Tailored to fit

A dairy processing plant can consist of many components. In some cases, it can be a new building and operation. In others, equipment comes from a variety of manufacturers. Either way, putting in new equipment is a process that has to be considered carefully. “The modular heat portfolio is based on a broad application knowledge of heat and precision covering beverages and food. A typical situation has a mix of different suppliers in a plant, and our systems can be plumbed into an existing line. It is of course easier to plumb in a Tetra Pak module into a Tetra Pak line, but it can work with anything,” notes Bengt Eliasson, manager at the Centre of Expertise, Dairy Aseptic at Tetra Pak.

To that end, Tetra Pak has introduced Intelligent Customisation for its heating systems. The modules, which are based on the company’s technologies in dairy, beverages and prepared food processing, can be combined in any number of configurations, allowing heating to be customised to meet the specific needs of each customer.

Heart of the line

Eliasson explains, “The UHT heating system is really at the heart of the processing line, and is key to making the food safe and available. It is very important and depending on the product, there is a wide range of options — powder, raw milk and formula. It is a significant part of the investment and heating can be the most costly step.”

Typically, customers are looking for two things, Eliasson says – to increase efficiency and improve the performance of the line. Often customers want to diversify the product portfolio and produce new products with value added. This is especially important for the dairy industry, he adds.

“These two demands can be opposite to each other, as dairies follow two production models – highly efficient and high volume, and flexible plants with a range of products. The challenge is to increase both types of production into one unit. A larger dairy plant will have dedicated lines, while a smaller producer will have one production line doing many things,” he notes.

Wide interest

Geographically, interest is fairly widespread, Eliasson says. “Europe has seen quite a lot of interest, where they are producing UHT milk for export to China. It is also being picked up in countries where the trend is moving away from loose milk to packaged, pasteurised and UHT products. UHT fits well with cool chains in developing nations, and we can tailor the equipment to each customer.”

Ola Elmqvist, vice president business unit liquid food at Tetra Pak says, “With our new modular portfolio we are working with the customer in a completely collaborative way. This is crucial since every customer has increasingly different challenges and priorities, that often change over time.”

“We start with detailed discussions about their business, such as the products they produce, their production process, running time, utility costs, and their short term, as well as long term goals. With this, we are then able to provide heating solutions that bring value to their business.”

Tetra Pak has completed trials of the new modular portfolio with customers in Europe and Russia.

Alexander Belyanov, the director of OJSC Bogdanovich GMZ says, “We think the new Tetra Pak Indirect UHT unit for dairy applications is significant. Following discussions from the beginning on the concept development and new area design, Tetra Pak was able to provide us with a new processing line that was tailor-made to our needs to improve plant performance. The new module approach was more convenient in terms of installation, efficiency and performance, plus, all the service media connections are mounted at the same place, making it more accessible and practical.”

The heating portfolio means Tetra Pak can offer full flexibility and upgradability that supports a customer’s current and future needs. For instance, the solutions can be upgraded to support a customer’s product expansion from milk and cream, to beverages with particles, or from baby food purée to a wider range of prepared food products.

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Dairy Industries International