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Te Awamutu

The challenge

Our client wished to dose calcium and vitamins into their skim milk evaporator for specialised powder production. A system was required that could:

  • Rehydrate bulk batches of mineral powder with minimal operator involvement
  • Provide consistent and accurate batching and dosing control to meet the stringent specification requirements of the finished powder product
  • Minimise the amount of water added to the evaporator feed and concentrate
  • Operate reliably with concentrated slurries without sedimentation occurring, even during stoppages
  • Eliminate residual powder in wet process areas
  • Automatically move pallets of powder and empty pallets into and out of the bag tipping area through a hygiene air lock

The Solution

For calcium carbonate we provided a bulk bag dump, storage and transfer system in a dry store, together with a pair of batch tanks and a weigh hopper in the evaporator hall. The design of the weigh hopper and powder transfer system was such that all powder was used in each batch, with no significant residue in the transfer pipes of hopper. This meant that the system could be shut down for days or weeks and would still restart reliably. For both calcium and vitamins we provided pairs of batch tanks with agitators, purpose designed for mixing their respective products and maintaining the slurries in suspension. The slurries were sent to dosing systems using ratio flow control with metering pumps. The slurry supply was recirculated and the dosing lines kept short to prevent sedimentation in the pipework. A sophisticated algorithm was used to adjust the dosing control for variations in the skim milk composition so as to maintain the finished powder within specification.



Key Processes Implemented

  • 30,000 litre whey concentrate crystallisers
  • 4,000 l/h whey concentrate cooler with hot condensate flush
  • Inlet valve manifold with dead leg elimination, free draining
  • Outlet manifold with water flush