A common way we meet our dietary requirements for calcium is to consume dairy products. As consumer demand has changed, there are more options than ever for milk and milk substitutes as well as a wider availability of packaging shapes and sizes.
In a Fluid Power Journal article, Pneumatic Devices Meet the Challenges of Dairy Processing, Emerson’s Amit Patel describes how these devices help to drive improvements in efficiency, flexibility and reliability. Amit opens noting that plant equipment:
…needs to run economically while providing versatility and the ability to respond quickly to changing consumer preferences and appetites. It also needs to achieve higher levels of capacity while being sustainable and reliable day in and day out.
Amit highlights the critical nature of sanitation in dairy processing.
To ensure a sanitary processing environment, equipment needs to withstand repeated washing in one of the industry’s most rigorous washdown procedures, including aggressive IP69K. On the processing side alone, a single piece of dairy mixing and blending equipment could have upwards of 40 hygienic process valves that help control the flow of raw ingredients. Those valves need to be kept clean, and that cleaning doesn’t take the wear and tear of ongoing, high-speed production into account.
From a safety standpoint, pneumatic devices can help:
…dairy operators comply more easily with regulations while protecting workers and maintaining a high level of production.
Amit describes how pneumatic devices improve energy efficiency.
Since compressed air is usually available throughout a dairy plant, connecting more devices when needed for a new application generally results in little incremental cost. In fact, when more pneumatic devices are connected to a compressor, the total demand is closer to the capacity of the compressor, making pneumatics technology more efficient.
From a flexibility perspective:
…pneumatic devices offer quick setup and easy changeout, giving dairy operators the ability to upgrade, fix, replace, or change the parameters of their equipment with minimal disruption. For example, a machine that handles 6-, 12- or 18-ounce containers could be made to change sizes quickly for a new product run, while packaging operators might also need a fast way to convert from single-serve containers to club-size containers.
The article highlights two example pneumatic devices ideal for use in dairy processing—the AVENTICS CL03 Clean Line pneumatic directional control valve and the AVENTICS Series ICS pneumatic cylinder.
Read the article for more on installation flexibility with digital communications protocols, how downtime and maintenance costs are reduces, how plant hygiene is improved, and how regulatory compliance is streamlined.
Visit the Dairy Processing & Packaging section on Emerson.com for more on the fluid control and pneumatics technology to help you improve business performance. You can also connect and interact with other pneumatics experts in the Fluid Control & Pneumatics group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.