The Development of the Award-Winning FiltaFOG Cyclone
Innovation sits at the heart of Filta. Our business is built on taking a great idea, investing our time to evolve it and creating a market-leading product which has the potential to change what people accept as the norm.
The perfect example is our proprietary FiltaFOG Cyclone, a market-leading Grease Recovery Unit (GRU). Fifteen years and hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of R&D in the making, it brings the very best features, industry innovations, and experience-led design improvements into one robust, user-friendly, high-performance grease recovery unit that is unlike anything else on the market.
Here, Managing Director of FOG Fellow Designs, manufacturers of the FiltaFOG Cyclone, Malcolm Higgins, takes us through the Cyclone journey explaining its transformation from a lightbulb moment to the award-winning solution we’ve brought to market.
The oil industry has long-used cyclone technology as a 100%-effective means of separating oil and water. The challenge was that this solution relies on a pump, and if a pump mechanism were to fail in a commercial kitchen, it would have a severe knock-on effect – the restaurant might not be able to wash up, it would have to close and lose money.
Plus, for those working in the servicing of grease traps, we’d be so busy with constant reactive call outs to failed pumps that we’d have no time to focus on innovation or maintenance. So, what was always at the forefront of my mind was how to create a cyclone GRU without a pump.
On a journey home after installing GRUs in London, I had a real eureka moment. I thought that if we placed a ‘Cyclone Plate’ underneath a food basket, it would develop a natural cyclone action rather than the forced effect you create with a pump. It was totally different from anything already on the market and had multiple potential benefits.
A Risk-Free Solution
One key benefit of using a Cyclone Plate was that the solution would have no moving parts, making it easier to maintain and less at risk of damage or failure. Pumps, heating elements and valves can all fail over a grease recovery unit’s lifetime. In contrast, a Cyclone Plate relied on the force of nature, so it was a simpler, cheaper to maintain mechanism.
Unlike skimming GRUs, the FiltaFOG Cyclone GRU has 24-hour availability and is always on 24/7/365. Typical skimming GRUs often work for an hour or so at a time and then switch off. If fat, oil or grease (FOG) is discharged into the sinks during that time, there is a chance it won’t be caught, which means it can reach the drainage network and have a damaging effect on the environment.
Plus, while other flotation units use a submerged heating element which is typically rated at 1kw, the Cyclone heating pad is rated at 30W, making it 97% more energy efficient.
Years of Determination Have Been Recognised
The version of Cyclone which is on the market today has been in continual development since 2019 – and we’ve made many improvements.
For example, Gen 1 of Cyclone, released in August 2020, took longer to service than anticipated. As such, Gen 2 featured minor iterations, making servicing quicker and easier for engineers, including moving the heater pad and associated electrics from the centre of the unit to a water-proofed module accessible from the side, improving water security.
Gen 3, which is achieving phenomenal success, benefits from a sealed electrical drawer, a two-piece lid with no centre section, and internal venting to remove any possibility of syphoning.
The Cyclone Gen 3 is also PDI G101 certified, which gives us internationally-recognised compliance and acknowledges the continual investment we have made to ensure Cyclone is futureproofed, fit for purpose and boasts various USPs.
Cyclone’s continual development and innovation have also been recognised at the 2022 Footprint Awards, where it helped Filta win the Sustainable Catering Equipment Manufacturer Award, and at the 2022 Commercial Kitchen Show, where it won silver in the Innovation Challenge. More recently, the FiltaFOG Cyclone has received the German Sustainability Award 2023 in the design category.
The Future for Filta and Cyclone
We’re currently working on further upgrades for the Cyclone, which will be ready in 2023. After enjoying such success in a relatively short time, We are committed to continuously innovating to offer our customers the best available technology.
We have several large contracts in place to craft bespoke Cyclone solutions for international businesses, which involves working on different prototypes to cater for their specific needs and each unique setting. We strive to provide tailored solutions that match our customers’ needs and give them the best possible experience with our products and in-house design expertise.
The clients already using Cyclone are reporting major improvements to their operations and spending, and we want to make that the case for as many businesses as possible worldwide.
At Filta, we have been at the forefront of innovation and technology in the management of FOG for over 20 years. By partnering with manufacturing experts at FOG fellow Designs, we’re proud to be able to bring the food service industry a GRU which boasts low running costs and reduced energy use. Plus – upkeep is super easy!
Get in touch to learn more about Filta’s FOG Cyclone grease recovery unit.