Producing high-quality dairy products with the most innovative technological systems for refrigeration and cooling water production
By Roberto Molteni
Founded in 1987 and based in Caronno Pertusella (near Varese), CTM Refrigerazione Industriale has developed a long experience in the field of industrial refrigeration. The company, operating in the system and industrial sector, both in Italy and abroad, designs and assembles complete systems for industrial refrigeration, employed in many fields, including milk and dairy. CTM offers advanced technological solutions such as: screw compression units, direct ice-cold water production plants and with ice accumulation, sanitized equipment and electrical switchboards. Moreover, the company provides “turnkey” solutions, post-warranty technical assistance, programmed assistance, and assistance in the regulatory framework.
The installed plant
CTM has recently installed at 3B Latte dairy factory a glycol refrigeration system that includes two distinct preassembled Brine Chiller modules and a Falling Film Chiller plant for cooling water production.
Each pre-assembled Brine Chiller group, which cools the glycol as an intermediate fluid, consists of two screw compressors and an evaporative condenser that ensures 400,000 Kcal/h cooling capacity. Glycol is stored at -6 °C in a tank from which it is sent to the plant by special pumps, via two loop circuits to feed the cold utilities (such as cells, curing) and to ensure sanitized refrigeration and air-conditioning in the working rooms. The glycol in a 400,000 Kcal/h Falling Film Chiller also cools water at -0.5 °C temperature, being necessary to the process: the milk must always be kept at 4 °C during all stages of production. The Brine Chiller groups, used for the cooling of intermediate fluids, are designed to work continuously and for the most demanding applications. Main characteristics: monoblock configuration; R 507 ecological gas screw compressors with evaporative condensers; a design aiming at maximum energy savings. The electric motors of the driving compressors, evaporative condensers and pumps are controlled by an inverter and, therefore, they ensure a progression of cooling capacity which adapts to production needs. All main functions are also controlled by a sophisticated system of centralized supervision.
Falling Film Chiller
In Falling Film Chiller groups, the water flows on both sides of vertical shaped plates with a thin layer to be cooled by glycol at -6 °Cflowing inside the stainless steel plates. The chilled water is pumped from a bottom tank to the utilities by a centrifugal pump. Falling Film Chiller chilling machine, a novelty in the dairy plants, ensures pollutant-free cooling water at a 0.5 °C temperature. The plant has a very compact design and no moving parts, and cools the process water which has been heated in the process itself. Since the water flows on the plates, the exchange coefficient performance is very high. Moreover, to cool clean water at temperatures close to 0, an open system is necessary, i.e. outside the exchange surface, so to avoid icing problems.
The 3B Latte case hystory
The Italian dairy 3B Latte was founded in the early 80s and, beside the most established cow products, it produces goat and, more recently, buffalo milk products. A new line of spreadable products and probiotics is being launched. About five years ago, the dairy has started the construction of a new premise to further increase production volumes. A traditional system with ice accumulation was previously used since 3B Latte productions concentrated in short period of time. Currently, however, the firm needs cooling water for longer periods of times used for continuous 24 hour process duty. To achieve this goal CTM plants have been installed because of the need of continuous cooling water exchange which must be, among other things, of “high food grade”. The use of the Falling Film Chiller group is giving very positive results. The process water is also cyclically discharged and refilled with bacterial-zero water as the fresh product requires an absolute guarantee of hygiene. The dairy firm processes about 40,000 liters/day of exclusively Italian milk. 3B Latte focuses on quality and on the offer of special products such as, for example, many goat cheeses. The firm sells and distributes almost exclusively in Italy. The dairy, with an handcrafted production from the very beginning, aims to keep this pattern even in the new production facility, but using the latest technology.