece cast-in design curtails the formation of debris and contaminants. To ensure compliance in different geographic markets, heating elements may be ordered in any worldwide voltage.
Custom Patterned Heaters for Confectionery Devices
Waffles and cones are fun treats, but the thermal components that make these treats are quite complex and require very uniform heat. CAS is one of the few suppliers with the exacting design and production resources required to manufacture unique confectionary heaters.
- Due to short cooking cycles and rapid heat-up times, waffle irons and confectionery heaters must deliver extremely uniform heat across the entire cooking surface.
- To ensure temperature uniformity the CAS Engineering Dept. offers thermal simulations using FEA (finite element analysis) models and infrared imaging at our large R&D lab.
- Cooling tubes, for instant temperature reduction, can be incorporated into heated components.
- Using our pressurized casting techniques, complex shapes can be created without porosity.
- Surface patterning is accomplished via multi-axis CNC machines, for precise, uniform results.
- A range of protective coatings and non-stick surfaces are available.
- CAS offers UL and CE-rated heating elements and temperature sensors.
- Waterproof heating elements and temperature sensors are available.
CAS utilizes a highly-developed PLC-controlled pressure casting system that produces outstanding initial castings. State-of-the-art multi-axis CNC mills are available for additional machining. These programmable, semi-automated production tools help CAS deliver repeatable results at high production volumes.
For waffle and confectionery heaters, temperature uniformity and short heat-up times are important. CAS engineers use a number of technologies to test these factors in the prototyping phase, saving time and development costs. This waffle array is being analyzed with an infrared temperature sensing system.
Beverage Heaters for Hot Water, Coffee & Espresso Applications
For the heated beverage sector, CAS has several standard products, while custom heating devices may be engineered to suit specific customer requirements.
- All CAS Circulation Heaters feature stainless steel flow-tubes. Heated fluids are isolated in these flow-tubes, never contacting any other components within the heater. This design is favored for its cleanliness and use of unwelded stainless steel for all wetted surfaces.
- The CAST-X 500 is our smallest standard inline heater. At 300-1500 total watts, it is well-suited for commercial-grade espresso machines and hot water heating devices.
- CAS also designs and manufactures small custom-engineered beverage heaters to fit specific customer requirements: our dedicated New Product Development Team makes this a painless process.
- High-purity electropolished and FDA-certified stainless steel flow-tubes are available on all heaters.
- The CAS Engineering Team can assist in calculating specifications relating to fluid heating: power/watt requirements, flowrate data, pressure drop estimates, etc.
- If required, heaters may feature high-temperature coatings or protective membranes.
This CAST-X 500 Circulation Heater image highlights the integrated stainless steel flow-tube (yellow). Heated liquids are isolated in this tube, never contacting the heating element or any other components within the heater. This design is favored by beverage service OEMs, as it thwarts contamination and does not introduce particulates or oxidation into the flow stream.
The manufacturer of these coffee kiosks integrated CAST-X Circulation Heaters into the water delivery system, using a single CAST- X to generate hot water for two beverage stations and a hand washing station. CAST- X Heaters replaced the original immersion heaters, which leaked MGO and rust into the system: this is physically impossible with CAST-X’s isolated flow-path stainless tube design.
Pasteurization Heaters for Dairy, Juice, and Liquid Ingredients
With high-purity electropolished stainless steel wetted surfaces and isolated flow-paths, our dual tube CAST-X Circulation Heaters deliver the purity, heat, and flowrates necessary for integration into pasteurization systems and liquid ingredient processing applications.
- Heater operating temps are compatible with dairy industry standards: HTST (high temperature short time) ‘flash pasteurization’ at 162°F / 72°C, and UHT (ultra heat treatment) pasteurization at 280°F / 138°C.
- All heated liquids are isolated in seamless 316L stainless steel flow-tubes: heated media has no contact with heating elements, sensors, or other components within the heater. Isolating the process liquid also minimizes exposure to air, minimizing the risk of contamination.
