Optimized dairy production without jeopardizing quality!
Production facilities are always looking for ways to optimize their processes. As the milk market is presently oversupplied and milk prices are at their lowest seen for many years, upgrading production facilities to run continuously with better performance is one way to increase the bottom line.
24/7 optimized drying process
Standard milk powder plants normally run 20 hours before parts of the plant needs to be CIP’ed for controlling bacteria growth as well as fouling of the heating equipment. A CIP cycle of feed system from feed stop to feed run can
take up to 4 hours, meaning more than 16% downtime on expensive production equipment. Further, the shutdown of dryer to water can give irregularities in the powder specifications and thereby an uneven powder quality compared to a continuous powder production with a high degree of powder stability. Additional the energy loss of running the spray dryer on water without getting any powder is also considerably high.
Based on above, rebuilding of the production facilities to make the spray dryer run 24/7 has lots of advantages and the investment is quite often paid back within a very short time. Each case must be thoroughly investigated with the existing plant equipment evaluated and
analyzed to understand the implications and necessary equipment/upgrade to be installed.
Five process areas must be assessed before a 24/7 upgrade, as described below:
The evaporation capacity of the existing process will often not have sufficient capacity to increase the production with 16% as well as it will not be able to feed the dryer inline due to CIP requirements.
There are different solutions to increase evaporation capacity:
Install an additional evaporator to switch between two evaporators to avoid any bacterial growth.
Install an evaporator – a so-called “finisher”, which can concentrate the product from 36 to end concentration.
RO plant to concentrate the incoming product before evaporation.
Buffer system for feed to dryer.