Design and management of food plants

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with the conceptual tools for the analysis, selection and management of production facilities. The course also aims to introduce students to the operational problems of complex systems and the main methods of dimensioning and analysis of the agro-food industry plants.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the students will be able to conceive, design and manage production systems and processes. Students will be able to carry out economic and functional convenience analyzes on industrial production lines, and they will act by optimizing their functionality and their performance.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Teaching methods:
The lessons will be held on the Microsoft Teams platform and can be followed both synchronously on the basis of the first semester timetable, and asynchronously because they will be recorded and left available to students on the ARIEL platform.
The methods and criteria for participating in some face to face lessons, which provide for a reservation with a special app, will be published on time in the ARIEL pages of the course, as well as all the above material and notices relating to any update linked to the evolution of the legislation imposed by Covid-19. Even face-to-face lessons, however, will be recorded and made available on the ARIEL website.

Program and reference material
The program and the reference material will not change.

Learning verification procedures and assessment criteria:
The exam consists of a written test and an oral test; in an emergency, both can be done with telematic system.
For the written test it is necessary to have a webcam to frame the work table and a scanner (or CamScan type application for smartphone) to send the result of the written text to the teacher in .pdf format
The objectives of the learning verification and the evaluation criteria are similar to those reported in the specific section.
Course syllabus
General criteria for the technical-economic choice of the plants: outline of the economics of the industrial enterprise; the structure of production costs; the production function; production factors; marginal analysis. Risk, reliability and availability analysis; economies of size; spare unit; sizing of accumulators.
Energy production and distribution in the food industry: types, uses, yield. Thermal energy production and distribution plants: steam generators, temperature and pressure regulation; distribution (sizing of pipes, control valves, desuperheaters, safety valves, condensate drains). Electricity production and distribution plants: active, reactive and apparent power; electric motors (characteristics, connections, speed regulation, efficiency); the power factor correction; the sizing of electrical systems; the safety of electrical systems.
Handling of liquid products: the study of the lay-out, the hydraulic power, the characteristic curves of the pumps, the handkerchief diagrams, the calculation of the system characteristic (pumps in series and in parallel, the effect of viscosities, the cavitation problem), operating point, flow regulation. Centrifugal and volumetric pumps: structural characteristics and types.
Cold technologies: the refrigeration cycle; refrigerant fluids; compressors (alternative and centrifugal); expansion systems; condensers (air, water, cooling towers, evaporative condenser); the evaporators. The absorption cycle.
Air conditioning systems; cold stores. The refrigerator transport; refrigerated distribution systems.
Process control and regulation: the control problem, open loop and closed loop control systems; system components: sensors, regulators, actuators; signal processing: precision, stability and speed. The measure of the main physical process quantities. Linear controls, operating logic: two positions (on - off), proportional action, integral action, derivative action.
Prerequisites for admission
The student, with Bachelor degree, must have adequate knowledge of the main physical quantities and their units of measurement, as well as the main processes of the agro-food industry.
Teaching methods
The course includes lectures aimed at providing the basics and the theoretical-applicative elements to understand the functioning of the plants in the agri-food sector and a part of numerical exercises useful for understanding how to correctly size the plant components. During the exercises, texts of problems to be carried out not in class are also provided.
Teaching Resources
Notes of the lectures and exercises.
Lecture notes on the ARIEL website of the Course: slides and passages of reference texts
References texts:
F. Turco - Principi generali di progettazione degli impianti industriali - Clup, Milano.
P. Parolini - Impianti industriali meccanici : produzione e distribuzione del calore, trasporto dei fluidi - Clup, Milano.
O. Pierfederici - Impianti meccanici - Pitagora Editrice, Bologna.
Monte - Elementi di Impianti Industriali - Edizioni Libreria Cortina, Torino
A. Pareschi - Impianti Industriali - Edizioni Progetto Leonardo, Bologna
L. Donati - La refrigerazione nell'industria alimentare - Tecniche Nuove, Milano
R. Cyssau - Manuale della regolazione e della gestione dell'energia - Tecniche Nuove, Milano.
R.P. Singh, D. R. Heldman - Principi di Tecnologie Alimentari - Casa Editrice Ambrosiana
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of a written test and an oral test.
The written test (duration: 2 hours) aims to ascertain the student's knowledge of the practical aspects of the use of the machines (choice, sizing, etc.) and consists of a series of numerical exercises having difficulties and contents similar to those carried out during the exercises. During the test, the consultation of texts is not allowed and is considered passed if a score of at least 16/30 is obtained.
During the year there are two partial tests (duration: 1 hour / test) which allow you to go directly to the oral test during all the appeals of the academic year.
The oral exam consists of a discussion of the written task (or of the partial tests) and an interview on all the topics covered during the lessons to ascertain the real level of knowledge acquired. To take the oral exam, if the ongoing tests have not been carried out, it is necessary to have passed the written test in a previous appeal (the written test allows you to take the oral test in one of the appeals of the following three months).
At the oral exam, optionally and subject to agreement with the Professor, the student, or a group of students consisting of a maximum of 5 people, can present a project of a plant for an agro-food industry. The project is presented during the oral session but does not exclude questions on other topics covered in class, even if the discussion of the project is basic.
To take the exam it is necessary to register within the deadline provided on the UNIMIA platform (
The evaluation is expressed by a vote out of thirty. The mark is communicated to each individual student by e-mail automated by the university's verbalization system.
Students with SLD (Specific Learning Disabilities) and with disabilities have to contact the Professor by email at least 10 days before the scheduled exam date to agree on any individualized measures. In the email addressed to the teacher it is necessary to put the respective University Services in CC: (for students with SLD) and (for students with disabilities).
Practicals: 32 hours
Lessons: 32 hours
Professor: Guidetti Riccardo
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Production, Landscape and Agroenergy