- Dual-tube CAST-X models are compatible with high-flowrates and appropriate pasteurization dwell times.
- For added cleanliness, tube ID's may be electropolishing to meet any Ra (roughness average) specification. FDA-certified flow-tubes are available for all CAST-X Models.
- After manufacturing, circulation heater flow-tubes may be passivated to meet ASTM standards.
- Certified NEMA-4 moisture-resistant terminal enclosures are standard options on all CAST-X models.
- Touch-safe insulating jackets are standard options on all CAST-X models.
- CAST-X Heaters are easily integrated into processing systems via standard PID and PID controls.
For food and dairy processors, contaminants are not an option, and this is where CAST-X delivers benefits over traditional immersion heaters. If an immersion heater fails, the resulting debris and MGO will mix with and contaminate the food being processed. With CAST -X, if the heater fails, there is zero chance of debris, due to the isolated flow-path design.
For pasteurization applications, we recom- mend our dual-tube models, although all are available with a single tube option. Dual-tube models offer 3 different plumbing configurations: single pass, parallel, and series. The CAST-X 2500 (left) is capable of 15 kW, CAST-X 3000 (middle) up to 25 kW, and CAST-X 4000 (rt.) 60 kW maximum power.
Heaters for Dish and Bottle Washing Systems
CAST-X Circulation Heaters are an outstanding option for washing systems. Competing immersion heaters may be less expensive, but more costly in the long run.
- Small CAST-X units may be tied to individual hot water delivery nodes; larger CAST-X units may be employed to deliver heated fluid to an entire machine. CAST-X Circulation Heaters are manufactured in six base sizes, with total power output from 1 to 60 kW.
- With CAST-X’s unique design, heated media is isolated in seamless stainless steel flow-tubes. This means solvents, clean-purge compounds, and mild acids can be safely heated without damage to the heater. It also adds uniformity to fluid control systems employing SST elsewhere.
- CAST-X Heaters are easily unified with pumps and mass flow meters using standard PID and PLC controls. If control panels are not utilized, many CAST-X units can be controlled via on-board thermostats. Built-in thermocouples provide outstanding operating temperature monitoring.
- Flow-tube connections are made using industry-standard compression fittings.
- Self-draining flow-tubes help prevent the growth of mold, microbes, and bacteria.
- CAST-X Heaters are exceptional steam generators, suitable for integration with high-pressure steam-cleaning modules.
This bottle washing system, operated by a CAS customer, originally used a traditional screw-plug heater. When the element failed, magnesium oxide filled the system. Now, using a CAST-X Heater, even with a failure, there is no chance of contamination: heated media is completely isolated in SST flow-tubes and heating elements are completely encased in aluminum.
CAST-X Heaters can be manufactured to fit almost any flow-rate and Delta-T. Individual CAST-X 500 or 1000 units can be tied to low-volume delivery channels, while CAST-X 2000 or 3000 units can be relied upon to deliver hot water to large machines and multiple channels.
Gas and Liquid Injection Systems for Beverage Bottling
CAST-X Circulation Heaters play a key role in heating water & nitrogen for injection systems on commercial beer, wine and beverage bottling lines.
- CAST-X Heaters are a critical component in the beer bottling industry’s most popular water injection system. These proprietary systems extend the shelf-life of beer and other carbonated beverages.
- A small amount of heated water is injected directly into the filled bottle, exciting the carbonation, whereupon the bottle is immediately capped. Ultimately, this creates a vacuum and reduces total product oxygen, creating an environment that is not conducive to bacteria growth.
- The OEN for these injection systems prefers CAST-X Circulation Heaters over immersion heaters because CAST-X heaters have very low failure rates; and if one does, there’s no chance of introducing particulates into the flow stream.
- Small CAST-X Circulation Heaters are also widely-integrated into nitrogen dispensing systems for sparging applications in wine bottling. CAST-X units heat the cryogenic-cold liquid nitrogen (- 320°F / -195°C) to approx. 70°F / 20°C. Heating the nitrogen prevents regulator icing and valve freezing.