Dairy Farmers of Britain meets demanding contracts

26 June 2008

Dairy Farmers of Britain has completed an £850,000 (€1 million) bulk storage project, in an effort to meet the demands of supermarket contracts.

The company, owned and run by British dairy farmers, called in a process control specialist to provide process design, installation and integration of four high-level milk silos at its Blaydon, UK site.

Lichfield, UK based FMA Process Engineering supplemented the four 22.5kl horizontal finished milk tanks already in place, firstly with two 120kl milk silos plus the infrastructure to accommodate four additional silos when required. The second project involved the installation of a second pair of 120kl silos along with increased routing flexibility.

The site had limited space, therefore it was decided the new silos would be installed at a high level. FMA joined forces with Dairy Farmers’ steel manufacturer regarding the construction of a structure to hold the initial two 120kl milk silos, as well as the additional two, when required.

FMA was also tasked with extending the legacy control system, used at Blaydon, to replicate the control philosophy, used across the existing finished milk tanks, then apply it to the new silos. This was done in a way designed to allow the easy integration of future silos, but in the knowledge of the longer term plan to replace the obsolete control system.

Terry Clough, managing director of FMA, claims the project was highly rewarding.

‘As you can imagine, the compact nature of the site demanded imaginative thinking, especially regarding the placing and commissioning of new silos,’ Clough said.

‘At the same time, with such short project windows, coupled to the added pressure of not impacting on current milk production, required meticulous planning, plus a particularly understanding client team. By working hand-in-hand with Dairy Farmers, we were also able to vastly accelerate the project stages – a factor that clearly assisted us in completing this project within time. Indeed, it would be fair to say that the whole task was a testimony to good collaborative working, good planning and meticulously organised product trials.’

In another contract for Dairy Farmers, FMA has assisted the co-operative in extending the finished milk storage capacity at its Fole dairy in Uttoxeter, UK.

This application involved the integration of two additional low-level 138kl finished milk silos, incorporation of the necessary pumping technologies, and the provision of Rockwell PLCs for control of routing and the existing CIP system. By installing PLCs, a Rockwell Panel View HMI and a GE Fanuc iFix SCADA system, FMA also enabled plant management and operatives to view production and CIP data in real time, as well as storing historical data for validation and tracking.

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