Meet the Founder of Nitrogen Recovery Services
Duane Gleason - Owner & Founder
My name is Duane Gleason and I am the owner and founder of Nitrogen Recovery Services. I have recently retired from one of the major nitrogen suppliers and have been working within the food freezing industry for over 33 years.
My first 10 years of employment (1985 – 1995), involved refurbishing tunnel freezers, immersion units and the combination of both. This included new control upgrades, wiring, component replacement, etc. I also followed these freezers to the end user where I installed, started them up and trained operators. During this time, I covered all the US and Mexico. Troubleshooting was at the top the list.
The last 23 years I moved into a commercial technology roll. Having the intimate knowledge of a wide range of nitrogen freezers and how they are supposed to operate enable a very smooth transition. My new role included providing an estimated cost to freeze or cool for whatever product I was asked to evaluate. There is a methodical method used to walk someone through all things related to setting up a nitrogen freezing system. The very first step was to establish the estimated cost to freeze or cool. The first question is always, “how much is this going to cost us”? This simple question had to be answered accurately to confirm the fact that a nitrogen freezing system made economic sense.
Other services that I provided was in house testing. This was key in most cases so that Quality Control could verify that moisture retention and that the finished product would pass their standards. I performed many other functions for customers and potential customers that I will not attempt to list here but would be glad to go into detail within a separate conversation.
Finally, I would like to address my true passion, and the reason I decided to continue working past my retirement. That is, nitrogen waste management. I have been conducting audits over the last 20 years and have significant success in reducing monthly nitrogen bills. My preferred method is to arrive at the customer location the night before my visit and stay at a local hotel. I would then come in first thing in the morning and look at the freezer while it is still open to observe radial fans, type of belt, spray header configuration, etc. This would take place after the inspection, but before the freezer is closed for cool down. I then spend most of the day observing the cool down process, nitrogen lines, tank pressure, proportional valve position during full production, standards for QC, tunnel operation, etc. When this part of the process is complete, I would then return to my hotel to document the days operation as base parameters and prepare my recommendations to management. My second day would start at the plant with operator and safety training.
“It is very gratifying for me to see folks that have been throwing switches and buttons at start up, sort of like turning on a utility switch; not really understanding why they do it, only because that is what is done in the mornings. Throughout the training I have seen countless light bulbs come on as people realize the significance of each step of the cool down process and how it relates to an efficient start up.”
Waste normally comes from two sources, the equipment, and the process. This doesn’t mean that I would come in and recommend a new freezer, (which it could, but not necessarily). Keeping the carcass but upgrading components is more the norm. Again, I won’t go into a lot of detail here only wanted to let you know of waste sources.
One other source of waste is tank pressure. Incorrect tank pressure has numerous ill effects on the operation of the tunnel which I will cover during the training period.
Over the years I have seen an average of 5-15% in nitrogen cost reduction if my recommendations are followed. I will not promise anyone a number without looking at the operation, but I can promise that if there is waste, I WILL FIND IT. The results of my audits have resulted in over 90% success rate of achieving the one-year payback that most companies are looking for. Some cases, less than 6 months!
Thank you for taking the time to read about Nitrogen Recovery Services. I have several companies, (Buyers, CFO’s, VP’s and owners), that are willing to go on the record as to me being an asset regarding the reduction of the cost to freeze, finding the correct freezer, and basically being there for consultation when considering a new freeze line.