Post Foods Canada, Inc. Process Improvements

Kumar Varun Singh and Irwan Poerba
Case revision date: 
6 pages
Headquartered in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Post Foods Canada produces a variety of cereal products such as Shreddies, Raisin Bran, Cranberry Almond Crunch and Shredded Wheat Big Biscuit. As part of the company’s production process, large amounts of hot water are required. A layout of the current hot water distribution can be seen in Error! Reference source not found.. City water is heated using natural gas, and is reheated periodically using steam. Though it is used for many of the company’s plant operations, a primary use is for the batch cooking process, where heated water and other raw ingredients are mixed together and cooked using large cookers (Lange Cookers). Occasionally, there is an insufficient capacity to adequately supply all hot water demands. This was a concern to the Sanitation Group since hot water is used as an initial cleaning step to remove residue from machinery. An additional issue was that the hot water used in the cookers was wasted by dumping it down the drain after each batch.
Post Foods Canada wanted to explore ways to improve its energy usage and environmental impact. Kumar Singh, a third year Chemical Engineering co-op student at the University of Waterloo worked under Post Foods Canada’s Engineering department, and was asked to develop a solution that addressed energy inefficiency and while ensuring that all hot water demands were met.
Learning objectives: 

The main teaching objective of this case study is for students to analyze the processes at a specific company and determine improvements in order to address operational issues.

Key words: 
Process flow diagram; Process flow design; Heat exchangers; Natural gas efficiency
CEAB attributes: 
Problem Analysis; Impact of engineering on society and the environment; Design
Module 01 - Case Study
Module 02 - Needs Analysis
Module 03 - Conceptual Design
Module 04 - Detailed Design
Module TN - Teaching Note

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