Glanbia | Upgrade production lines for lactose
Client: Glanbia, a globally operating food company and producer of high-quality ingredients and consumer products
Project: upgrade dilute phase production lines for lactose and whey protein
Raw materials for pizza cheese are made at the factory in Kilkenny, Ireland. In order to cope with the increasing demand for these products, it was necessary to carry out a complete renovation and upgrade of the existing dilute phase production lines for whey protein and lactose. This concerned the route from the existing spray dryers to the packaging machines. After the upgrade, the lines had to comply with the applicable EHEDG and ATEX guidelines.
- Product: lactose and whey protein (WPC) powders
- Pneumatic transport: 18.000 kg per hour
- Buffer hoppers: 5 m3
- Filling capacity: 16 Big-Bags per hour
TBMA has installed new, fluidizing discharge systems and new, larger filter units onthe existing silos. The pneumatic conveying lines were fitted with new, hygienic rotary valves and diverter valves. In addition, a great deal of attention was paid to the cleanability of the installation and the increase of the life time (interval between service interventions).
The drop-through airlocks are special-duty versions suitable for lactose. In practice, the old valves that needed to be replaced had service intervals of just a few months. By using new rotary valves specially developed by TBMA for handling lactose, the life time is now approximately one year. Moreover, some of the airlocks are placed on mobile frames, which makes removal and maintenance easier. The rotary valves were tested on location in advance and were so well received that TBMA was allowed to carry out the total upgrade and renovation of the production lines.
TBMA also installed new receiving hoppers with air filters and fluidization in one of the hi-care packaging areas. A TBMA Big-Bag filling station is placed in the other packaging area, complete with roller tracks, vibrating scissor lift, weighing unit and dosing system, in addition to the existing bag filling line for filling 25 kg bags.
From the spray dryers, the pneumatic conveying system brings the powders to the designated silos, where the conveying air is separated via filters. The silos are equipped with level detectors and safety valves against unwanted overpressure.
The fluidization bottoms in the silos ensure that the rotary valves are optimally fed. These valves then ensure that the correct amount of product is dosed in the pneumatic conveying system that brings the product to the buffer hoppers in the packaging area. The product passes a sieve, metal detection and an in-line sampler.
To save energy, the compressor is frequency controlled so that it can seamlessly anticipate the required capacity with minimal energy consumption. By monitoring the transport pressure, blockages in the conveying system are prevented.
To fill the Big-Bags, an operator hangs a new bag with its loops on the self-releasing hooks, after which the filling spouts is connected dust-free with an inflatable. Due to the hanging filling, the Big-Bag is slightly stretched during filling and the up and down vibrating lifting table ensures that the product is compacted and vented, creating a stable and maximally filled Big-Bag. During the final phase (fine dosing), vibrations are no longer performed and the Big-Bag rests completely on the weighing frame, so that accurate weighing is possible.
Components and systems
- Fluidization systems for silos
- Filter systems for silos
- Pneumatic transport systems from the storage silos to the packaging lines
- Diverters and shut-off valves
- Hygienic rotary valves (lactose version)
- 3 buffer hoppers with 5 m3 capacity
- Hi-care Big-Bag filling line with vibrating table and precise weighing
- In-line hygienic sampler
- Roller tracks with scissor lift, control panels and software
- Project design and engineering