News | July 22, 2011

Cost Savings By Using Modern Inline UHT Technology For The Production Of Milk


For many years, GEA TDS has provided an inline UHT process for milk production that allows separation, standardization and aseptic process treatment in just one step, eliminating the need for distinct separation and pre-heating steps and intermediate storage. The inline UHT process saves fixed and variable costs, especially for energy consumption. It also requires fewer compo-nents and less water and detergent while enhancing product quality. With the help of this tech-nology, milk producers can optimize their products and reduce operating costs as well as envi-ronmental stress.

The first inline UHT system was developed at GEA TDS two decades ago with the objective of minimising investment costs. Starting with a conventional indirect UHT system, GEA TDS engi-neers added a hot separator at approx. 50 °C. This simple, low-cost system has proven to be very efficient. The milk is standardised manually by a staff member at the separator. To allow for the discharge of deposits in the separator, a bypass line is integrated at the homogenizer at approx. 70 °C.

About five years after the first inline UHT system, GEA TDS developed an extended version that offered automated standardisation of the fat content to achieve the desired cream quantity in the milk, in addition to the hot separator at approx. 50 °C.

Today's inline UHT systems offer yet another cost-saving option: partial stream homogenisation. This means that standardised milk, for instance with a 3.5 per cent fat content, is temporarily separated into a fat phase with a maximum of 7 per cent fat content, and a skimmed milk phase. The product can then be homogenized with 50 percent reduced effort, because after the initial regenerative heat-up of both streams to 70 °C only the fat phase needs to pass the homogenizer while the skimmed milk phase is bypassing it. Both streams are reunited after passing a static mixer, and then led to the thermodynamic stratified storage tank that is not positioned after separation at 50 °C but after the static mixer at 70 °C in this system version. This technology makes it possible to use a smaller sized homogenizer and thus save substantial costs.

GEA TDS recommends this solution for all systems with a flow rate of 20 m³/h or more. Processing milk with a 1.5 per cent fat content saves even more costs – that product can be homogenized in this way with even 70 per cent reduced effort!

Of course, all different system variants, when implemented by GEA TDS, are being fully integrated into the automation process of the entire process system. Existing UHT systems can be retrofitted in the process line with modular components.

GEA TDS is part of the GEA Group