Lactalis switches hoses in Serbia and Croatia

The largest dairy products group in the world, Lactalis, has switched to FaBLINE, a food grade PTFE-lined hose from Aflex. The hoses produced by Aflex Hose, part of Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Solutions (WMFTS), are being used to transfer milk, yogurt and fruit filling at production facilities in Serbia and Croatia.

Lactalis, which has 270 production sites in 52 countries, is using two long-life hoses that are six and a half feet in length and have a bore size of two inches after replacing a competitor’s rubber hose at its factory in Sombor, Serbia.

Engineers at Aflex have developed the hoses to meet the latest hygiene standards. The patented PTFE-lined hose, with standard 316 stainless steel braid EPDM cover, will ensure efficient product transfer and handling with extended life, the company says.

With flexibility and kink-free design requiring less force to bend than competitor smooth bore products, FaBLINE offers Lactalis a hose solution throughout production processes.

Aleksandar Rnjak, maintenance manager at Somboled, part of the Lactalis Group, says, “The hoses are exposed to CIP cleaning before production. After hanging the hoses on the fruit paste container, the hoses are rinsed and sterilised with steam at 280℉ at 50 PSI in the line.

“The hoses have shown exceptional durability and flexibility, and the safety of the operators connecting the tank with fruit paste and the system on the yogurt line has increased.”

Alan Varelija, sales engineer for the Balkans region at WMFTS, states, “Lactalis was not satisfied with the hose life of the previous rubber hose it was using, because the cover wore out every few months. The hose is dragged along the floor, so we offered a Safeguard option. The new hose now transfers milk and yogurt and it is regularly cleaned with CIP chemicals without any change almost a year after Lactalis began using it.

“Even if our outer protection comes away or gets damaged when the hose is dragged along the floor, the hose doesn’t lose its integrity, which eliminates the potential of premature failure.”

At another Lactalis’ production facility in Zagreb, Croatia, it has switched to using FaBLINE hoses on a filling machine which handles yogurt and yogurt fruit filling. Lactalis is using 16 long-life hoses that are 2.6 feet in length and have a bore size of 0.375 inches after replacing a silicone rubber hose.

FaBLINE hoses provide up to twice the flow of similar sized convoluted delivery hoses, for a faster, more efficient processing solution, according to Aflex.

Marin Ćosić, deputy head of maintenance at Dukat Dairy Industry, part of the Lactalis Group, says, “On the yogurt and fruit filling machine, the working conditions are demanding in terms of high sterilization temperatures (100℉), and exposure to acids and alkalis for washing the hoses through which the product passes. With the aim of avoiding the possibility of contamination of the product, we decided to install the FaBLINE hose on the machine for filling yogurt and fruit yogurts. The hoses turned out to be very good and long-lasting.”

Alan Varelija, sales engineer for the Balkans region at WMFTS, adds, “The existing silicone rubber hoses from another company on a filling machine were outdated, and the risk of contamination was very high. The customer measured its existing connectors, so we were able to offer an exact match.” Further information can be found at

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